Feds: Man Flew Over 50 Unauthorized Flights From Backyard

R-22 Robinson Helicopter (Robinson Helicopter Company)

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — An East Brookfield man is under arrest and charged with unlawfully operating an aircraft and making false statements to federal investigators.

Antonio Santonastaso, 59, faces other charges for allegedly operating a helicopter without a license.

The FAA revoked his pilot's license in 2000 for his involvement in the theft of a helicopter from Norwood Airport.

Nevertheless, he allegedly operated a helicopter from his backyard more than 50 times in 2018. Santonastaso claims he did not know his license was revoked.

FAA investigators also said the path he used to take off and land the helicopter was extremely hazardous.

He is expected in Worcester Federal Court Thursday afternoon.

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