U.S. News

Delta suspends pilot held in Georgia plane incident

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines Inc said on Thursday it has suspended a pilot who was charged with attempting to run down police officers with his private plane at a metro-Atlanta airport.

Dan Gryder, the pilot, is being held in Spalding County Jail in Griffin, Georgia, charged with aggravated assault and obstruction, according to a statement from the Griffin Police Department.

Two code enforcement officers attempted to issue six citations to Gryder on Wednesday at the Griffin-Spalding Airport, the statement said. Gryder refused to sign the tickets, boarded his 1937 DC-3A plane, and started it up, police said. Gryder almost struck one officer’s vehicle with the plane, the statement added.

Gryder eventually shut down the plane after his request for a fuel truck was denied, and was taken into custody.

“He essentially shut the airport down for almost 45 minutes,” Griffin police investigator Bryan Clanton said in the statement.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said in an email on Thursday that Gryder is a Delta pilot and has been suspended pending the completion of the investigation.

Last month, Delta suspended two Northwest Airlines pilots who overflew their destination and lost contact with air controllers during an October 21 flight from San Diego to Minneapolis. The pair told aviation officials they were discussing company policy and using their laptops.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs