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Owner donates unregistered helicopter to Taiwan university

Prosecutors request lenient sentence from court despite repeat offense

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Prosecutors want the court to be lenient to an unlicensed helicopter pilot (YouTube, Stevan Liu screenshot) 

Prosecutors want the court to be lenient to an unlicensed helicopter pilot (YouTube, Stevan Liu screenshot) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prosecutors on Tuesday (Dec. 29) asked a court to be lenient to the owner of an unregistered helicopter caught landing in a residential area in the New Taipei City district of Tamsui last September, as he had confessed and donated the aircraft to National Formosa University.

The incident came to light as a video posted online showed the private Robinson R-22 helicopter landing near a densely populated part of Tamsui, 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.

The investigation by the Shilin District Prosecutors Office showed that a man named Chen (陳) had already been sentenced to two months in prison in 2008 for flying a helicopter in Yilan County without a license, CNA reported.

While Chen held neither a valid pilot’s license nor registration for the helicopter, he flew it from a hangar in the Taoyuan district of Guishan on Sept. 13, carrying a friend along the coast up north before crossing the Tamsui River and landing in Tamsui for a short stop. Analysis of the GPS showed he had flown at an altitude between 400 and 600 meters on his journey.

Chen admitted his mistakes and expressed his willingness to donate the helicopter to an educational organization for research and teaching purposes. National Formosa University in Yunlin County volunteered for the offer, and the handover procedure was completed by Dec. 21, according to the CNA report.