I heard this plane saturday while listening to Live ATC. Then today, this showed up in the newspaper.FAA investigating Griz pregame flyover
Posted on Oct. 26
By Bill Schwanke of The Missoulian
The Federal Aviation Administration is seeking information from witnesses who saw a P-51 Mustang aircraft fly low and fast over Washington-Grizzly Stadium prior to Saturday's Montana-Cal Poly football game.
The plane - on a flight from Shelby to Missoula - landed at Northstar Air Express at the Missoula International Airport. Because of the ongoing investigation, FAA and Northstar would not identify the pilot or the aircraft wing number. An FAA source said the plane is not based in Montana.
Investigators are trying to determine if the pilot violated federal aviation regulations during the late-morning flyover. The first - FAR91119 - states a pilot will not fly less than 1,000 feet above any obstacle within 2,000 feet of the aircraft. The second - FAR91117-A - says a pilot will not fly faster than 250 miles per hour below 10,000 feet.
Early information puts the altitude of the plane at between 200 and 500 feet when it passed over the stadium. The P51 is capable of speeds up to 400 miles per hour.
Ken Willett, director of public safety at the University of Montana, is assisting with the FAA investigation. Willett said the flyover was considered a serious safety hazard.
"Just imagine if that plane had flown by while the skydivers were coming down," Willett said.
The FAA wants information from witnesses who can describe the aircraft or identify the wing number and model. They also are seeking information about the plane's altitude and speed. Willett said witnesses should use the "M" on Mount Sentinel at 800 feet and the roof of Aber Hall at 100 feet as reference points.
Those with information should mail it to the FAA Flight Standards Center, 2725 Skyway Drive Suite One, Helena 59602, or e-mail it to Willett at WillettK@mso.umt.edu