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PILOT’S WINGS CLIPPED BY FAA CHIEF

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The head of the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the pilot who was rescued from the Atlantic Ocean after passing out at the controls of his plane three months ago, the agency announced Friday.

The pilot, Washington communications lawyer Thomas Root, said he would comply with the suspension of his medical certificate by FAA Administrator James B. Busey.But Root added, "I don't need the FAA to tell me it would be dumb to fly." Root said he does not know what caused him to lapse into unconsciousness July 13 while his plane flew on autopilot for 800 miles until it ran out of gas.

Busey took the action because Root refused to supply all relevant medical documents, including psychiatric records from his treatment in Hollywood, Fla., after his flight, the FAA said. Root suffered from a gunshot wound he said must have occurred when a pistol he kept in the cockpit discharged, apparently as the plane hit the water off Bermuda.

Root said he no longer owns a plane and has not flown since the incident that occurred as he was on a business flight from Washington to Rocky Mount, N.C.