Selecting Navigation Checkpoints

Do you use airports as cross country checkpoints?
One pilot did and subsequently received a phone call from the FAA accusing him of operating an aircraft in a reckless manner while flying directly over the top of 2IS (see sectional) at 4500 ft. They claimed his actions put the public at risk. Did he actually violate an FAR?
FAR 91.13 states that no one may operate an aircraft in a reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another. The sectional displays a parachute drop zone at 2IS, therefore, operating an aircraft directly over the airport could endanger the life of another (the parachutist), not to mention your own. The ASI stated that the drop zone was hot up to and including 10000 ft at the time of the violation and the drop aircraft made several drop warnings prior to releasing the parachutists.
Lesson learned is to flight plan around airports with the parachute symbol AND monitor the Unicom frequency during airport passage for advisories on jump activities.
The violated pilot was given remedial training on the use of sectionals and flight planning and the matter was considered closed. No further action was taken.




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