Pilot Who Dropped in on B-2 Won’t Face Charges
No criminal charges will be brought against Brian Green, the private pilot who upstaged the planned debut of the B-2 stealth bomber when he made an unauthorized landing Saturday at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale.
Green made an innocent mistake “with no criminal intent,” said Deputy Dist. Atty. Stephen L. Cooley, head prosecutor for the Antelope Valley branch of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. “He had a flight plan. He became disoriented.”
Green, of Porterville in Tulare County, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of criminal trespassing Saturday. Air Force Plant 42 was closed for the planned inaugural flight of the once super-secret B-2 bomber when Green descended into unwelcome celebrity, landing his Cessna 172 on a runway near the stealth bomber and a horde of security agents, military officials, reporters and camera crews.
Green’s sister, Laura Erickson of Santa Clarita, said Monday that her brother does not want to publicly discuss the incident, which drew particular attention because the maiden B-2 flight from Plant 42 was postponed until Monday due to a technical problem.
But Erickson said Green, a 35-year-old Tulare County schoolteacher, felt he had been treated well by Air Force and law enforcement officials and the news media.
“As far as he’s concerned, it’s all behind him,” Erickson said. “He’s a very quiet, shy person. He’s apologetic about the whole thing. Everyone was extremely pleasant.”
Green still could face possible suspension of his pilot’s license, which he received several years ago, or other administrative action by the Federal Aviation Administration. FAA spokesman Mike Spencer said his agency is investigating whether Green violated federal regulations against careless operation of an aircraft, landing at an airport without making radio contact and landing at a closed airport.
Spencer said Green and the Air Force agreed that Green had not received clearance to land at Plant 42.
“If an incident occurs where the competency of the pilot is called into question, another option we have is to have the pilot submit to a new certificate examination,” Spencer said.
Green was headed from Porterville to Agua Dulce Airport with his 9-year-old nephew and 8-year-old niece to pick up his brother-in-law when he became lost and decided to land at the nearest airport. Air Force control tower personnel were unable to reach him because he was on a different radio frequency.
Green was held briefly at the Antelope Valley Sheriff’s Station and released on his own recognizance. He flew back to Porterville Saturday.