WASHINGTON — Federal Aviation Administration chief T. Allan McArtor, who has voiced concerns about pilots making too many mistakes, recently got a glimpse of the problem first hand, agency officials said Tuesday.
The pilot of the FAA's executive jet, which was carrying McArtor to Memphis, Tenn., last Friday, misunderstood an air traffic controller's order and flew 800 feet below his assigned altitude, they said.
The officials said McArtor and two other senior FAA officials were in the cabin of the nine-passenger Lockheed JetStar during the incident, which occurred as the plane was approaching Memphis.
"There were no other aircraft involved," FAA spokesman Fred Farrar said.
Another spokesman, Bob Buckhorn, said the apparent pilot deviation was being investigated "in the same way the FAA would investigate any other incident involving a pilot deviation."