France: Mini-fine for the Swiss who landed on Mont-Blanc

The case caused a stir in 2019 when the aircraft of the Aéroclub de Genève had made a much criticized landing at 4450 meters above sea level. The mountain has, as expected, given birth to a mouse: 38 euros fine for the pilot.

The pilot claims that he could not park elsewhere because of the presence of roped parties.

Facebook / Laurent Leemans

On June 18, 2019, a plane from the Aéroclub de Genève landed at an altitude of 4450 meters, on the east face of Mont-Blanc. On board, two Swiss occupants suspected of undertaking an ascent but who would have descended on the arrival of the high mountain gendarmerie platoon which had spotted them while carrying out a surveillance flight.

The story had made a lot of noise, as told LeMatin.ch and the mayor of Chamonix had notably lodged a complaint against the pilot. The Aéroclub de Genève had ensured for its part that its aircraft had landed legally in the authorized area of ​​the Dôme du Goûter, for “training and training” purposes.

A tougher law

This story had even prompted a senator to propose a law to end “the impunity of pilots landing on Mont-Blanc”. Because the only sanction that the Swiss driver risked was a fine of 38 euros (41 francs) for breach of two prefectural decrees. The French Senate adopted this law in November 2019 and offenders now risk one year in prison and a fine of 150,000 euros (162,000 francs) for any wild landing.

But that is for those who would have arisen after this date. The Swiss pilot had done it before and he was answerable for his actions this Thursday, November 19 in court in Bonneville, reports “The Dauphiné Libéré”. This seasoned professional “explained that it was a school flight and, according to him, in an area listed and authorized by the French civil aviation.” And that due to the presence of ropes, he had not been able to park at the planned reference point and had therefore landed 1.6 km away, on the other side ”. In any case, the pilot received the expected fine of 38 euros.

He was also to answer for the charge of having driven a device that did not comply with safety regulations, and did not have oxygen cylinders on board… For this, he was “released due to legal vagueness”.

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