In response to Mary F.‘s letter from the January 2021 issue, I’d like to make a few points.
First, I am in no way affiliated with any flight school. I am, however, an aviator. Learning to fly is a challenging, costly, and exciting endeavor and a small community like Deer Park is very lucky to have access to such a resource! According to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, General Aviation generates more than $150 billion in economic activity annually and creates 7.6M jobs. Despite the pandemic decline, Pilot demand will increase by over 300,000 in the next decade. Deer Park is growing. The Airfield is reporting growth as well with 50% more commercial business last year. The increased activity helps local businesses, adds access to the community, and provides opportunity not only to aviators but to the citizens of Deer Park. What a wonderful opportunity for the community to have access to a growing airfield including flight schools!
When you are learning to fly, the initial flights focus on learning to hold altitude, learning to turn, learning to read instruments, and learning to recover from emergencies. The behaviors Mary F describes sound a lot like routine flight maneuvers including stall recovery procedures. Student pilots fly a lot of circles. It’s harder than you might think to maintain a bank angle without losing or gaining altitude. Stall recoveries are critical to master as a component of safe aircraft operation. Stall recovery practice usually includes intentionally stalling your airplane engine, pitching nose down, then increasing power to get back up to altitude. Practice Emergency landing can also include decreasing power, gliding, then increasing power when you are at the lowest allowable altitudes. I am very skeptical that the professional instructors and pilots would focus on harassing the community over the safe instruction of students and more inclined to believe weather, convenient visual landmarks for navigation and planning, and proximity to the airfield coincide to make the area they practice above ideal for these important but routine maneuvers. It is a large and uninformed leap to assume harassment. Perhaps if your husband had elected to take the flight you could have learned a few things first hand instead of making assumptions and accusations. They’ve attempted transparency in a professional manner. Ideal maneuvering airspace is limited by many variables. Safe air operations require a lot of precise practice. All of this aligns with the FAA’s mission and values. It’s not about you.