Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Is Change in The Air at East Hampton Airport (KHTO)

East Hampton Town Airport is either an essential South Fork economic engine or an environmental nightmare destroying the region’s lure, depending upon who’s asked, as the dogfight over the airport’s future hits new heights.

The airport’s proponents recently launched a publicity campaign seeking to convince residents why the facility is key to local businesses’ survival. Critics are abuzz about skyrocketing noise complaints since summer residents are staying into the offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic, bringing extra air traffic with them. Propelling the controversy is soaring speculation that the Town of East Hampton, which owns the airport, could close it down next year — with outrage sure to fly regardless of how the decision lands.

“They’re wrestling with some big decisions in terms of what they’re going to do when they get local control back,” Southampton Town Airport Noise Advisory Committee member Tommy John Schiavoni said of his neighbors to the east.

September is when Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authority requiring the East Hampton town comply with grant-related conditions on the airport expires, allowing the town board to ground flights at the airstrip in Wainscott for good, if it so chooses.

“The FAA realizes that the Town of East Hampton’s decision is not simple and while the FAA encourages the preservation of airports, we recognize this is a local decision,” an FAA spokesperson said. 

East Hampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc has repeatedly said over the years that the town has exhausted its judicial means of quieting the skies surrounding the airport. But it remains to be seen if the town board will go as far as closing the airport to achieve that goal.

The last time an airfield on Long Island closed was in 2016, when the privately run Spadero Airport in East Moriches shuttered. Publicly owned, 570-acre East Hampton Airport is 11 times larger than Spadero and has five times as many flights, averaging more than 30,000 annually. By comparison, John F. Kennedy International Airport, the nation’s sixth largest airport, had that many flights in about a month before Covid-19 caused the commercial airline industry to tank.

While residents who live under East Hampton Airport’s flight paths got a temporary reprieve from the whir of jet engines, propeller planes buzzing, and the chuff of helicopter blades when air travel was halted at the pandemic’s peak in the spring, the noise came roaring back this summer and continued well after Labor Day, unlike year’s past. Several companies sell helicopter trips by the bundle between Manhattan and the Hamptons.

“There’s been cases cited of children commuting to school by helicopter,” Ron Klausner, who’s also on Southampton’s aircraft noise committee, told the Village of North Haven board meeting on Nov. 17.

Between 2015 and last year, aircraft noise complaints were up 23 percent overall, 56 percent for helicopters, and 40 percent for seaplanes, according to the Vector Noise and Operations Management System, one of three Hamptons noise monitors. 

Federal authorities have pushed to reroute helicopter traffic over the water to minimize noise, but complaints persist. Some of the five East End towns are reeling in the seaplanes. East Hampton may soon join the Town of Southold in banning seaplanes from taking off, landing, or taxiing within 1,500 feet of shore, with offenders facing fines and potential jail time.

Erin King-Sweeny, executive director of the East Hampton Community Alliance, a pro-airport group founded by local business owners with ties to the air strip, Michael Norbeck and Gianpaolo de Felice, said critics citing noise complaints are shortsighted.

“It’s not as if closing this all of a sudden the skies go quiet,” she said. “There’s other airports.”

King-Sweeny, an aviation attorney, former Hempstead Town Councilwoman who recently moved to North Carolina, and daughter of retiring 14-term U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), noted that Montauk Airport and Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach both also serve the area, bringing in air traffic. There are also abundant private helipads dotting the Hamptons. 

While the airport debate has been framed as a fight between the year-round Hamptons residents and the super-rich seasonal homeowners who fly in and out, King-Sweeny said middle-class communities also depend upon the airport and the money it brings into the community. To make her case, the alliance sent out 32,000 postcards to local residents, is asking businesses to put posters supporting the airport in shop windows, commissioned an economic impact study on its closing that will be released after the holidays, and will start an hour-long weekly radio show on the topic in January.

She added that it’s not just businesses, but the airport also plays a role in shuttling in donors to the many nonprofit fundraisers held annually in the region, although she noted that exactly how many such flights come in and out is hard to quantify.

“We believe there is a broad diversity of interest in the Hamptons,” she said.

There’s also a broad array of critics. Besides air traffic noise interrupting the enjoyment of the Hamptons famously serene environs, some also take issue with the aircraft emissions and toxins seeping into the ground at the airport. Forty-seven acres of the airport — nearly the entire size of Spadero — has been added to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal Sites, better known as Superfund sites, after tests revealed perfluorinated chemicals in the soil and water.

“It is and has always been the environment which draws people here,” said Barry Raebeck, a Wainscott resident who cofounded the Quiet Skies Coalition and later broke off to form Say No to KHTO, a reference to East Hampton’s airport code.

While making a presentation at the Village of Sag Harbor board meeting on Dec. 8, Raebeck argued that the local construction industry, not the airport, is the true economic engine of the region. He also questioned the safety of its air traffic control tower only operating during the day and pilots having to land without ground support at night.

Sag Harbor Trustee Aiden Corish, an aviation enthusiast, countered that it’s not uncommon for small airports not to have a control tower and the fact that East Hampton Airport has one at all is a positive safety measure. Corish did, however, express concern about the mix of aircraft flying there.

“When you get this mixed use of really fast jets with slow single-engine propeller [planes], that’s when things do get dangerous because there’s different expectations,” Corish said.

King-Sweeny cautions that those hoping for a quick resolution come autumn should not get their hopes too high.

“I hope the town board would not think that September 2021 they could simply turn off the lights,” she said. “Any attempts to close the airport have to comply with local, state, and federal laws.”

Regardless of what happens, change is among the arrivals at East Hampton Airport, just as it has evolved from a tiny field for local single-engine airplane pilots in years past. 

“Some people wax romantically about the days going out to the airport when they were kids and they’d like to see the planes taking off and landing and it was a fun thing to go out and watch,” recall Klausner. “That airport is long gone. If you go out today today to East Hampton Airport on a busy day you’ll see large helicopters, you will see the largest of private jets — there’s an assortment of everything.”

What’s next? Keep an eye on the sky.

Warsaw Municipal Airport (KASW) fuel sales down 50% from 2019

The Warsaw Board of Aviation Commissioners Tuesday heard that fuel sales at the airport are down 50% this year compared to last year.

Airport Manager Nick King said it could improve a little bit, but it depends on how busy the rest of the month will be.

“Typically, Thanksgiving through the first (of the year) is very quiet, not much travel at all,” King said. “This year has been a little bit different. We’re getting a lot more general aviation traffic than we usually do.”

King said because of stricter COVID restrictions in neighboring states, the Warsaw airport has been seeing more traffic from pilots who are flying in to Indiana where there are fewer limitations.

King said last week the airport had three aircraft from Michigan who “flew down to here so they could eat at a restaurant because they can’t there.”

He also said the airport has seen a couple charter planes lately because people don’t feel comfortable flying commercial.

The board also approved to sign a two-year contract with DBT that will cost $18,478 annually. DBT provides services for the instrument landing system and the automated weather observation system, which is required by the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mary Kerstein, CHA project manager, said the final inspection of the runway improvement project occurred November 20th. Items left on the project’s to-do list include edge light tags installation and a reflective coat of paint, which will happen in warmer spring weather.

The next meeting of the Warsaw Airport Board of Commissioners is 5:15 p.m. January 12th at City Hall.

Piper is turning out new, less-expensive training aircraft from its Vero Beach headquarters

VERO BEACH, Florida – With sales of its top-of-the-line M600 turboprop boosted by new auto-landing technology, Piper Aircraft last week announced the first delivery of its new budget trainer aircraft.

The Pilot 100 has been granted type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration, Piper said in a news release. 

Vero Beach-based Piper calls the Pilot 100 the value-priced addition to its trainer-class line. Equipped with digital autopilot, the Pilot 100 is priced under $300,000, at least $100,000 less that its best-selling Archer trainer.

“During these uncertain times, our team has continued to remain focused and has worked diligently to bring to market an aggressively priced, proven trainer that offers the advanced systems and performance that flight schools and airline programs of all sizes desire," Piper President and CEO Simon Caldecott said in the news release.

The Pilot 100 seats three instead of four, has one less window and no baggage door and a less-expensive array of Garmin avionics.

Following certification, Piper began deliveries to its launch customer, American Flyers, which is to take delivery of eight Pilot 100i aircraft by the end of this year.

American Flyers, based in Fort Worth, Texas, operates training facilities in Pompano Beach, New Jersey, Arizona and three in Texas.

The company expects to deliver 11 Piper 100s by year-end, Piper spokeswoman Jackie Carlon said.

Piper’s production lines were slowed in the first quarter of this year as it implemented additional safety measures to protect employees from the pandemic.

Piper currently has 940 employees, “down ever so slightly” from a year ago, Carlon said, as the company wades cautiously through the pandemic. A handful of employees, whose health is compromised, are working remotely, Carlon said.

In the second and third quarters, though, the company outpaced its production during the same period of 2019.

