The pilot of a Robinson R44 helicopter—N512RT, according to an FAA spokesman—was caught on video pulling a series of low-level flying stunts that endangered the safety of people nearby. The incident occurred at Dale Hollow Lake, a resort community 75 nm northwest of Knoxville, Tenn., on May 28, Memorial Day in the U.S.
Nearby witnesses said they initially thought the low-flying helicopter might be on a rescue mission as it hovered near a number of small boats. It turned out the pilot was allowing swimmers to grab hold of the helicopter’s landing skids, after which the pilot would climb away from the water and allow the swimmers to jump back into the lake.
The video shows the helicopter flying just a few feet above the water with dozens of people near its spinning rotor blades. According to an eyewitness interviewed by CBS affiliate WTVF in Nashville, swimmers continued using the helicopter as a diving board for more than 20 minutes.
An FAA spokesman told AIN that the the name of the male pilot has not been released and could not confirm whether anyone else was onboard the helicopter at the time of the incident.