Pilot admits aerial trespass over Hualapai Reservation

PEACH SPRINGS, Ariz. - On March 11, the Hualapai Tribal Court accepted ultralight aircraft pilot Lionel De Antoni's admission of responsibility for trespassing and endangerment in violation of the law. De Antoni has agreed to pay a fine with respect to each admission.

De Antoni admitted to the Tribe that his flight over the Grand Canyon West and Skywalk areas of the Hualapai Nation on Dec. 30, 2008 constituted trespass in violation of the law. In addition, De Antoni admitted that he flew recklessly and placed pilots and passengers in other aircraft at risk. Grand Canyon West Airport is a heavy-traffic airport and De Antoni's flight through the ingress and egress areas of the airport interfered with the flight patterns of other aircraft. De Antoni acknowledged that several aircraft had to take special precautions to avoid a mid-air collision with him.

The Hualapai Nation is pleased to put this issue behind them and feels that De Antoni's admissions of responsibility for trespassing and endangerment affirm the Tribe's sovereignty over all areas within the Hualapai Reservation. In this case and in any others that may arise, the Hualapai Nation intends to fulfill its responsibility to ensure the ongoing safety of its citizens and guests who visit the reservation, to protect tribal property, to safeguard culturally sensitive areas from unauthorized intrusion, and to maintain sovereignty on the reservation on behalf of all tribal members.

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