Watch: Hopkins Airport official drives in front of airplane

CLEVELAND (WJW) – Video released to the FOX 8 I-Team shows an official at Hopkins Airport driving a vehicle right in front of a plane beginning to move out.

It was a near-miss at the airport caught on camera, and records blame the incident on distracted driving.

It happened last October and airport video has now been released to the I-Team.

As seen in the video, the vehicle was driving in a secure area. The driver kept barreling across an apron at the airport.

Jail call: Woman explains taking dead man to bank to withdraw cash

He darted in front of a plane starting to taxi toward departure and the pilot had to hit the brakes.

A worker on the ground raised his hands to his head and squatted down for a better look, apparently wondering if he was going to see a crash.

We showed that to some travelers.

One person reacted with,  “Oh, he’s going to run into the plane, almost,” said one person.

“It’s scary,” another said. “He needs to be trained.”

You might expect the driver to know better. Records identify him as Hopkins Airport Assistant Commissioner Jeffrey Gordon.

He ended up suspended without pay for five days and was ordered to go through re-training.

“That’s concerning,” another traveler said. When we told him the driver is an airport official, the he said, “That’s really concerning.”

The internal investigation describes what happened as a case of distracted driving. Distracted driving in front of a plane.

The assistant commissioner of the airport later admitted he was on his cell phone as he drove and that the plane had to hit the brakes.

The investigation also found Gordon had been going faster than the speed limit there, which is 15 miles an hour.

New Cleveland billboards protest animal testing at local medical center

We also shared that video with commercial pilot and flight instructor Robert Katz.

He points out, on an airfield, planes always have the right of way.

“Airplanes do not maneuver well on the ground. Its stopping power is much more difficult,” Katz said. “This airplane was clearly in a turn. It was clearly in motion. There’s going to be red flashing lights on the top of the tail and on the bottom of the belly that indicate to anyone the airplane is moving.”

Records show Assistant Commissioner Gordon also had been written up days earlier for letting someone through a security door. He received a two-day suspension for that.

In 2019, Gordon also received a 15-day suspension and was put on a “Last Chance Agreement” to stay out of trouble. That punishment was tied to another employee’s use of a city car.

We have also reached out to the FAA with a series of questions.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Fox 8 Cleveland WJW.