Riverhead Police report the arrest of two Florida men on trespass charges for landing an aircraft on the active runway at the Calverton Enterprise Park Saturday night and parking and leaving the plane on property owned by Luminati Aerospace LLC.
The arrests were made by the owner of Luminati Aerospace, police said.
Charged in the incident were Larry D. Jackson, 53, of Orlando, Florida and Robert Riley, 53, of Naples, Florida.
It was not immediately clear why the arrests were “made by the owner” of the aerospace company rather than Riverhead Town Police. Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller could not be reached for comment and Supervisor Sean Walter said this morning he didn’t know.
“I’m assuming Luminati swore out a trespass affidavit,” Walter said.
Police were called to the enterprise park by employees of Luminati Aerospace yesterday. A company representative told police the plane had landed on the runway without permission on Saturday evening and was parked and left on Luminati property without permission.
The plane, a Piper PA-46 Malibu Mirage, was manufactured in 2000 and is registered to Jackson.
Luminati Aerospace has the exclusive right to use and control the active 10,000-foot runway at the former Grumman site, pursuant to a license agreement entered between the company and the Town of Riverhead, which owns the runway, last year.
The runway is clearly marked with large Xs to indicate that it is closed and the site is listed as “private” on aviation maps. That means the runway can only be used by aircraft without prior permission of Luminati in the event of an emergency. Use of the runway by motor vehicles is not permitted at any time.
Nevertheless, unauthorized use of the runway — by both aircraft and vehicles — has been an ongoing problem at the enterprise park, Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller acknowledged in a May 2 interview, following an April 30 aircraft incident on the runway.
Luminati Aerospace has summoned police to the site multiple times on calls reporting unauthorized runway use, according to police records.
“This is the third event of unauthorized fly-ins at the Calverton Airpark which resulted in trespass filings,” Luminati’s chief pilot Robert Lutz told RiverheadLOCAL. Prior trespass complaints filed by Luminati include the April 30 landing that damaged a 1947 Universal Stinson 108.
“We are actively conducting flight tests for our UAV program,” Lutz said last month.
In the April 30 incident, the pilot of a small aircraft told police and the FAA he was forced by engine trouble to land on the runway but got caught in a cross wind after landing and ran off the runway, according to a press release issued May 1.
But Lutz, who said May 1 he was first on the scene following the incident the day before, contradicted that account based on his conversation with the pilot on April 30. Lutz alleged that the pilot was conducting unauthorized landing practice at the site that morning.
“Weather conditions were good and what most would consider benign,” Lutz said. Lutz said the pilot “simply changed his story” to police.
Asked if Riverhead officers initially heard a different account, Hegermiller said he didn’t know, but “that’s what the pilot told the FAA.”
Luminati did not respond to a request for another interview about the April 30 incident and the pilot involved in the incident could not be reached for comment.
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