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Navajo-Hopi Observer | Flagstaff, Arizona

home : features : features April 29, 2016

3/17/2009 3:04:00 PM
Pilot admits aerial trespass over Hualapai Reservation
Submitted by Nathan Blackburn
Special to the Observer

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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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, June 10, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Rock

Neither my family or I will never patronize this tribe. I will advise every fellow pilot that I know to avoid this extornionist tribe like the plague. Good luck with that, Hualapai. Good luck with your tralier park residents like Payestewa, hope that works out for ya chief.

Posted: Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Article comment by: Alan Quackenbush

To the Haulapai Tribe: Remember your claim the pilot was trespassing and you confiscated his aircraft? Now I read you are complaining a rancher won't let your customers cross his land. Karma!!!

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009
Article comment by: Gary Payestewa

No loss Quack n bush just wish all the other riff raff wold follow suit and then it would free the Rez of responsibility of watching over these nutcases. Quack

Posted: Friday, April 10, 2009
Article comment by: Alan Quackenbush

The Hualapai tribe can rest assured neither myself or family will ever patronize any of their enterprises again. The pilot did not violate any FAA rules and the tribe has no legitimate claim to ANY airspace over their reservation [regardless of their self-proclaimed rights]. The money I have not spent, and will not spend in the future, will exceed the amount of the extortion. The public should boycott the tribe until such time as they discontinue acting as the FAA, issue a public apology to the pilot and refund the $500.

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