Pilot Pleads Guilty

In January, Inyo Sheriff deputies arrested 55 year old Michael Dana McEnry, of Bridgeville, CA, after an unannounced landing at the Bishop Airport nearly caused a collision with another plane.

planearrestA federal grand jury later indicted McEnry for operating a single-engine Cessna without a pilots license and doing so in relation to a conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

On January 6, McEnry made an unannounced landing at the airport while another plane was attempting to take off on an intersecting runway. The pilot of the plane taking off saw McEnrys Cessna in time to avoid a collision.

Assistant United States Attorney Karen A. Escobar reports that McEnry touched down and then went off the runway into sage brush, made a u-turn back onto the runway, and parked the plane.

mcenryThe prosecutor says that when the defendant entered the terminal, he said, I just scared the s— out of myself. Escobar reports that McEnry then asked, Where am I? When he was advised that he was in Bishop, he responded, Where is that in relationship to the rest of the world?

An Inyo County Sheriffs deputy responded to the airport and administrated field sobriety tests, which McEnry failed. The deputy conducted a consent search and found a prescription bottle that purportedly contained oxycontin pills, Escobar reports. McEnry admitted to the deputy that he did not have a license to fly.

On Tuesday McEnry pleaded guilty to a felony charge of operating a plane without a pilot’s license. He faces a sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

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