Image of the offending R44 courtesy City of Coral Springs, circa nineteen sixty-something
Photo: City of Coral Spring (City of Coral Spring)

A Florida city has issued a citation to a man who landed a helicopter in a friend’s backyard as a stunt when he showed up for a party.

The city of Coral Springs says Kfir Baranas pulled off the chopper trick in June in violation of an ordinance against unauthorized landings and takeoffs of aircraft.

But Baranas, 41, is fighting back, arguing that as a licensed pilot he should be allowed to land where he did because he wasn’t flying in restricted airspace, the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

“It’s private property,” he told the paper. “Why should the city prevent that?”

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The paper quoted a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration as saying there is no FAA regulation prohibiting the landing if the pilot had the approval of the property owners and it was a “safe operation.”

She was also quoted as saying that to land there, the pilot would have to have the approval of the Florida Department of Transportation.

The agency wasn’t commenting, nor were Coral Springs officials, the paper reported.

Baranas has refused to pay the $500 fine and instead is taking Coral Springs to trial in September.

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