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Doc charged with flying too low in Pa.

April 22, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

PITTSBURGH - A Hagerstown doctor was charged by Pittsburgh Police after he landed his helicopter Sunday morning on a Chatham College ball field, according to officials and a published report by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Dr. Daniel R. Cornell was charged with flying in the city at less than 1,000 feet in altitude, the Post-Gazette reported.

Cornell is a doctor at Robinwood Medical Center east of Hagerstown, confirmed Washington County Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Theriault. Theriault said the helicopter was not a hospital helicopter.

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Cornell's office is at the John R. Marsh Cancer Center at Robinwood, according to his office message. A message left with Cornell's answering service on Monday night was not returned.

Cornell claimed the helicopter's oil warning light was flashing and he had received permission from Chatham College police before landing, the Post-Gazette reported.

Pittsburgh Police Officer Randy Hansen said the pilot said he had mechanical problems, but wanted to resume flight Sunday and wasn't permitted to do so.

Hansen said the pilot took off in the helicopter Monday morning.

The Federal Aviation Administration was contacted about the incident, Hansen said.

A woman answering the telephone at Chatham College Police on Monday night declined to comment.

After landing the helicopter, Cornell went to visit a friend who lives a few hundred feet from where the helicopter landed, the Post-Gazette reported.

The friend, Blair Mullen, had no comment Monday.

Mullen told the Post-Gazette that Cornell flew to Pittsburgh Sunday to take aerial photographs, a hobby of his. The Post-Gazette stated that Cornell lives in Germantown, Md.

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