Taiwan impounds unregistered helicopter, releases businessman on bail

Second incident in two months also involved Robinson R22 two-seater helicopter

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The Robinson R22 helicopter impounded by Taitung prosecutors 

The Robinson R22 helicopter impounded by Taitung prosecutors  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — For the second time in two months, an unlicensed helicopter was spotted flying and landing in Taiwan, resulting in the interrogation of a suspect and impounding the aircraft, reports said Saturday (Oct. 17).

The first incident, the landing of a Robinson R22 helicopter in the Tamsui district of New Taipei City, occurred in September but only came to light this month after a netizen put a video recording of the incident online. The owner was questioned and freed on bail.

In the latest incident, a helicopter of the same type was seen flying on the east coast, near the town of Donghe in Taitung County. Investigators tracked down the owner, former Yageo Corporation executive Chen Mu-yuan (陳木元), and questioned him before releasing him on bail of NT$250,000 (US$8,700), the Liberty Times reported.

Chen told police he was unaware that flying a helicopter without a special license was illegal, so he stopped after he learned of the fact. The aircraft, a Robinson R22 Beta II two-seater, was impounded, but prosecutors ruled Chen did not pose a flight risk, so allowed him to post bail.

Flying without license and owning an unlicensed aircraft are each punishable by a maximum five-year prison sentence or a fine of up to NT$1 million.