Massachusetts Man Arrested For Flying Helicopter Illegally Out of His Backyard

Updated On 10 May, 2019 Published On

A Massachusetts man, namely Antonio Santonastaso, 59, was arrested for allegedly making more than 50 unlicensed flights with a helicopter out of his backyard.

The 59-year-old of East Brookfield was taken into custody on Thursday, May 9, and charged with one count of making false statements to federal agents and one count of serving as an airman without an airman certificate.

According to the prosecutors, Antonio lost his pilot license in 2000 after getting involved in the theft of a helicopter.

Despite the license revocation, he made more than four dozen flights between April 28 and November 11 in 2018. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors describe this act as an "extremely hazardous" flight path.

Antonio reportedly told authorities that he didn't know that his pilot license was revoked by FAA. According to the officials, he also lied about applying for a medical certificate: one requires the medical certificate to operate an aircraft.

Santonastaso appeared in Worcester federal court Thursday afternoon and a U.S. Magistrate Judge David Hennessy ordered his release on the bond of $10,000.

He is not allowed to operate any kind of aircraft and to leave Massachusetts. As per the report, Antonio has pleaded guilty to larceny in the 2000 helicopter theft.

 If he convicted, he would face up to five years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.

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