Pilot's Error Disrupts Plans for Bloomberg

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By M. Amedeo Tumolillo, New York Times

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's plans to attend the U2 concert at the Meadowlands were disrupted Thursday night after the pilot of his private helicopter made a mistake during a test flight to Giants Stadium.

The pilot, flying without the mayor as he familiarized himself with the area, missed the helipad and instead landed the helicopter in a bus parking lot around 7 p.m., said Trooper Mark Pierce of the New Jersey State Police.

The State Police intercepted the pilot and verified his identity before clearing him to leave the area, Trooper Pierce said. However, the pilot was not allowed to enter the airspace for the rest of the evening.

But the pilot's error did not stop Mr. Bloomberg from attending the concert by the band, with whose members he has developed a relationship over common concerns about global poverty.

The mayor was flown to another helipad in New Jersey around 9 p.m. and drove to the concert, said his chief spokesman, Stu Loeser.

Mr. Bloomberg's persistence seemed to have paid off. Upon his arrival, U2's lead singer, Bono, gave him a warm welcome, Mr. Loeser said.

"He makes me very proud," Bono was quoted as telling the crowd, according to a news release from the mayor's campaign office. "He also makes me laugh out loud. I love him very much. He's come across the border to the U2 show. Give it up for Mayor Bloomberg."

No injuries or property damage resulted from the erroneous landing, Mr. Pierce said.

And, Mr. Loeser said, the mayor drove back.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 25, 2009 9:35 PM.

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