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Taiwan tracks down owner of unlicensed helicopter

Owner already got caught and fined in 2008

The owner showed his unlicensed helicopter to the police 

The owner showed his unlicensed helicopter to the police  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Investigators tracked down the owner of an unregistered helicopter which was filmed landing in a residential area in New Taipei City last month and freed him on bail of NT$500,000 (US$17,500) Friday (Oct. 9).

A video showed the private Robinson R-22 helicopter landing near a densely populated part of the Tamsui district, close to apartment buildings, trees and power lines. With the rotor blades still whirring, a man jumped into the aircraft just before it took off again.

Following an investigation into the Sept. 12 incident, prosecutors and police visited a man named Chen (陳) in the Linkou district of New Taipei City Friday morning, UDN reported.

He cooperated and took them to a hangar where he had hidden the helicopter. They impounded the aircraft and took Chen to the Shilin District Prosecutors Office in Taipei City for questioning. He was released on bail by Friday evening.

It turned out Chen had already flown the unlicensed helicopter to Jiaoxi on the east coast in 2008, for which he had been sentenced to two months in prison or a fine of NT$60,000.

This time around, he could face two prison sentences of five years or two fines of up to NT$1 million, one for owning an unlicensed aircraft and one for flying the helicopter.