Five New York Police Department (NYPD) pilots were disciplined after using a $4 million spy plane to fly a route resembling the shape of a penis, The New York Post reported.
The reason behind pilots' stunt was to mess with their boss, James Coan, who was informed of it by one of his subordinates who had observed the flight path using flight tracker software. After a disciplinary hearing, two of the pilots were relieved of their duties.
The source of the feud between the NYPD pilots and their boss was major safety concern over flying a single-engine Cessna plane at a low altitude over the water to scan ships for radiological weapons, The New York Post reported. The pilots were afraid that in the case their only engine was to die, there will be little hope for survival.
"If that prop [propeller] goes, it's over. You're going to crash into the ocean," an anonymous source told the newspaper.
The feud led to eight pilots, including the five "aerial Picassos," being reduced to cleaning plane hangars and washing their boss's car — something they wouldn't otherwise be doing, according their job description, The New York Post reported.
"Any of the people who complained about the mission — they got the sh*t end of the stick," the anonymous source said.
Offshore scanning missions using Cessna aircraft have been temporarily suspended until they have been discussed with the pilots' union.