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Pilot Charged with Misdemeanor for Unlawful Landing


A commercial and instrument rated pilot was charged in U.S. District Court a misdemeanor for making an unlawful landing on a lake in a National Forest Preserve.


Before charges were filed, the pilot was surreptitiously interviewed by Forest Service Police. The police saw a YouTube video which the pilot allegedly posted showing his float plane landing on a backcountry lake in the forest preserve. Before trial, we enhanced the video and noticed that half way through the video, the floatplane’s altimeter could be seen, indicating a much lower elevation than that of the lake.

The court dismissed the charge.

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