Monday, December 21, 2009

Jeffery Skipper Arrested for Flying Intoxicated

PUNTA GORDA - A Ft. Myers man has been arrested by the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office for a July incident in which he allegedly flew a small plane dangerously low over parts of Charlotte County while intoxicated.

According to a sheriff's office report, 48-year-old Jeffery Ward Skipper was charged Monday with a third-degree felony of "Operation of aircraft while intoxicated or in a careless or reckless manner."

On July 20th, numerous calls to the sheriff's office reported a small plane flying dangerously low over Port Charlotte, North Port, El Jobean, and East Englewood. Eyewitnesses reported the plane doing flips and flying as low as 50 feet above the ground, nearly hitting tree tops and vehicles.

According to the report, Skipper was flying so low that he was recognized by an ex-girlfriend as he flew by in a small single engine Cessna-172. Minimum safe altitudes in a congested area are 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle.

When Skipper landed at Lee County Airport, a control tower operator that spoke to Skipper said he "smelled of alcohol.

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