Plane Flies Under Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe
PARIS (AP) _ A single-engine stunt plane flew under the splayed iron feet of the Eiffel Tower Sunday morning and buzzed the Champs Elysees several times before flying under the Arc de Triomphe, police said.
The pilot of the reportedly stolen plane, ignoring laws prohibiting overflights of the French capital, cleared the north and south pilons of the Eiffel Tower before crossing the Seine to the Champs Elysees, police said.
The plane made several passes before threading the arch that crowns the famed avenue around 7:30 a.m.
A plane thought to be the one in question was found abandoned in a field in the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris. The three-seat stunt plane had been stolen from an aeroclub, police said. The pilot was not immediately apprehended.
The stunt recalled the summer and fall of 1988, when a mysterious pilot - dubbed the Black Baron by the Parisian press - made numerous nocturnal overflights of the capital.
Frustrated police posted up to 200 police on the highest points around the capital to catch him. On Oct. 13, 1988, Albert Maltret, a 52-year-old former jetfighter pilot, was arrested after flying over the Champs Elysees. He was fined $10,000 and had his license revoked for three years.
In November 1986, Gerard Dance flew under the arch of the Eiffel Tower; American Robert Moriaty had done the same in 1984.
The first flight under the Arc de Triomphe occurred Aug. 7, 1919.