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Chadds Ford Man Sentenced for Reckless Runway Ride at Airport

PHILADELPHIA—Kenneth Richard Mazik, 25, of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to 16 months in prison for disrupting the services of the Philadelphia International Airport on March 1, 2012, and endangering the safety at that airport. U.S. District Court Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg also ordered Mazik to pay restitution to the airport, to the FAA, and to USAirways in the amount of $91,092; a $100 special assessment; and three years’ supervised release.

At approximately 11 a.m. on March 1, 2012, Mazik crashed his black Jeep Grand Cherokee through a locked gate on the perimeter of the airport as an airplane was approaching for landing. He turned onto runway 9R, running over and damaging two of the runway threshold lights that alert approaching aircraft to the beginning of the runway. At the time, the incoming airplane was approaching that same runway. Mazik then sped down the runway with the airplane approaching from his rear. The FAA air traffic controller had to divert the plane and also revoked landing clearance for an additional passenger plane.

Mazik sped off runway 9R, narrowly missing an airport antenna, crossed a second active runway, and continued toward the eastern end of the runway systems. He then sped down runway 27R with Philadelphia police in chase. Mazik drove the entire length of runway 27R, driving off the west end before stopping on an adjacent taxiway where police arrested him. Mazik’s actions closed the airport for 30 minutes, and numerous planes were delayed, causing financial expense and losses to Philadelphia International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration cooperated with this investigation. The case was investigated by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Albert S. Glenn.