Court Rules Against Low-flying Crop-dusters

April 23, 2010

A federal appeals court has upheld an aviation board's finding that two Martinsburg crop-duster pilots violated federal regulations by flying too low over a congested area.

In 2006, a Federal Aviation Administration inspector warned George Folk and his son Timothy that neighbors complained they were flying low in congested areas, which is prohibited.

The inspector told the men that as few as two or three houses could constitute a congested area.

The Folks were cited later that year for flying low in an area that contained about 30 houses. They appealed the ruling, saying the term "congested area" was unconstitutionally vague.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the definition was clear enough.


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