LANCASTER — A short 19-second video clip has gotten more attention than those involved likely anticipated.
Shot last weekend at Lancaster Municipal Airport, it shows a stunt plane — barely off the ground — buzz by a person on the runway, then make a quick maneuver to avoid striking a woman a few feet away who was filming it.
"This is not what a professional stunt pilot would do," said Steve Ganyard, a former military pilot and consultant for ABC News.
Sources said the pilot is Jason Newburg, 43. Videos of his stunt flying are on YouTube.
In one interview on the website, Newburg said he has more than two decades of experience in aerobatics at air shows across the country.
But the FAA is now investigating the safety of the maneuver last weekend in Lancaster that's now been seen online more than 46,000 times.
"If something goes wrong such as right here when the wing gets very close to the ground, a professional pilot is going to leave himself with a margin of error and a way out of that position," Ganyard explained.
There is a discrepancy as to whether Newburg had permission to perform such stunts.
His "Certificate of Waiver" issued by the FAA expired in November 2012. But the two-page "Special Provisions" document attached to it says his permission expires in March 2013.
An aviation expert told News 8 the official expiration date is on the certificate, not any amendments to it.
News 8 has also learned of a crash connected to Newburg.
In 2008, a helicopter made a hard landing in Cedar Hill.
"The helicopter experienced a hard landing and rolled on to its side," according to the National Transportation Safety Board report about the incident. "The pilot and passenger were able to exit the helicopter unassisted. The pilot reported that the accident could have been prevented if he would have observed the wind condition from an obstacle-free area before departure."
Newburg's name is not mentioned in the NTSB report, but the helicopter's registration number traces back to his company.
The NTSB faulted the pilot for not being rated to fly helicopters and for taking off downwind.
But one of Newburg's friends responded to critics of the Lancaster stunt on Newburg's Facebook page Wednesday, saying: "Every move of this video was planned. She did not just walk onto the runway! And she wasn't actually that "close." It's the camera angle. I was there for the entire practice."
Regardless, Newburg could face penalties for such piloting.
The City of Lancaster said it would cooperate fully with the FAA investigation.
Newburg has not responded to voicemails, e-mails or texts from WFAA. A man inside Newburg's Lancaster hangar said Newburg was not there when News 8 visited on Wednesday afternoon.