|FIFTY-TWO News... June 2001|
Chapter meets with government officials
to discuss noise complaints
On June 13th, 3 chapter representatives met with Sullivan County government officials to discuss noise and over-flight complaints received from a couple of folks living near our practice box at Sullivan County International airport. Assistant County Attorney, Airport Manager, County DOT and County legislature representatives voiced their concerns.
From what was discussed, a couple of folks who live off airport property, well outside the established waivered aerobatic practice box, have been filing complaints with the country offices of "dive-bombing" and aerobatics right over their houses at low altitudes. The chapter was provided geographical maps indicating the "problem areas". These areas are located roughly a mile northeast of the aerobatic box and has always been the "hot-zone", not to be overflown.
After the problem area was highlighted, the chapter gave a presentation on the operation of the contest and practice days, showing the flight patterns, holding patterns, the box and its dimensions. We very much stressed the importance of the box, its legal ramifications and the importance of aerobatic flight to be contained within it, both for practice and competition, in essence, our proof that no flight takes place over the "problem areas" as of now.
Obviously, although agreed on, that is not enough for the government officials as they were seeking guaranteed ways to prevent complaining from going on . A long list of procedures was introduced by them, to make sure both the county folks and flying chapter members understand and abide by. They include advanced notification of practice days, increasing the local awareness of our activities taking place, emphasizing the location and boundaries of the box and ways to easily identify them, ground monitoring, noise level verification, minimum altitude verification, lists of pilots and plane photographs of allowed aircraft to fly, etc. Some are already in place, others will need to be done, some are impossible to accomplish.
Although we ended on a good note, with county representatives to some extent satisfied that we have been aware of the "problem areas" and have been long taking steps to prevent complaints from local folks, there is work to be done to continue our presence at MSV.
Sullivan County Noise
Above, is the aerial photograph of Sullivan County Int'l (MSV), depicting the aerobatic box and the"no-fly zone"
The box is northeast of, adjacent and runs parallel to runway 15-33. Dimensions of the box are 3,300 feet deep, 3,300 feel wide. Vertical dimentions are 1,500 AGL to 4,000 AGL. Roughly, as shown above, the left side of the box is aligned with the approach end of runway 15, and the right side aligned with taxiway Charlie.
For ease of orientation, the center of the box is located near a small lake (shown on photo).
Caution for traffic if runway 15 is used for landing as the downwind leg will be directly underneath the box. Both runways use left hand pattern.
The "no-fly zone" with noise-sensitive folks is located about a mile northeast of the box. Try not to overfly that area, especially during practice. If you need to circle for climb, do it southeast of the airport and well clear of the "no-fly zone".
No acro flight shall be conducted with a ceiling less then 2500 feet and visibility less then 5 miles. Pilots are responsible for notifying NY TRACON by phone 30 minutes before activation of the box.
Remember, use of this box is a privilege, with permission from airport management that could be taken away at any moment for any reason. Don't give them a reason for it. Airport folks love to see us fly there so let's not disappoint them.
Critiquing Session at MSV
Chapter 52 is saddened to report that Jim
Chaudoin, a retired AA captain, former IAC competitor,
aerobatic school owner and instructor to so many of us,
passed away on June 11, after a valiant battle with
prostate cancer. Jim's contribution to the sport of
aerobatics and safety of flight is enourmous. His
"bigger then life" spirit has touched us all in many ways
and he will forever be in our hearts.
How to sing in Italian
(or my first solo Pitts flight)
by Alex Belov
There is definitely something about taking your own plane up in the air for the first time. It's a combination of feelings, emotions, anxiety, fears, concerns, obligations, determination, confidence and joy, all mixed together that create a strange calm within yourself that actually make you better then you think you are, maybe it really does. It happens all around you, it seems almost surreal as your mind and body take you through the motions, manipulating the controls. It feels like you yourself are there for a ride and your hands and feet detach themselves from the your body and go on automatic, simply doing what they have been trained to do. It feels like a dream, it feels unreal, it feels…. wonderful.
You advance the throttle forward and the one-man ship rockets off the ground, your mind wondering where the JATO-pack switch you hit by accident is. Before you know it, you're back on the ground, the wheels gently kissing the same very pavement they were just on, some 60 seconds ago.
For those of you who have flown a Pitts, I need not explain the feeling. For those who haven't… the old saying "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand it" as you cannot simply find the words to describe the experience.
God did want Man to fly - he let a man by the name of Curtis Pitts design a plane that makes us fly like the birds. To soar in the air like buzzards, to bank and maneuver like hawks, to play in the winds like eagles and on the ground like a bunch of African Amazon parrots.
You put the bird back into the hangar, wipe her wings, no, wipe your wings down from the a few dozen bugs you had eaten, gently kiss her on the nose, like that first love many years ago, and say "bye" to her as she is falling asleep in the comfort of the hangar darkness. She needs rest, and so do you, all so that you can come back tomorrow and take another ride of your lifetime.
On the drive back home, you suddenly find yourself singing love songs in Italian, and wonder if some brain impairment accidentally took place, as you realize you really do not speak any Italian at all…
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