EAGLE MOUNTAIN LAKE, Texas (NBC News) The FAA is investigating after several people captured video of a small airplane flying low over a Fort Worth-area lake on the Fourth of July.
Witnesses said it appeared as if the plane was dive-bombing boats.
“I thought he was gonna hit us,” said Adam Pick, who had taken his family to the lake.
Fun on the water turned to fear.
The video, captured by someone on the shore, shows a plane buzzing the Pick’s boat, their two daughters on a tube behind, one of them even screams.
“We’re like really scared,” said Pick. “We’re like, ‘there’s a plane coming at us.'” He had called for help, worried the pilot was having trouble.
“At first when I was on with 911, I said, ‘there’s a plane, it’s in danger.’ then you realize he’s not in danger, he’s having fun and that’s when you go from caring to mad.”
And he wasn’t alone. Several people captured video of the plane making numerous passes over the lake.
“And there was people running, as he was coming by people were running off their docks.”
At times the pilot, flying so low the Picks say you could see the expressions on the faces of people in the plane.
“They came over the boat and we just saw them like pointing at us and laughing at us and we were like, ‘why are those people doing this,'” said Avery Pick.
“I thought I was going to see somebody die that day or we were gonna die.”
The Picks say it put an end to their time on the water.
“We were off the lake after that.”
“We didn’t go back out, we were done. And you’re afraid, is he gonna come back? Is he gonna do this again?”
There are several regulations that could be at play here – one of them having to do with reckless operation of an aircraft.
The plane’s owner says he leases it to a company that does traffic monitoring in North Texas – that company didn’t want to comment citing the ongoing investigation.
Story and video: http://kxan.com
§ 91.13 Careless or reckless operation
(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.
(b) Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo), in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.
And, regulations requiring minimum altitudes could also apply. (See below)
§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.