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GROVE CITY, PA. Men detained for flying plane during air restriction period



Published: Thu, September 13, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania State Police said they briefly detained two Beaver Falls men who flew an airplane to the Grove City Airport in violation of federal air restrictions Wednesday.

Police said they were contacted by a Youngstown Air Approach Control Watch supervisor at 6:28 p.m. and were advised to look for an unidentified aircraft flying near the Grove City Airport in Springfield Township.

The Air Approach Control in Pittsburgh had first tracked the plane on radar, but it dropped too low and left Pittsburgh's radar screens, police said.

Youngstown Air Approach Control picked up the airplane on radar and suspected it had landed at Grove City, police said.

Questioning: Two troopers were sent to the scene, arriving at 6:30 p.m. and found the two men, ages 49 and 74, and the aircraft. The men initially denied being the pilots, police said.

After some questioning, the pair admitted flying the plane but denied any knowledge of federal air restrictions that had banned all flights, police said.

After speaking with Federal Aviation Administration officials and the FBI, police said they informed the men they will be charged with disorderly conduct and that they will be contacted by federal agents.

Police said the two men were able to make arrangements for ground transportation from the airport and were released.

Reports didn't indicate the type or size of the airplane, which remained at Grove City. Police said the flight originated in Beaver County.




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