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Accused rogue pilot Dean Battersby, based at the Newport Airport, was quickly convicted this week of illegally buzzing a charter boat within the Newport jaws and flying very close over the top of beachcombers on the beach west of the Alsea Bay Bridge.
Photos taken by a citizen showed on January 20th of last year, Battersby’s single engine private aircraft flying very close to the ground along Alsea Bay that requires a much higher altitude because it was flying over densely populated areas. Testimony by witnesses also indicated that Battersby also flew his aircraft several times right over the top of a charter boat as it sailed within the Newport Jaws west of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. Testimony revealed that the event terrified the five adults and three children aboard. One description was that of a very aggressive “strafing run” configuration as one might see in military combat.
Battersby was found guilty of a number of charges dealing with reckless endangerment, menacing and illegal operation of an aircraft. All of the convicted charges are misdemeanors. Battersby will be sentenced next Tuesday, 3:30 in Courtroom 305.
Battersby recently forfeited his pilots license to the FAA after being found, by the FAA, to have illegally flown passengers aboard his larger twin-engine aircraft without having proper medical clearance and that he had turned off his aircraft’s transponder device so as to become functionally invisible to air traffic controllers in Portland.
Battersby remains in the Lincoln County Jail pending a pre-sentencing report by investigators. He is due to be sentenced in Circuit Court on Tuesday, 3:30pm, Courtroom 305.