Piper built only 25 aircraft in the first quarter this year, fewer than half the 28 it built in the first quarter of 2019, but then built 133 aircraft in the second and third quarters, compared with 124 in the same period last year.

For at least the past four years, the fourth quarter has been Piper’s strongest, but the company will be hard-pressed to match the 108 aircraft it delivered in that period last year, including 17 M600s after it was upgraded with an SLS model that includes the new Halo Safety System as standard equipment.

The Halo system includes Garmin Autoland technology that, when engaged either automatically or by a passenger, assumes control of all systems necessary to land the aircraft safely on the best-suited runway.

Piper expects overall production for 2020 to be down about 15%, Carlon said, mostly because of slowed production in the first quarter.

Airlines to Bring Back Thousands of Workers After Passage of Covid-19 Aid Bill

Government relief covers carriers’ payrolls through March, but rebound in air travel remains uncertain

The Wall Street Journal
By Alison Sider
Updated December 22, 2020 4:21 pm ET

Airlines are preparing to call back tens of thousands of workers they let go in October now that Congress has approved government assistance to cover carriers’ payroll through the end of March. The question is how long employees will be able to keep their jobs.

The $900 billion relief package for households and businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic includes $15 billion for airlines to pay all their workers. Carriers are hoping—for the second time—that the government assistance will serve as a bridge through a rocky period.

Many travel executives believe there is pent-up demand for travel that could be unleashed next summer. If they are right, airlines will need as many pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and baggage handlers as they can get in order to keep up. Airlines furloughed over 32,000 workers in October when the government aid they received last spring ran out.

But a new strain of coronavirus in the United Kingdom has illustrated how quickly prospects for a recovery in travel could change. The strain has prompted a wave of travel restrictions in Europe and elsewhere, raising fresh questions about when borders will reopen and when people will be comfortable traveling again.

The funding bill, which President Trump is expected to sign, covers airline employees’ wages and benefits retroactively from Dec. 1 through the end of March, and bars airlines from furloughing or laying people off again during that period.

United Airlines Holdings Inc. said Monday that it plans to bring its workers back but cautioned that it may be only temporary.

“The truth is, we just don’t see anything in the data that shows a huge difference in bookings over the next few months,” Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart wrote in a message shared with employees and the media on Monday.

Airlines received $25 billion under the Cares Act last spring to cover workers’ pay and benefits. In exchange, they agreed not to lay off or furlough employees until Oct. 1. But travel didn’t rebound over the summer. Airlines warned that job cuts would be coming and pleaded for another round of aid.

When it didn’t arrive in time, they furloughed tens of thousands of workers, including 19,000 at American Airlines Group Inc. and over 13,000 at United.

“At least it will get me to March,’” said Alex Whitney, a United flight attendant who was furloughed.

Doug Parker, American Airlines’ chief executive, and Robert Isom, its president, said Tuesday that the airline would be able to cut checks to furloughed workers by Christmas Eve on Thursday. While pay and benefits will be restored immediately, employees will return to work in phases.

Tracking down all the furloughed workers could be a daunting task. The employees have relinquished their corporate email addresses and mailed back company-provided phones and ID badges. Some may have moved. In many cases, workers will need training before they can return to their jobs.

Not all airlines cut staff once aid ran out in the fall. Delta Air Lines Inc. didn’t furlough any workers, though many have been working reduced hours. Delta said earlier this month that it planned to bring all its workers back to full schedules by Jan. 1, though it also sought more volunteers to take unpaid leaves of absence.

“We know the recovery continues to be choppy,” Chief Executive Ed Bastian wrote in a Dec. 9 message to employees.

Pilots at Delta and United had agreed to accept cuts in order to prevent furloughs. Provisions in those agreements will be paused so pilots’ pay will be restored through March, unions have said.

The legislation may halt contentious negotiations between Southwest Airlines Co. and several of its labor unions: the company had told workers that furloughs in 2021 would be unavoidable unless unions agreed to concessions or the government provided more aid.

A Southwest spokesman said the airline is “very encouraged” but needs to examine the final terms surrounding the payroll funding. He declined to say Tuesday whether the airline will call off its planned job cuts next year.

Airlines had asked for the Cares Act funding to be extended with no changes to the terms, and the new legislation closely tracks the previous agreement. Airlines must agree not to buy back shares or pay dividends, and to limit executive compensation. The Treasury previously required that airlines repay about 30% of the job support funding.

The package once again requires airlines to maintain service levels to ensure that rural areas don’t lose air service, which could mean that carriers have to restore flights that have been cut in recent months.

