VENICE — An agency with the Federal Aviation Administration is purportedly investigating after a Beech A23 was spotted flying low near the Venice Pier.
Some of the images of the plane one week ago appear to show it flying below the kite of a kiteboarder in the Gulf of Mexico — although the distance may obscure perspective.
Venice Airport and Venice Fishing Pier are in close proximity to eachother.
Some witnesses said the plane seemed to be too low to be as close to the jetty as it seemingly was, along with nearby beaches.
Venice Municipal Airport officials said they received — and then forwarded on — images from the incident. They said they hadn’t received phone calls complaining about the flight prior to seeing the images.
The plane is a 1964 Beech A23 and the paperwork for N8894M is an individual type registration.
Venice Municipal Airport Director Mark Cervasio said the incident was forwarded to the FAA agency in charge of flight standards in Tampa.
Cervasio said there are rules covering how low pilots can fly over the area, citing Part 91 of aviation rules.
Over areas other than those that are congested, an altitude of at least 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas, is required. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure, according to the rule.
The exception to this, though, is during takeoff or landing.
Over any congested area of a city or town, or any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle is required within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft, according to the rule.
On Thursday, Cervasio said the FAA determination could take a while.
Messages left with the FAA’s Tampa Flight Standards District Office were not returned so far this week.
Cervasio said the airport did its own inquiry and discovered the plane’s registered owner is a tenant at Venice Municipal.
“We are sending him a letter telling him we received this information and we forwarded it to flight standards,” Cervasio said.
The plane is registered to North Port resident Troy J. Moran, who declined to comment Tuesday when reached through social media.
Cervasio said it will be up to the FAA to determine what, if anything happens next.
“We got the information and forwarded it onto the proper agency. We’ll wait to hear from them and we’re following up with the tenant,” Cervasio said.