Over the weekend we reported last week’s crash at the Leesburg airport. The singe engine craft accident fortunately did not result in injury. However, new questions have arisen since the private airplane that took off from the Prince William County airport crash landed at neighboring Loudoun County’s executive airstrip. A comment in the Leesburg Patch asks, “Did they find any alcohol or drugs on board? High wind gusts were forecasted for that day! Any pilot knows not to fly, especially small or light craft when wind gusts are forecasted. This man must have been either drunk or under the influence!”
According to the DUI DWI Foundation:
Piloting an aircraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol is an illegal and very dangerous activity. Many of the laws that apply to driving under the influence also apply to flying under the influence (FUI). In addition to state and federal laws concerning alcohol consumption and flying, pilots also have to follow Federal Aviation Regulations, which are determined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Having flown in and out of both Leesburg and Manassas Airports in Cessna aircraft, Herndon lawyer Doug Landau notes that these are well-maintained facilities with good runway approaches. However, it is not always to predict high wind conditions with precision. Furthermore, there may be a need to fly during certain times and clearances. Until the NTSB and FAA have completed their investigation, conjecture as to the causes of this private airplane’s crash will be speculation.