North American Navion, N4106K: Accident occurred December 21, 2020 at Livermore Municipal Airport (KLVK), Alameda County, California

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Alameda, California

Location: Livermore, CA
Accident Number: WPR21LA072
Date & Time: December 21, 2020, 15:25 Local
Registration: N4106K
Aircraft: Navion Navion A 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Flight test

On December 21, 2020, at 1525 Pacific standard time, a Navion A, N4106K, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Livermore Municipal Airport (LVK), Livermore, California. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot was conducting a test flight and reported the runup was normal and the engine developed full power during takeoff. However, shortly after takeoff, as he turned crosswind and throttled back, the engine started to miss, and the airplane wouldn’t climb. The pilot returned to runway 25L for landing. When the pilot was on final, he reduced the throttle again for the approach and the engine quit. The pilot landed short of the runway and the left wing impacted concrete blocks.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Navion
Registration: N4106K
Model/Series: Navion A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLVK,393 ft msl 
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.02 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Livermore, CA 
Destination: Livermore, CA

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.693052,-121.81164

Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign, N680CS: Incident occurred December 19, 2020 at Boca Raton Airport (KBCT), Palm Beach County, Florida

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; South Florida

Aircraft struck unoccupied Dassault Falcon 900, N888LG, while taxiing to ramp.

6-1 LLC

Date: 19-DEC-20
Time: 23:55:00Z
Regis#: N680CS
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 680
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAXI (TXI)
Operation: 91

Cessna 170A, N9590A: Accident occurred December 18, 2020 at Albion Municipal Airport (KBVN), Boone County, Nebraska

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The NTSB did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska

Location: Albion, NE
Accident Number: CEN21LA097
Date & Time: December 18, 2020, 11:51 Local 
Registration: N9590A
Aircraft: Cessna 170
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N9590A
Model/Series: 170 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BVN,1806 ft msl
Observation Time: 11:55 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 6°C /-1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 320°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.8 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point:
Destination: Albion, NE

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 41.728577,-98.05576 (est)

Canadair CF-5D, N820FC: Incident occurred December 21, 2020 in Reno, Nevada

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada

Aircraft went off runway and blew two (2) tires upon landing. 


Date: 21-DEC-20
Time: 22:34:00Z
Regis#: N820FC
Aircraft Make: CANADAIR
Aircraft Model: CF-5D
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Damage: NONE
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: LANDING (LDG)
Operation: 91
City: RENO

Historic hangar comes down at Jack Barstow Airport (KIKW), Midland, Michigan

After standing at the eastern side of the Jack Barstow Airport for more than half a century, a historic hangar will soon find a new home.

"Instead of preserving the building here, we're gonna put it up some place else," said Garrett Gromaski, who took the hangar down last week with the help of his friend Lon Zimmerman.

The small structure with a dome-shaped roof is owned by Gromaski's father, Ron, and was built by his close friend, former Dow Chemical employee Dale Johnson, in the 1960s.

The hangar was condemned recently by the City of Midland due to the structure's failing dome roof. Gromaski, 46, and Zimmermann, 56, worked for nearly a week to take it down by the December 16th deadline they were given.

The hangar was built by Johnson using a piece of machinery he built himself for Dow Chemical. The machinery allowed for a unique method of cutting the closed-cut Styrofoam that makes up the majority of the structure, particularly the dome-shaped roof.

"A dome structure is strongest shape known to man," Gromaski said. "This building, being Styrofoam on the roof has very little weight on it."

The pair worked to disassemble the roof in pieces so it could be properly glued back together.

After putting a steel-stud substructure under the roof, Gromaski believes the hangar would able to stand for at least another 60 years.

While it can not fit a full airplane, the hangar was built for the construction of experimental aircraft, Gromaski said.

"I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of the old-timers around here sad to see it go, but it's hard to fight city hall," Gromaski said. "We're going to put up some place else, and preserve the historical significance some place else."

Gromaski said he has not yet decided where the hangar's new site will be.

Congress Raises Standards for Assessing New Airliner Designs

Year-end spending bill includes bipartisan provisions toughening Federal Aviation Administration oversight of future aircraft models

The Wall Street Journal
By Andy Pasztor
Updated December 21, 2020 11:58 pm ET

Congress approved significantly tighter rules for accepting jetliner designs as part of a year-end federal omnibus spending bill, the final step to locking in safety overhauls sparked by two fatal Boeing Co. 737 MAX jet crashes.

Bipartisan support for major provisions, which had appeared stalled in recent weeks, sets the stage for the most sweeping changes in decades of how the Federal Aviation Administration assesses and approves new airliner models. Portions of the bill were opposed by some industry factions, but rolling the measure into the $1.4 trillion funding package eliminated opportunities for debate or amendments.

