Owner says pilot rented plane that flew over YSU game
The Federal Aviation Administration is leading an investigation after a small plane was flown around Stambaugh Stadium at low altitudes several times during the Penguin's game against Robert Morris Saturday afternoon.
The owners of a plane that flew over Youngstown State University's football game Saturday night say they were not the ones in the cockpit.
Chris Tornello and his wife Roberta tell 21 News they were in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday night in another plane they own. They say they had rented the plane to an experienced pilot, but don't want to give out that pilot's name at this point.
Chris Tornello tells 21 News the person who had the plane is an experienced pilot who has flown jets and is only a few training hours shy of being able to pilot commercial aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration is leading an investigation after the small plane was flown around Stambaugh Stadium at low altitudes several times during the Penguin's home football game against Robert Morris Saturday afternoon.
21 News was at the game and captured video of the incident. In that video, you can see the plane appear to fly extremely close to the press box, and stadium lights as the game is going on.
A spokesperson for the FAA told 21 News the agency is conducting an independent investigation involving the report of a low-flying aircraft in Youngstown and will take several months.
According to the FAA, the regulatory agency cannot file criminal charges but can take civil action.
Local law enforcement is the only agency able to file criminal charges in investigations such as this.
YSU Spokesman Ron Cole said YSUPD is in contact with the FAA to find out what happened and what options they have to proceed with the investigation.
At that point, they will confer with the prosecutor's office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
Cole said this would determine what YSUPD will do next in coordination with the Youngstown Police Department and the university.