A drunken pilot crashed a plane into a communication tower and was charged with reckless operation of a vessel and child abuse without great harm. He was released on a $4,000 bond and refused to speak with the media.
On May 27, Christopher Hall, 57, was preparing to fly his Cessna 337F. It was parked at the Melbourne International Airport. Hall works as an engineer in the area and was preparing for a trip to Ohio with his 10-year-old son. When Hall asked for permission to leave the airport, air traffic control told him that his flight plan to Ohio had expired and ordered him to return to the hangar. Hall disobeyed the order and drove across the airfield. At one point, he drove the plane through an active runway, and air traffic control continued demand that he cease operation on the airfield.
At around 4:30 p.m., Hall drove the plane through a grassy section of the airport and clipped a communication tower, causing significant damage to the plane. Airport police were dispatched to the scene of the accident, and a strong smell of alcohol was detected on Hall’s breath. He was also sweating heavily, according to several reports. The child suffered minor injuries in the accident. He refused medical treatment and was picked up at the airport by other family members.
Air traffic control reported that Hall’s voice was slurring, and they heard the young boy screaming as the plane barreled across the airport. Law enforcement officials conducted a search of the plane and found a bottle of cognac.
Hall’s wife was contacted after the accident and was informed about Hall’s behavior. She was not surprised, as Hall has a drinking problem. It’s good that she acknowledged the problem, but Hall could have caused a serious accident if his plane had come into contact with a commercial airliner. It’s a good thing the plane had not made it into the air, as he most likely would have crashed and killed himself and the child.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida aviation-related accident, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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