LOS ANGELES – A helicopter pilot who was videotaped receiving oral sex from a woman as he flew her around San Diego acted so recklessly that his license must be revoked, the National Transportation Safety Board said. The actions of David Martz were so dangerous, the NTSB concluded in a written ruling, that they put the lives of everyone on his aircraft and on the ground below him in danger.
The agency's ruling, reached last week in Washington, D.C., was released Tuesday and upholds previous actions revoking Martz's pilot's license by the Federal Aviation Administration and an administrative law judge.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said Tuesday that Martz can appeal the NTSB decision in federal court or he can wait and apply to have his license reinstated in one year. Martz's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment. A call to Martz rang unanswered.
The incident that cost the pilot his license occurred on May 29, 2005, but action wasn't taken until earlier this year after the video surfaced on the Internet.
In rejecting his appeal, the NTSB said both Martz and the woman unfastened their safety restraints during the flight and that her body blocked his access to controls vital to operating the aircraft in an emergency.
"During substantial portions of the flight in question, it appears to this board that the flight was but a single misstep from disaster," the agency concluded.
During his appeal before administrative law Judge William R. Mullins last month, Martz, 52, acknowledged he acted foolishly, but said he has become a much more responsible pilot since then.
Although his license was previously suspended twice and revoked once, Martz had stayed out of trouble since 2005.