Hammered out by lawmakers to respond to public anger over the 737 MAX tragedies, the final language gives the FAA substantially more authority to oversee technical details and reject company engineering decisions.

The legislation also empowers FAA leaders to individually vet industry officials designated to act on behalf of the agency in safety matters. Currently, companies choose such so-called designees with limited FAA input. And it authorizes fines and other penalties if company supervisors exert undue pressure on engineers to meet cost or schedule targets.

Other provisions establish new protections for whistleblowers and provide increased funding to enhance the agency’s expertise, particularly in assessing how pilots react to malfunctions of automated cockpit systems.

Regulatory loopholes, lax FAA oversight and poor communication between Boeing and FAA managers were all cited by outside reports as factors leading to a flawed flight-control system that resulted in the dual crashes. 

Taken together, the provisions aim to revamp but not scuttle the decades-old tradition of industry experts verifying the safety of their own companies’ designs. The package, though, stops short of more sweeping proposals that would have effectively limited the number of years in which plane makers could continue developing new variants of old airliner designs.

For the first time, the FAA will be mandated to solicit views from outside experts about the safety culture at Boeing, which the bill singles out for such scrutiny. In addition, the FAA will have to include a broader range of pilots in the process of testing and assessing new aircraft, including airline pilots with varying levels of experience.

The FAA already has voluntarily implemented some of those changes. They include moves intended to improve communication among FAA offices; provide enhanced protection for FAA employees subject to undue industry pressure; and ensure crucial safety data is promptly and widely distributed throughout the agency.

Boeing and the FAA didn’t have immediate comments.

Some of the provisions appear to specifically target Boeing, which Democrats on the House Transportation Committee previously concluded withheld important safety details about the MAX’s design from regulators and pilots. One section of the bill establishes a financial penalty if a plane maker fails to include information in pilot manuals about dangers of automated flight-control systems that could pose hazardous or catastrophic results if they malfunction or misfire.

Such issues were at the heart of Boeing’s MAX crisis, which resulted in global grounding of the fleet for some 20 months.

One of the most far-reaching changes calls for the FAA to convene a team of federal experts, including some from the Air Force and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, at the outset of its review of novel plane designs.

There would also be a two-year “cooling-off period” for former FAA officials who shift to industry jobs. During that period, they wouldn’t be able to represent their new employers in dealings with former co-workers.

The bill touches on big policy issues along with more mundane personnel matters. It bars high-ranking FAA officials from communicating directly with industry counterparts about regulatory disputes, unless those contacts are made public. The legislation also bars pay and bonuses for FAA employees, as well as compensation for some safety officials at airplane makers, from being tied to the number of airplanes delivered to customers.

Reading Regional Airport (KRDG), Berks County, Pennsylvania

Norman Joseph Lee, 38, of Lansdale, Montgomery County, is in Berks County Prison on $100,000 bail after driving a snowplow into a restricted area of Reading Regional Airport.

A Montgomery County man faces a host of charges after climbing a fence at Reading Regional Airport, stealing a snowplow and leading police on a foot chase on Tuesday, Bern Township police reported.

Norman Joseph Lee, 38, of Lansdale, has been charged with theft, trespassing, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and assault on a law enforcement officer.

He was arraigned before District Judge Brian Strand and is in Berks County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Officer Joshua O. Santos responded about 2:20 p.m. to a report of a man rolling on grass and jumping in front of vehicles on Route 183 near the airport.

When police arrived, Lee climbed a 10-foot fence and entered a restricted area that included the airport’s runway and taxi area.

Airport authorities diverted flights until Lee was removed from the property.

At one point, police say, an incoming aircraft made a last minute maneuver to avoid landing during the incident.

Berks County deputy sheriffs assisted in handling the incident.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Santos:

Once on airport property, Lee broke into a red plow truck owned by Millenium Aviation.

The truck was unlocked and idling in preparation for Wednesday’s snowstorm.

To evade arrest, Lee drove the truck onto the restricted portion of the airport.

The truck had its plow in the lowered position, and became lodged in a grassy area.

Lee exited the truck and ran toward the southern edge of the airport property.

After a short pursuit, Bern Township officers and sheriff’s deputies took Lee into custody.

Because of his level of intoxication, police say, Lee was transported by ambulance to nearby Penn State Health St. Joseph hospital.

Continuing aggressive behavior, police said, Lee spat on a sheriff’s deputy while being restrained.

The affidavit of probable cause says Lee admitted to having used amphetamines.