REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Lessons learned from flyover?

When Daniel Lake flew his vintage biplane over the Perkins High School football stadium before a varsity football game with Huron Hi
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

When Daniel Lake flew his vintage biplane over the Perkins High School football stadium before a varsity football game with Huron High School in October 2007, it created quite a buzz.

The plane buzzed the field at about 250 feet off the ground while leaving a trail of water vapor in its wake. While the flyover stunt was planned, some at the game were taken by surprise and contacted police officials to investigate.

The pilot's girlfriend, Diane Mulvin, whose son played football for Perkins, helped plan the stunt to help fire up the home team. In this post 9-11 era, police officials had no choice but toinvestigate.

The resulting charges of inducing panic against Lake and complicity to inducing panic against Mulvin were appropriately dropped last week at the request ofSandusky city prosecutor Lynn Gast-King.

The flyover is still being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration because it violated FAA rules that call for a minimum altitude of 1,000 feet. Lake could potentially lose his pilot's license over the incident and that would be a shame.

Regardless of his skills as a pilot, Lake should have known better to violate FAA rules and put a large crowd of people at risk. It was a stupid stunt that should have been planned better and communicated to fans and officials more effectively.

We said it then and we'll say it again: A couple of phone calls beforehand would have left this as something for the scrapbooks, not the law books.

We hope that lesson has been learned by all involved.