Unlicensed pilot accused of flying unsafe aircraft over Northern Virginia

A man accused of taking a small plane for a dangerous flight over Northern Virginia without a pilot’s license has been charged with a felony.

Ryan Guy Parker was arrested Wednesday in Fredericksburg, Virginia.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, a witness said he was familiar with Parker because Parker used to run an aircraft washing business at Shannon Airport in Fredericksburg.

The witness said on Sept. 27, 2018, he saw Parker at Shannon Airport flying a small plane that he described as “a bucket of bolts” and unsafe.

The court document revealed that the plane did not have a certificate of airworthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration.

On top of that, several witnesses said it was unsafe to fly that day because of weather conditions and poor visibility.

The first witness said he saw Parker fly only about 50 feet above two large airport fuel tanks with 18,000 gallons of fuel inside, adding that an aircraft accident involving those tanks would be the equivalent of a bomb going off at the airport.

Two other witnesses saw Parker flying in patterns for about 10 or 15 minutes. One of them recorded video of it.

According to the affidavit, when Parker landed, the aircraft bounced and spun out.

After the flight, Parker told the first witness he had been working on the plane when the throttle got stuck, and that’s what sent him into the air.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up