A Pilot may face punishment after landing on the Mont Blanc
A Swiss pilot who landed a light aircraft on Mont Blanc in France faces a maximum fine of €38 (CHF42, $43) in France thanks to a legal loophole. However, Swiss aviation authorities could crack down harder, including stripping him of his licence.
The Piper aircraft touched down on Tuesday at an altitude of 4,450 metres (14,600ft), apparently at an unauthorised landing spot on Europe’s highest mountain, according to the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA. French police intercepted two mountaineers who had flown in to climb the summit.
The Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) said it had yet to be officially informed about the incident and did not know the full facts. But a FOCA spokesperson said it could take action if the pilot is found guilty of offences in France.
This could include a fine of up to CHF20,000 ($20,050) and withdrawal of the pilot’s licence, either temporarily or permanently.
The plane is licensed in Switzerland to the Geneva Aero Club, which disputed that the landing was illegal. It told Keystone-SDA that the landing was in the Dôme du Goûter region near Mont Blanc, at a place listed as a safe flight path by the French authorities.
The club added that its aircraft, which are certified for mountain landings, do not carry out commercial flights. Its activities include alpine landings connected to mountain rescue training exercises.
More info: SwissInfo
Also in the Mont Blanc, now some time ago, we’ve written when Sir Richard Branson got seconds from death on a Mont Blanc charity climb.
For those wanting to relax in the base of the Mont Blanc, QC Terme opened a grand spa in Chamonix before the beginnings of the past ski season. They already have the famous one in Pre de St Didier, outside of Courmayeur. Scroll in the Hotels page in Courmayeur and see the bottom entry where I talk about this fantastic spa – worth leaving the mountain early just to enjoy the sunset on the Mont Blanc from your outside sauna or open pool.
You can search for your own accommodation in the snow for your next ski holiday through our Accommodation Search tab.
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