Landing out of control on a California runway, while under the influence of marijuana and Oxycontin, landed Michael Dana McEnry with a federal prison sentence this week.
In a what-else-can-be-done-wrong-here series of events, McEnry, an unlicensed pilot with about 1,200 student hours, hovered ‘recklessly’ along Runway 12 at Eastern Sierra Regional Airport (BIH), Bishop, Calif., in a Cessna 210 before putting the wheels down just short of the end of the runway.
Federal prosecutors say another aircraft preparing to take off was in danger of striking his plane.
He then spun out in a field before turning back onto the runway, stopping and exiting.
McEnry then, according to a witness account, asked bystanders where he could find a restroom, because, “I just scared the s--- out of myself.”
Further, the reckless, illegal flyer seemed clueless of where he was. When told he asked, “Where is that in relationship to the rest of the world?”
When cops arrived, via local media reports, McEnry allegedly told them he “always flies high.”
Follow the jump to read more about the aircraft’s possible illegal origins. [more]
Police said they found a bottle of the powerful pain-reliever Oxycontin in the cabin.
The Central Valley Business Times looks deeper into law enforcement’s suspicion that the Cessna, a common plane used by narcotics smugglers, was stolen in Mexico in 1997 and changed hands several times. Investigators say McEnry and a business partner paid $40,000 cash for the aircraft and intended to use it to transport marijuana, as investigators say they found evidence of cultivation at the suspect’s residence.
A federal court in Fresno, Calif., sentenced McEnry this week to 21 months for the criminal flight in a plea deal, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Justice Department said he faced as long as a three-year sentence.
Bee reporter Denny Walsh concludes: “It remains unclear if (McEnry) landed at Bishop because the plane needed a pit stop or he did.”