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April 1, 2013

Michael Dunn- Understanding the Man who Killed Jordan Davis (Part 1)

by John Phillips

Michael Dunn- Understanding the Man who Killed Jordan Davis (Part 1)

In an effort to increase the understanding of the man who killed Jordan Davis, we have collected pieces of publicly available information and put it on the internet for public consumption.

On May 23, 2007, the USA Today reported,

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A pilot in a single-engine plane entered restricted air space over the Kennedy Space Center and was escorted down Tuesday, officials said. The incident did not disrupt the planned launch of space shuttle Atlantis next month.

The plane “was within sight of the launch pad,” said NASA spokesman George Diller.

FBI agents decided not to file any criminal charges after interviewing the pilot, Michael Dunn, 46, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.

“There is no connection to terrorism,” Special Agent Chris Bonner said. “He was a little disoriented when he flew over the space center. He knew what he did was wrong. He was confused and contrite.”

The restricted air space is about 10 miles by 30 miles and is clearly marked on air charts, Diller said. Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, pilots have not been allowed within the area at any time.

“He clearly should have known,” Diller said.

Dunn, with only a handheld radio and a GPS instrument, told investigators that he tried to contact the tower at the Kennedy Space Center but he didn’t get a response.

A sheriff’s office helicopter from Volusia County escorted the plane down to the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport, where it was searched for explosives and drugs, said sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson. Nothing suspicious was detected, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating, and the pilot could have his license suspended or revoked if radar data shows the plane violated the air space, said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the agency.

On the same day, the Orlando Sentinel reported it as follows-

Officials worried about terrorists took no chances Tuesday after, they said, a Port St. Lucie man flew a single-engine plane into restricted air space at Kennedy Space Center.

The plane piloted by 46-year-old Michael Dunn was spotted in the 10-mile-wide, 30-mile-long no-fly zone just after 11 a.m., prompting concerns about the space shuttle Atlantis on the launchpad.

Authorities forced Dunn to land at the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport just before lunchtime, said spokesman Brandon Haught of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

An FBI official and a NASA official said Dunn was not a terrorist. Dunn was “disoriented” but not intoxicated, said FBI spokesman Chris Bonner, who noted that Dunn was trying to communicate with NASA but didn’t have the proper radio.

“Once he realized he was over the space shuttle,” Bonner said, “he tried to get out of it.”

Dunn, who was flying his father’s plane from Port St. Lucie to Jacksonville, was not arrested. But the Federal Aviation Administration is reviewing the incident.

If the FAA determines that Dunn violated the air space, his pilot’s license could be suspended or revoked, FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

It wasn’t clear Tuesday how close the plane got to the shuttle.

NASA spokesman George Diller said Dunn was flying near Atlantis and was starting to head toward other launchpads.

“You can’t not know you’re in restricted air space,” Diller said.

NASA officials tried to radio Dunn to let him know that he needed to leave, Diller said. When they didn’t get a response, and he kept flying, the situation became more serious.

“When the shuttle’s on the pad, we have a national asset out there,” Diller said.

The last thing officials want, they said, is for a potential terrorist to be circling about and not answering officials’ calls.

Dunn eventually got in touch with Daytona Beach International Airport, which directed him to land in Ormond Beach, officials said. The Sheriff’s Office dispatched its bomb- and drug-sniffing dogs, but authorities didn’t find any problems.

The incident will not delay Atlantis’ scheduled June 8 launch to the international space station, NASA officials said, adding that pilots are responsible for knowing boundaries of no-fly zones.

They should use global-positioning systems or charts to avoid the no-fly zones, NASA’s Diller said.

“There’s not many excuses,” Diller said. “You’ll be very hard-pressed to say that you were in a restricted air space and didn’t know.”

Florida Today reported it this way-

CAPE CANAVERAL – A small classic aircraft came close to shuttle Atlantis on its Kennedy Space Center launch pad Tuesday but the FBI said its pilot was “lost and disoriented” and had no criminal intent.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident, and NASA says it responded appropriately by scrambling a security helicopter to chase the single-engine aircraft.

“We didn’t perceive that this was a direct threat to the shuttle, based on our observation of the aircraft. But it was still something where apprehension was in order,” KSC spokesman George Diller said.

The 1946 Aeronca Champ crossed into restricted airspace near an inactive Titan rocket launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 11:15 a.m. and flew north past KSC’s pad 39A, where Atlantis is being readied for a June 8 launch.

The FBI questioned pilot Michael Dunn, 41, of Port St. Lucie after the plane landed at Ormond Beach Municipal Airport. Dunn told agents he strayed off course and flew toward unrestricted airspace as soon as he realized his mistake.

“We are satisfied that there was no terrorist intent, no criminal intent and that he was lost and disoriented,” said FBI Special Agent Chris Bonner of the agency’s Daytona Beach office. “So we sent him on his way.”

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the incident is under investigation. Penalties for flying in restricted airspace can include suspension or revocation of a pilot’s license.

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