Kenmore Air will be grounded during Obama visit


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @MegCoyleKING

Posted on October 19, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 19 at 8:07 PM

SEATTLE - On Wednesday night, Air Force One flies back to Seattle for a presidential visit.  And when it does, the man who caused such a fuss the last time the president visited promises it will be different this time.

All Wood Recycling in Redmond is where Lee Daily finds refuge.  He is grounded in the knowledge that President Obama is coming back to town.

August 17 was the last time President Obama visited Western Washington.  Daily is the pilot made infamous for inadvertently flying his Cessna 180 into restricted airspace, resulting in the ensuing sonic boom.  So circled on his calendar is Oct. 21.  A friend did the honors dedicating it as a "no-fly" day for Daily. 

Lee hasn't learned his punishment yet but he did get a call from the FAA the other day: "This is not a prank call, this is a serious call it's a reminder, that if you haven't heard there are going to be closures on the 21st."

There is no question Kenmore Air got the message. 

"It's tough on us," said company president Todd Banks.  "We are shut down.  We're talking about keeping our employees home for the day."

Kenmore Air stands to lose $50,000 in revenue because of the day-long shutdown.

The president's political push for jobs and the economy comes at a hefty price for Kenmore Air. 

"It's a tough message and it's a hard thing to accept," says Banks.

And Lee Daily?  He's accepted responsibility for his unforgettable flight, and knows one thing he won't be doing Thursday: "I'm not flying."  His feet are planted firmly on the ground until the President's out of town.