PA pilot fined for emergency landing

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MSYgirl, Nov 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    [article]

    WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. —

    Brian Nicholson was proud that he landed a plane smoothly on Route 43 in Washington County, but his pride turned to anger when he got a bill in the mail from the Pennsylvania Turnpike for about $3,000.

    A broken propeller caused Nicholson to make an emergency landing in August.

    “I landed to save my life, my co-pilot’s life and to make sure I didn’t hit or kill anybody else,” he said.

    Nicholson said he fears a decision by the turnpike to charge him for the landing will send the wrong message to other pilots.

    “As a pilot, I was taught once you make a decision, you stick with that or people die. We made the decision that it was the only safe place to land,” he said.

    Nicholson was billed $2,993.34 for overtime costs for highway workers who were on scene all day waiting for the plane to be towed.

    “I thought it was a slap in the face. They are going to charge me $9.50 per hour per person. They held me there. They said, ‘The plane is our property until you get it to a safe place,'” he said.
     
    adrianors likes this.
  2. timfrost

    timfrost Silver Member

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    Obviously without further information it's hard to say but most Cessna aircraft are equipped with a hand-powered towbar. Couldn't he have towed or pushed it out of harms way easily himself? I still don't necessarily think it's right he's being charged but this does seem preventable.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    IIRC the PA Turnpike is not Route 43, so I don't see how this has anything to do with the Turnpike Commission.
     
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  4. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Totally ridiculous. :rolleyes::mad:
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Perhaps they have maintenance staff that look after other state roads?
     
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  6. thesterlingtraveler

    thesterlingtraveler Gold Member

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    Pilots cannot be held criminally responsible in an NTSB accident investigation. I'm not sure how far that extends, but I'm thinking he may be able to use that to get out of the ticket.
     
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  7. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Maybe they will start charging driver that have accidents, and bill them for the clean up.....
    Surprised they did not send a tow truck and charge him for storage.
    Next time land in a field, and the old farmer will put a fence around the plane so the cows won't eat it.
    Yes, happened to me. we took the wings off and towed it out of there later in the week.
    AOPA might help him out.
     
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  8. flynow

    flynow Silver Member

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    Yes I would talk to AOPA about it . I was. Ptv. Pilot for 24 years and only had one precautionary landing in Ga. Hit a bird at 4,000 ft on a IFR flight plan. It was at nigh time. Had to land at the next airport that ATC give me radar vectors to . It was a small airport in the country and no one was there when I landed that night . Call a friend and he pick me up that night.. No charge for the landing that night !!! :)
     
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  9. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I didn't see this as a ticket unless I'm reading it incorrectly. In other words, I don't think people were saying the pilot did anything illegal. He's merely being charged "costs" (real or imagined) related to the landing. Call it a landing fee. I do think there's precedent for passing these costs on.
     
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  10. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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  11. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    it would seem on the surface that a broken propeller would be a true accident but what if the propeller was inspected and found to be in a weakened state, yet pilot decided to fly anyways? IMO that is no longer a "true" accident, true meaning no fault of pilot/outside of his control.
    as there should be.
     
  12. boondr

    boondr Gold Member

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    they can be if they're willfully and recklessly negligent. I.E. under the influence of something, ignoring an airworthiness directive etc.
     
    thesterlingtraveler likes this.

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