Red Wings could be fined for breaking San Jose curfew

If a team is going to be fined for breaking curfew in the Stanley Cup postseason, you’d hope it’d be for a victorious celebration involving players partying until dawn and waking up with strange food in their playoff beards.

But the Detroit Red Wings might be facing a fine for breaking curfew while they … slept on a plane?

After dispatching the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 7, the Red Wings’ charter flew to Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport in preparation for tonight’s opening game of their second-round series against the San Jose Sharks.

(The expedited schedule is due to the fact that The Eagles are playing HP Pavilion on Friday and Saturday; so it’s just another reason why, in the immortal words of Jeffrey Lebowski, you should “hate the Eagles, man.”)

Detroit’s charter arrived at 12:19 a.m. local time. Or 49 minutes after a flight curfew at the airport, which presents the following problem, according to the Mercury News:

At stake: a potential $2,500 fine, unless the team can talk its way out of a late-night curfew, the same rule Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has grumbled about for years. To soothe nearby neighbors, the airport prohibits airliners from taking off or landing from 11:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., unless the late arrival is due to bad weather, mechanical problems or air traffic control — all conditions outside the pilot’s control, said airport spokesman David Vossbrink.

“Our practice is to send a notice to the operator that gives them 10 days to respond with information that we need to make a determination whether there’s been a violation,” said David Vossbrink, spokesman for the airport. “We sent that letter today.”

Reader Vince C. sent in an interesting tidbit before Game 7 that’s rather relevant now: The charter flight information for the Red Wings. He gets email alerts from flightaware.com, and the Wings filed a flight plan for Tuesday night that had them departing Phoenix Sky Harbor Intl. Airport at 9:30 p.m. PDT and arriving at 11:10 p.m. PDT in San Jose, well before the curfew.

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