Former AG reports pilot following bumpy takeoff

Former AG reports pilot following bumpy takeoff

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Following a bumpy flight, former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel called police to report the pilot.

McDaniel told Jonesboro police on Tuesday that he hired a pilot to fly him and several passengers from Little Rock to East St. Louis, IL, to attend the Oct. 9 presidential debate.

McDaniel said during takeoff the pilot seemed distracted.

In the moments after the plane left the ground, according to the initial incident report, the pilot "allowed the plane to descend abruptly and caused the rear section of the fuselage to strike the runway, causing damage to the plane."

In the days following the incident, McDaniel said the 61-year-old pilot told his father, Bobby McDaniel, that a mechanic inspected the aircraft and deemed it airworthy.

On Oct. 12, according to the report, the pilot flew several of McDaniel's family members to New Orleans.

McDaniel told police he contacted the mechanic who said he had not inspected the plane as the pilot had claimed.

Upon receiving this information, McDaniel said he immediately called the airport in New Orleans to have the plane grounded until it could be inspected for airworthiness.

It was then he learned that the airplane was already in-flight back to Jonesboro.

McDaniel contacted and made a report with the Federal Aviation Administration concerning the pilot's actions.

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, he filed a report with the Jonesboro Police Department. The pilot, if arrested, could face a misdemeanor charge of first-degree assault/reckless conduct creates risk of death or serious injury.

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