Saturday, November 3, 2007

Students rent plane, fly over stadium during game Friday

Spoke with Mecklenburg County system athletics director Vicki Hamilton late Friday night. She told me the strangest thing that happened.

Three students rented a small airplane and flew over Hopewell High during Friday's Hopewell-North Mecklenburg rivalry game.

The plane flew at about 75 feet above the stadium for three runs. Apparently, one of the kids tried to throw a football into the crowd. FAA regulations say aircraft need to fly about 500 feet minimum.

That's dangerous and I'm just glad no one was hurt. I pray no one else ever tries a similar stunt.

________________________
Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a "Hopewell Hooligan", proud Titan & student section regular, I must say this was one of the best H-DUB/North stunts to take place. This comes in close comparison to cutting their lights, & the "streaker" of years past.
Go Titans!

Anonymous said...

You call violating FAA regulations and putting the public at risk a good "stunt"? I hope the FAA handles this pilot appropriately, he gives a bad name to the thousands of private pilots that are responsible and safe. On top of that, throwing a football from a moving plane into a crowd is the equivalent of throwing one from a vehicle at interstate speeds at someone standing on the shoulder of the road...not a bright idea.

Anonymous said...

I was in the stands on the North Side with my family duing this game. Everyone there was uncomfortable. Remember 9/11? This was more than just a stunt. These students should be severely disciplined - not just by the school system, but by the courts as well. In this day and age -renting a small plane and flying 75 feet over a full stadium to drop something is a serious offense. This is not something to joke about. The police officers at the game were even chuckling about it. I was very distressed at the lack of concern shown by the officials and the lack of follow up by the media. This stunt could have easily gone awry and been very tragic. If teenagers can pull this off - what about organized terrorist groups? What is the plan to prevent things like this in the future?

Anonymous said...

No harm was done to anybody which everyone is greatful for. You see this type of stuff at stunt shows. OBVIOUSLY the pilot of the plane knew what he was doing. If he wasnt a safe pilot he would not have the license to fly the plane. No one was hurt except north fans feelings. It takes a lot of balls to do what he did. I give him credit for that and credit for a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT to be able to fly an airplane.
As for dropping stuff, he threw 1 thing down that didnt come close to hitting anything.
the FAA will deal with this, he was already expelled. But this will be the best memory at a football game.
It would be a different stand point for me if someone was hurt. but no one was so congrats to him for pulling it off

Anonymous said...

north people need to stop complaining about his how it put people in danger when more people were exposed to danger after the game when their fans came over and started a riot jumping innocent girls in the parking lots. also after the game when they continued to cause trouble at a resturant where 4 innocent bystanders were hurt. Way to have class North Meck.

Anonymous said...

It's called STUPID!

Anonymous said...

I go to hopewell. and as much as i thought it was cool when it happend..i look back and see how lucky i am to still be here. bc any bit of error could have taken my life, my friends lives and my parents.

Anonymous said...

I think this young man should be punished severly. And where were his parents? I don't think that this young man should have a pilot's liscense if he is stupid enough to do something like this. He could very well do it again, and then what? He might not be so lucky next time. Revoke it for good

Anonymous said...

Lw, the first commenter's Nickname and glee about this stunt expresses the real problem. While everyone is lucky that nothing bad happened, a tragic result could have occurred. The Titan population seems to think that topping past stunts at each North Meck game is both appropriate and necessary. They also apparently feel that whatever individual punishment is worth it--at least before the fact. I remember that a lot of people complained about the severity of the streaker's punishment of expulsion. Though we don't yet know what this "honor student's" total punishment by CMS might be, some of it will be to discourage future stunts. As was the streaker's punishment. Evidently, that punishment was not severe enough to keep another stunt from being planned and carried out. (That both stunts were planned and widely known in advance is obvious in that bail funds were collected each time.)I suggest that CMS not only punish this perpetrator, but also in advance announce a school punishment should any future stunt be committed. My suggestion would be the loss of some or all future home football games for some period of time. Perhaps this prospect might prevent such stunts, whether they are ones that are dangerous or just dumb.

Anonymous said...

no one was hurt and there was no intention to hurt anyone by any of the boys in the plane...unlike the classy north fans that decided to show up at cicis (which is only open to hopewell students after games) and start a riot because they lost the game, sheild, and were pissed off because they werent the first in flight! and by the way this does beat turning the lights off a few years ago...as for the streaker, its a close one.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, all the north fans are just complaining because they're jelous they didn't think of it first. if they would have done it, they wouldn't be saying half the stuff they are. and they complain about us putting them in danger, when they're ignorant no class students decide to show up at cici's trying to start something. way to have class guys, really. suck it up. H-DUB YOU KNOW!