When you are following the law, lets say driving your car, do you consider that “exerting” your rights? Exercising perhaps – but in the dim view of Longmont City Councilmember Sean McCoy if you are a pilot following FAA guidelines and even Longmont’s own Noise Abatement Procedure, you are barely this side of a felon and/or harasser.
A) Airplanes take-off into the wind. B) At Vance Brand Airport the pattern is left hand turns, which is the standard pattern nationwide (that means everywhere in this nation) except for local exceptions spelled out at some airports. C) When the wind is out of the west – and even if it’s up to 5 knots out of the east – the preferred runway is Runway 29 (something I’m personally trying to change on the AAB) which means they take off to the west. D) A left hand turn from that runway puts aircraft on a downwind over Nelson Road and pretty much smack dab over Silver Creek High School. The pilots flying over SCHS the day of graduation, which bothered Mr. McCoy, were doing exactly as they were supposed to do.You’d think living on the west side of town not far from the airport as Mr. McCoy does he’d have the slightest clue to how the traffic flows at the airport – NOPE. You may also think that since he was on the Airport Advisory Board (AAB) for two years he’d have some semblance of a clue to said pattern – NOPE, you’d be wrong again. So, as a public service to our most mentally challenged councilmember, and anyone else curious about such airport matters, as a current member of the AAB I’ll educate our self-appointed educator:
Mr. McCoy intimated that they were purposely trying to harass the spectators at the graduation ceremony. He said they were flying “wherever the FAA says they can” – no, imbecile, it’s where Longmont says they MUST! But he wasn’t done. He said if somebody “mentally ill were to get behind the wheel of a plane and choose to maliciously fly into a crowd like that, that that would be very dangerous“. Now we’re onto idiotic scare tactics. Somebody who was mentally ill could more easily drive a car through a crowd, and those that are mentally ill have a tough time getting and keeping a medical certificate and pilots license. But I’ll forgive this ignorance, maybe Mr. McCoy doesn’t know about licensing of pilots – and since he doesn’t he shouldn’t make stupid statements like that. And it’s not a “wheel”, it’s a “yoke” – and it’s not a “plane”, it’s an “airplane”. Leave the more technical words to people who know what they’re talking about.
Finally, he made a motion to close the airport 1 hour before to 1 hour after graduation ceremonies at Silver Creek – assuming he or council has that ability – they don’t. A reminder for the thousandth time: this is a public, not privately owned, FAA funded facility. As long as that is the case, you can’t just close it willy-nilly unless you have a real good reason. A graduation ceremony on a Saturday (the busiest day of the week at the airport) in prime time weather (late May/early June) doesn’t qualify. No amount of emails, letters, flyers, phone calls, or website updates will get the word out to pilots who are not based here. But any logical thinking person, like fellow councilmember Alex Sammoury pointed out, would already know that.
We want pilots from other airports to come here. We want them to buy our fuel and spend their money in Longmont. When all else fails, they will fly a standard pattern and it may put them where some people don’t want them – but they are perfectly legal and not mentally ill or malicious as Mr. McCoy describes them. Or is he projecting his own twisted thoughts on others? You be the judge.