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FAA fines balloon boy parents $11,000 for 'collision hazard'

DENVER - The Federal Aviation Administration says the helium balloon that belong to Richard and Mayumi Heene caused a collision hazard when it floated over Denver International Airport and it forced air traffic control to divert some planes and temporarily stop the departure of others.

<"your balloon="" drifted="" across="" the="" extended="" runway="" centerline="" of="" a="" dia="" runway="" causing="" a="" collision="" hazard="" with="" departing="" or="" arriving="" aircraft,"="" wrote="" faa="" scott="" morris="" to="" richard="" heene="" on="" nov.="" 24="" in="" a="" letter="" released="" to="" 9wants="" to="" know="" thursday.="" "you="" operated="" a="" balloon="" in="" a="" manner="" that="" created="" a="" hazard="" to="" other="" persons="" or="" their="" property."="" because="" of="" that,="" the="" faa="" has="" proposed="" to="" assess="" a="" civil="" penalty="" of="" $11,000.="" the="" faa="" says="" the="" path="" of="" the="" balloon="" required="" air="" traffic="" control="" to="" temporarily="" stop="" northbound="" departures="" from="" dia="" and="" to="" divert="" aircraft="" away="" from="" it.="" faa="" investigators="" also="" determined="" that="" the="" balloon="" was="" 15="" feet="" in="" diameter,="" 6="" feet="" tall="" and="" weighed="" about="" 38="" pounds="" empty.="" the="" heenes="" had="" claimed="" it="" was="" not="" empty="" and="" was="" actually="" carrying="" their="" 6-year-old="" son="" falcon.="" that="" turned="" out="" to="" be="" a="" hoax,="" and="" on="" wednesday="" both="" were="" sentenced="" to="" jail="" time="" for="" the="" incident.="" richard="" heene="" got="" 90="" days="" in="" jail,="" 30="" days="" which="" has="" to="" be="" straight="" time,="" and="" mayumi="" heene="" got="" 20="" days="" in="" jail="" that="" she="" can="" serve="" over="" weekends.="" both="" were="" also="" ordered="" to="" pay="" restitution.="" the="" amount="" of="" that="" restitution="" must="" still="" be="" determined.="" the="" heene="" have="" 30="" days="" to="" respond="" to="" the="" proposed="" civil="" penalty="" by="" the="" faa.="" their="" lawyer,="" david="" lane,="" says="" he="" has="" already="" asked="" to="" see="" the="" faa's="" evidence.="" "i="" mean,="" it's="" a="" balloon.="" fining="" them="" $11,000="" doesn't="" sound="" reasonable.="" there="" was="" no="" immediate="" collision,="" there="" was="" nothing.="" it's="" a="" balloon="" and="" the="" wind="" carried="" it="" away,"="" lane="" said.="" lane="" says="" he="" wants="" to="" see="" if="" there="" was="" actually="" a="" collision="" hazard="" or="" if="" this="" is="" a="" hypothetical.="" the="" heenes="" could="" not="" be="" reached="" for="" comment="" thursday="" night.="" the="" proposed="" $11,000="" fine="" brings="" the="" total="" penalties="" to="" more="" than="" $50,000="" for="" the="" heenes="" who="" have="" been="" asked="" to="" also="" reimburse="" local="" and="" state="" agencies="" for="" their="" oct.="" 15="" publicity="" stunt.="" the="" couple="" says="" they="" perpetrated="" their="" hoax="" to="" generate="" publicity="" for="" a="" future="" reality-tv="" show.="" before="" wednesday's="" sentencing,="" richard="" heene="" apologized="" to="" the="" rescue="" workers="" in="" open="" court.="">Click here to read the FAA's full report. If you have any news tips, please e-mail investigative reporter Deborah.Sherman@9NEWS.com./>

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