Military: F-15 Flyover Was Unauthorized
GENESEO, Ill. (AP) _ An F-15 pilot has been disciplined for failing to get permission for a flyover, meant as a tribute to his grandmother, that sent a prewar scare through this western Illinois city.
But the two-month probe found that Maj. Whitney Sieben did not violate flight safety regulations and that witness reports of acrobatic maneuvers were unfounded, military officials said Thursday.
Sieben, a pilot with the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing, flew over his hometown Feb. 13 as a tribute to his ailing grandmother. She died less than two weeks later.
Witnesses reported that the F-15 made four low-flying passes over the town of 6,400 and performed a series of stunts. With America on the verge of war, the impromptu air show alarmed some residents, who flooded police with more than 100 phone calls.
Maj. Megan Erickson, community manager for the guard unit, declined to specify the punishment meted out to Sieben.
Sieben did not return a call for comment Thursday.