Friday, July 21, 2006

Pilot?s license revoked for ?illegal? landing

Express Staff Writer

The license of a Boise general aviation pilot who landed at Friedman Memorial Airport in Hailey when it was closed for construction work has been revoked by the Federal Aviation Administration.

A spokesperson at the FAA's Northwest region office in Seattle said the pilot, William S. Powers, was notified of the revocation July 5 and given 10 days to appeal. Powers did not respond, he said.

"It was the appropriate action for the offense that occurred," the FAA official told the Idaho Mountain Express Tuesday.

Powers landed his Cessna 172 on Friedman's closed runway shortly after 8 p.m. May 4, claiming an "emergency." A passenger identified as his sister de-planed and left the airport, according to Friedman Operations Manager Pete Kramer, who talked to Powers and told him he could not take off.

Powers, however, climbed into the aircraft and took off without clearance from the airport control tower.

The pilot apparently never explained the "emergency." He told Kramer he was on a flight from Boise to Jerome, although Friedman Memorial is 70 miles north of the Jerome airport.

At the time, 12-foot-high X markers with flashing lights were operating 24 hours a day at each end of the runway, warning pilots the field was closed.

License revocation is not as common as suspensions, the FAA official said. He said Powers, who owns the aircraft, can apply for reinstatement of the license after one year, but must successively pass all FAA flight and written tests.

Powers could not be reached for comment.

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