Pilot accused of false crash report landed with wheels up last year

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Federal officials say a flight instructor who falsely reported that his plane crashed at a northern New York airport last month had a rough landing, all right – a year ago, in Burlington, Vt.

A Federal Aviation Authority report says 59-year-old Nicholas Santo apparently didn’t know his landing gear was retracted when he made a "wheels-up" landing at Burlington International Airport on Feb. 5, 2008. No one was hurt in the mishap, which occurred after Santo and his passenger didn’t hear a warning horn about the gear.

Santo, of South Burlington, is part-owner of South Burlington-based North Ramp Aviation. He’s charged with falsely reporting an incident and aggravated harassment for saying his plane crashed in Plattsburgh, N.Y., on Jan. 30.

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