MEMBER ALERT: AOPA is closed today, March 5, due to inclement weather. We will reopen March 6 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.
January 27, 2012
By Alyssa J. Miller
Colton Harris-Moore, the 20-year-old known as the Barefoot Bandit, was sentenced Jan. 27 to six-and-a-half years in prison and three years of supervised release for the seven felony charges he pleaded guilty to on June 17, 2011, which included two counts of interstate transportation of a stolen aircraft and piloting an aircraft without a valid pilot certificate.
U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said the jail term would be served concurrently with the seven-year prison term handed down by the Island County Superior Court on Dec.16 and consecutively to the juvenile sentence that Harris-Moore escaped from in 2008.
During the sentencing, Jones said that Harris-Moore’s “reckless conduct,” which included stealing and crashing multiple aircraft, endangered others and that he needed a “new life flight plan.”
Harris-Moore admits to stealing his first aircraft in 2009 in Idaho, followed by one in Washington in February 2010 and another in Indiana in July that year. He flew the last aircraft, a stolen Cessna 400 Corvalis TT, from Indiana to Abaco Island in the Bahamas where he crashed after running out of fuel; he was arrested just days later.
Harris-Moore’s plea deal acknowledges that his crimes cost $1.4 million in property damage and stipulates that he will not receive any financial gain from telling his story; proceeds from his story would go to the victims of his crimes (see “ Could it happen to you?" ).
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Miller has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.
Pilot Weather Briefing Services,
FAA Information and Services
With solid instrument meteorological conditions extending hundreds of miles in every direction, a VFR-only pilot was stuck on top. The controller who helped him was among those honored March 4 with the Archie League Medal of Safety Award.
AOPA’s Air Safety Institute has awarded Flight Assist Commendations to 10 air traffic controllers who guided general aviation pilots to safe landings despite thunder storms, icing, mountainous terrain, and inoperative instruments and radios.
The FAA needs to be more efficient and complete critical projects, House leaders said during a hearing on FAA reauthorization.
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