Low Flying Buzz

Reads 4084

By Tom Modugno

We were enjoying a hot February day at a remote beach, watching some lobster fishermen checking their traps. Suddenly a beautiful vintage aircraft came buzzing up the coast ridiculously low. Luckily I was able to get the shot. Don't see that every day! 


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Harbor_Seal Feb 17, 2022 05:39 PM
Low Flying Buzz

Piper J-3 Cub… a legendary American plane built sometime between 1938 and 1947; likely only has a 65 horsepower engine. Great photo, thanks!

CMKR Feb 17, 2022 11:55 PM
Low Flying Buzz

As a pilot I can tell you this is not only illegal, but also extremely stupid and a great way to kill yourself quickly

a-1645211787 Feb 18, 2022 11:16 AM
Low Flying Buzz

Unless the FAA has changed the rules recently it isn't illegal. If the plane was the minimum distance specified from and people or structures there is no minimum altitude. (I'm a 40 year pilot with a commercial license in many categories.)

a-1645172807 Feb 18, 2022 12:26 AM
Low Flying Buzz

Yeah, my only thought for the pilot is WHY?

photodude Feb 18, 2022 06:28 AM
Low Flying Buzz

I agree with CMKR. This pilot's actions are illegal. There is a 500' altitude rule that is being violated.

Unfortunately, the published picture is low resolution and the airplane's hull number is not visible. Perhaps Tom Modugno can look at the original undecimated picture, determine the hull number and report it to the FAA.

SBWalkers Feb 18, 2022 06:35 AM
Low Flying Buzz

I agree also, this guy should know better. Since it is a vintage aircraft, should be fairly easy to trace this idiot

yacht rocked Feb 18, 2022 07:12 AM
Low Flying Buzz

Here's the rules: https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/lgb/local_more/media/FAA_Guide_to_Low-Flying_Aircraft.pdf

Mountaindriver Feb 18, 2022 07:48 AM
Low Flying Buzz

Dumb….yes. Illegal no. Not enough information can be gleaned from the photograph. If he was over a congested area, then altitude restrictions would apply, if not then they would not. If the pilot in command can make a determination that the aircraft could be safely landed after sustaining a loss of engine power, he is with his rights to operate that out aircraft at that altitude.

From above hyperlink:
“(a) Anywhere – An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.”

photodude Feb 18, 2022 08:34 AM
Low Flying Buzz

Illegal or not is a matter of interpretation.

From MOUNTAINDRIVER: “(a) Anywhere – An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.”

There are persons on the beach (obviously, pictures were taken from there), and there is at least on boat in the water surface, so there exists a hazard to persons or property on the surface.

There is an upper limit to intelligence, but no lower limit to stupidity.

Mountaindriver Feb 18, 2022 08:50 AM
Low Flying Buzz


A boat and people on the beach does not suggest a “congested” area which would be necessary to prove he violated the regulation. I agree that what he did was was stupid, however like I said not enough information is available from the photo.

a-1645232989 Feb 18, 2022 05:09 PM
Low Flying Buzz

Probably hard to find a safer aircraft for low and slow than a Cub.

midair Feb 18, 2022 07:03 PM
Low Flying Buzz

You could literally step off a Piper Cub just like Bugs Bunny in a crash. Slower than my car.

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