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Man Says Helicopter To School Was Treat For Son

A man who tried to impress his son by dropping him off at school in a helicopter angered authorities, but he doesn't seem to be facing any legal penalties from the stunt.

WESH.com

A man who tried to impress his son by dropping him off at school in a helicopter angered authorities, but he doesn't seem to be facing any legal penalties from the stunt.

Bart Sutherin is a licensed pilot. He said he thought it would be special to take his son, Joseph, to his first day of school by air.

He landed on the football field at Clermont's East Ridge High school. Sutherlin said son was thrilled and his friends thought it was cool, but soon he got a call from authorities wondering if he'd broken the law.

The Federal Aviation Administration said, at least from the federal government's point of view, there is nothing illegal about landing a helicopter on the football field or any other part of school property. Sutherin's flying record shows no citations.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office said it was most concerned that the landing could have injured or frightened people and parents picking up their children said they, too, were concerned about safety.

Sutherin has apologized to the school district and said he has no intention of a repeat performance.

A spokeswoman for the Lake County School District called the helicopter drop-off "a very poor decision."

She also said the school board may discuss a rule addressing aviation activity on school property.

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