February 25, 2007 (by Lieven Dewitte) - The pilot of an Ohio Air National Guard F-16 with then-Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson in the backseat broke several FAA regulations in his high-speed tour of Columbus, Ohio, last summer.
USAF F-16C block 30 #87-0268 from the 162nd FS is buzzing by the camera after take-off. [Photo by Jake Melampy
The Viper driver buzzed the city at speeds as high as 500 knots and altitudes as low as 2,100 feet last Aug. 17. FAA regulations restrict speed in that area to 250 knots and, according to the agency's report on the flight, the pilot did not have clearance to fly below 10,000 feet.
That, says the FAA, means the pilot violated a regulation banning careless or reckless flying. But the report will likely be the end of the matter. The Federal Aviation Administration's agency has no jurisdiction to discipline a military pilot so it turned its report over to the military.
Col. Mike Roberts, vice commander of the Guard's 178 th Fighter Wing based in Springfield, where the flight started, said he had not seen the report. He said the pilot was disciplined based on the fighter wing's own investigation.
Roberts would not describe the discipline, saying it was an internal matter but according to him, the pilot inadvertently went faster than FAA regulations allows.
The FAA started the investigation because it had received "a couple" of complaints. The F-16 flight rattled workers for only a few seconds when it went Downtown.
The investigation into whether the jet flew too low or too fast took 174 days.