Sunday, March 25, 2018

Low flying planes bring complaints to Pitt Meadows Airport (CYPK)

George Miller is the new Pitt Meadows Regional Airport Manager.

Neighbors of the Pitt Meadows airport complaining about planes buzzing low over their houses got a sympathetic ear from the airport manager and city council.

Pitt Meadows council recently dealt with a low flying incident that happened at YPK last summer. Council reviewed correspondence to former airport manager Elvio Pecchia, which included a public complaint.

“I am reporting a very irresponsible maneuver by a pilot in a yellow bi-plane that flew over our homes at approximately 7:05 p.m. this evening [July 16] far below the altitude [100 feet or lower] that is considered safe, and at a speed of approximately 228 mph as it flew over our homes,” wrote the complainant.

“This pilot needs to be grounded for what he has just done. It was unbelievable. It completely frightened the seniors living here, the farm animals, our neighbourhood dogs and all of us.”

The committee also noted two other incidents: on Aug. 18 and Sept. 4, low-level passes were made by jet aircraft that caused concern because they were low, fast and noisy.

Pitt Meadows resident and former member of council Ken Joyner said the air traffic used to come and go from the airport via the west, flying over the Port Coquitlam industrial area. He said that Pitt Meadows used to approach the issue from a position that if air traffic is constantly flying over residential areas, one day an aircraft will come down in the residential area. He said that approach has changed in recent years.

“Aircraft are flying low over the residential area, and helicopters are flying everywhere,” he said. “They were never supposed to come that low over the housing area.”

He said air traffic is also coming into the airport late at night.

“I am concerned for the quality of life for the people of Pitt Meadows,” Joyner said.

George Miller, acting airport manager, said the pilot’s actions on July 16 were inappropriate, and the pilot had been spoken to.

He called it “a very justified complaint and the immediate follow-up and fallout was handled inadequately.”

He was not the airport manager at the time.

“One saving grace of this incident of poor airmanship is that it made our deficiencies clear,” wrote Miller. “Most have been addressed satisfactorily and the remainder will be fixed. At present, there is no preferred published procedure for runway departures to avoid noise sensitive areas and no depiction of these areas in the Canadian Flight Supplement.”

The supplement is an industry publication for pilots covering all airports in Canada that gives them procedures to follow.

“A respectful, pro-active and accurate response to noise and low-flying complaints is most important to building and maintaining a high regard for the airport within our community,” wrote Miller.

Mayor John Becker noted the complaint was a good test of the airport advisory committee, which brings issues to council to review.

He said the flight path over the Pitt Meadows airport will be better defined, so pilots know the area that was subject of the complaint is not to be part of the regular flight path.

Original article  ➤

A wannabe Red Baron pulling aerial stunts in a biplane over houses is just one example of recent nuisance flying in Pitt Meadows, say locals.

Since it opened in 1963, the small Pitt Meadows Regional Airport has been used by pilots of private planes, flight school students, helicopter pilots and even commuters.

But nearby residents, such as former city councillor Ken Joyner, say low-flying, noisy aircraft are aggravating residents.

They come in at all hours of the day, he says. Some of them fly too low and look like they're just clearing the tops of nearby trees. Larger aircraft shake the windows. And, he says, local people feel disrespected.

"I think there should be some responsibility of the airport and the airport personnel to think about the quality of life of the people living here now," Joyner said. "That, I think, is being thrown out the window."

The mayor, as well as the airport's new manager, say that some pilots taking off from the airport need to straighten up and fly correctly in order to better respect the community.

Risky biplane flight

According to a Transport Canada report, one incident involved an old biplane buzzing over homes while blaring its engines and performing a steep bank while only 30 to 60 metres in the air.

The plane cut a tight 180-degree turn toward the airport, which caused a resident to email a complaint to the airport, raising concerns that the speed and altitude of the manoeuvre could have caused the plane to stall out and crash.

"It completely frightened the seniors living here, the farm animals, our neighbourhood dogs and all of us," the complainant wrote. "This pilot needs to be grounded... It was unbelievable."

Mayor John Becker agrees the incident is unacceptable.

On Tuesday, city council called on the airport to reprimand the pilot involved. Becker said Wednesday that this has been done.

Mayor says incidents unacceptable

Becker says sometimes there are aircraft that stray from assigned flight lanes and fly too low over homes.

And he says when people move to the area, they need to expect a certain level of airport noise and activity.

"But incidents like these go beyond what our residents can really be expected to tolerate and they need to be stopped," he stated.

Around the time the airport opened, Pitt Meadows had fewer than 2,300 people. Today, the population is approaching 19,000 and the area to the airport's north and west has become increasingly developed.

He says the bothersome barnstormers aren't causing issues of safety, however, as much as they are simply not being good neighbours to the growing residential population.

'Poor airmanship'

George Miller, the airport's acting general manager, says communication could solve many of the issues.

He was not manager at the time of the July biplane incident but agreed it "was a very justified complaint and the immediate followup and fallout was handled inadequately."

"It was just a case of poor airmanship. He flew low and over a built-up area," he said. "It's just not a very wise thing to do."

MIller, the former manager of Langley Regional Airport and Canadian Forces veteran, says he wants the airport in Pitt Meadows to be a better neighbour.

That means listening to residents and updating documents for pilots that spell out where and how to fly in Pitt Meadows.

Original article can be found here ➤ 

Public complaint

Aviation Incident Report#15141: A Beech 17 departed Runway 27L at Pitt Meadows, BC (CYPK) and passed over homes just west of Pitt Meadows Regional Airport at a low altitude and steep angle of bank while emitting loud engine noise. The aircraft passed over residences along Ford Road Detour, executed a small radius 180 degrees turn and then travelled east back toward the airport. According to Webtrack5 the altitude of the aircraft was 100 to 200 ft when making the small radius turn over the residences. The 180 degree turn with a measured diameter about 250 feet was entered at a reported speed of about 123 mph.

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