Richard Heene -- He Had Just Enough Rope ...

10/19/2009 3:34 PM PDT
It may be the least of his problems, but TMZ has learned the FAA is investigating whether Richard Heene released a tethered balloon without authorization, according to an FAA official.

In addition, the FAA is looking at whether Heene filed a false report with the agency.

Neither offense is criminal ... they're civil issues and the penalty is a fine.