The pilot was there along with two copilots and a team of flight attendants, but the takeoff of Airplane, a pyramid game, was aborted Friday night by Montgomery County police officers.
Eleven people who allegedly organized the game were arrested at 767 E. Gude Dr., Rockville, after police received an anonymous tip about an alleged investment swindle, said police spokeswoman Sarah Phillips.
About 200 participants were gathered there, prepared to invest $1,500 each in the venture, when vice squad officers arrived at the home with search warrants shortly after 9 p.m., Phillips said.
According to police, each player was asked to pay the $1,500 "entry fee" with the promise of receiving $10,000 once his or her name reached the top of the pyramid.
One person pretended to be the "pilot," whose job was to recruit the two "copilots," who then recruited "flight attendants," who, in turn, recruited the "passengers."
After the money was pooled, the pilot and copilots were to be paid, and everyone else would move up a notch in the pyramid.
The eleven persons arrested were each charged with promoting a pyramid scheme, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $10,000 and one year in prison.