According to an article in the Savannah Morning News, a pilot was arrested for landing his aircraft on a beach in Tybee, GA. The pilot was charged with “reckless conduct and operating a motorized craft on the beach.” In the comments to the article, several individuals have debated whether the pilot will face FAA enforcement action by the FAA.
Unfortunately, the article doesn’t provide enough detail to answer this question with much certainty. However, simply because the local laws or ordinances prohibited landing on the beach, that does not necessarily mean that such a landing violated the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FARs”). As long as the landing was safe and complied with the applicable FARs, FAR Part 91 in this case, the FAA would not have any basis for pursuing an enforcement action. Now, that isn’t to say that the local FSDO couldn’t try and trump up some alleged violations. But, the bottom line is that those violations wouldn’t be based upon the pilot’s alleged violation of local laws/ordinances. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens.