Pilot Accused of Falsely Reporting New York Crash

February 12, 2009

A Vermont pilot is accused of falsely reporting that his own plane had crashed at a northern New York airport.

The Clinton County Sheriff’s Department says 59-year-old Nicholas Santo of South Burlington was flying his Cessna on Jan. 30 when he told air controllers that his plane had hit a snow bank and flipped at Plattsburgh International Airport.

Authorities say they quickly determined there was no crash.

Santo was charged with falsely reporting an incident and aggravated harassment.

The incident remains under investigation by federal and local agencies.

Santo is a part-owner of South Burlington-based North Ramp Aviation and serves as the company’s chief flight instructor.

A message left on the company’s answering machine Wednesday morning wasn’t immediately returned.

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