Santa Cruz Beach Buzzing Ends With a High Cost

No title Flying Low Over The Beach Cost Pilot His Ticket. Now, He Faces Criminal Charges What does flying a general aviation aircraft just six feet off the deck, forcing beachgoers to scramble for cover, get you? In Santa Cruz, CA, it gets you a date in court. With the FAA, it gets your ticket pulled. That’s what happened to 48-year old Kenneth Walter Yanz of Corning, CA. Witnesses told the FAA and local police he buzzed the beach at a remarkable six- to 20-feet AGL over Seacliff State Beach May 24th.

“We got several letters about this incident,” District Attorney Bob Lee told the Santa Cruz Sentinel. “Some people literally grabbed their kids and dived for the sand.”

The FAA revoked Yanz’s license on July 29th. That means he’s barred from flying — unless he starts the entire instructional process over again after a year.

While Lee said he appreciated the federal agency’s actions, the FAA didn’t go far enough.

“People had to take evasive action both on the cement boat and on beaches,” he said. “His actions were really callous to the beach-goers and clearly enough to charge him with a crime.”

If convicted of misdemeanor charges related to the low passes, Yanz, who was reportedly taking the plane for a pre-purchase ride, could face a year in prison.


Editor’s Note: I live close to this area and have seen aircraft flying low over the beach. Why pilots would endanger themselves and others on the ground is foolish and inexcusable to me.

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