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Del Balzo v. Collier
National Transportation Safety Board
1993 WL 657778 (1993)
Larry Collier (defendant) was a licensed pilot who flew his Cessna into the restricted airspace surrounding a space-shuttle launch without permission, causing delays to the launch. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (plaintiff) had an unmarked aircraft in the air that intercepted Collier and attempted to get his attention, but he did not respond. Collier then left the area. However, Collier came back into restricted airspace a second time to videotape the launch. The FAA detained Collier when he finally landed. Collier claimed that he had made a mistake setting his navigational equipment due to eyesight issues and thought he was in legal airspace. Collier had not recognized the FAA aircraft and had been rattled and confused by what it was doing so close to him during his first run. Collier maintained that when he returned the second time, he still thought that he was in legal airspace. The FAA suspended Collier’s commercial pilot’s license for 180 days for entering restricted airspace without permission. Collier appealed the suspension to the National Transportation Safety Board, arguing that he had not intentionally entered the restricted airspace.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pope, J.)
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