Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting 10/18/2017

"If we follow the rules that we have in place, if we follow what the FAA tells us what we need to be doing, if we follow our grant assurances that allow us to receive federal funding, um, eviction is the only thing that is across the board."  -Airport Manager King

The following is the transcript of the Board of Aviation Commissioners' October 18, 2017 meeting.  The recording starts approximately at the beginning of the meeting at 00:00:00.  Transcription of the meeting before and after this particular course of discussion was intentionally not performed, as it is irrelevant to the issues pertaining to the Club.

It is our contention that Mr. King is citing FAA officials, FAA regulations, FAA forms, rules, and grant assurances improperly and without referencing exactly who, what, or where.  In this document, where a regulation, form, rule, or grant assurance is referenced, we have a hyperlink to it, or what we believe he is referencing.

Our goal is peace.  It will be attained by the Manager conceding that we have the right to be a FLYING Club, or by us fighting it out, publicly, until either he or the Club is physically removed.  Clearly, our preference is for the public and clandestine attacks from the airport manager to cease and we all go on about our lives, productively.

Finally, we take exception to the manager repeatedly referring to the taxiway (taxiway B, or Bravo) and the ramp access (which he refers to as an "unnamed taxiway") as the "runway/taxiway" or "taxiway/runway".  We also take exception to his characterization of our location between the runway and the VASI as "on the runway".  This matters only in technicalities, but since he is relying so heavily on technicalities, they ought to be correct.

[00:19:12] Rigdon: Okay, next new business, Warsaw Flying Club.  Nick, give me a report.

[00:19:16] King: *Sigh* I hate to be doing this, but on September, 19, 2017, roughly 7pm local time, um, I was driving home from dinner out and was here crossing the railroad tracks at 350 North.  I noticed an aircraft that I thought at first glance was flying irregularly at the airport.  I pulled into the National Guard Armory parking lot, and it was at that time that I realized that the aircraft was N203KA, Warsaw Flying Club.  It was flying very low, from what I could tell at that vantage point over the taxiway hangar area, and shortly thereafter we saw something fall out of the, my wife and I saw something fall out of the aircraft.  There was a flight line through the air and it impacted the ground.  I made my way to the terminal building.  Um, one of my line technicians was just leaving to go home.  At that time, the aircraft was taxiing up to the hangar and shutting down.  I thought that whatever was going on was over so I sent my line tech home.  It was just a few minutes, within 10 minutes or so after that, 7:15 or so the aircraft took off again.  It took off, circled the airport, flew directly over the taxiway, and again dropped another bag of flour out of the aircraft.  It impacted the taxiway just north of the ramp, uh, in between some hangars on the north side of the field here.  My estimation is that that aircraft was between 250 and 350 feet.  Uh, I did have photos of that and a video of that, uh, that aircraft [unintelligible] bag of flour out of the aircraft.  At that time we also, I also photographed and witnessed a golfing cart out on runway 18/36 on the north side of the runway.  There were two individuals and there were also two small children running between--before I could get my phone out to take a picture they were out at the runway.  When I got my phone out, they had run across the grass to the taxiway and then crossed across taxiway over towards the flying club hangar.  Um, there were people out and about in the flying club, er, right in front of hangar 12's ramp.  And, uh, the, I've, I have, have measured it.  The flour--One of the flour bags that hit was rough--approximately 125 to 135 feet away from where those people were standing.  Um, it's also 130 feet away from where privately owned hangars, and about 250 feet away from where aircraft would park on the ramp itself.

[00:22:05] King:  Uh, these are huge issues for the airport.  Um, I did, at that time, I proceeded out onto the runway and told the people at the golf cart that they could not be out there, that they needed to exit the runway surface area.  And I did tell Jon that, um, Jon Fussle that the even had to shut down, that we can't have that type of event at an airport without proper authorization.

[00:22:29] Rigdon: And was Jon on the ground, was he the pilot, was he on the golf cart?

[00:22:35] King: When I went out, Jon was on the ground.

[00:22:36] Rigdon: Okay, do we know who the pilot was?

[00:22:38] King: We don't.

[00:22:39] Rigdon: Do we know who was on the golf cart?

[00:22:41] King: Uh, Mr. Slabach right there was one of them, and, uh, there was another gentleman that I do not know.

[00:22:48] Rigdon: Can, uh, now you made contact with the FAA, correct?

[00:22:53] King: Correct.

[00:22:53] Rigdon: And what is the response to these in terms of these actions being a concern for them.

[00:22:59] King: Their concern strictly is safety for the airport.  Um, we as an airport are charged, the flying aspect, the piloting aspect, we as an airport have no authority over that whatsoever.  What we have the authority over is the ultimate safety of the operators and users of the airport.  Allowing general public out to the airport, I have worked with the flying club in the past, I have given them documentation, the board has given them documentation of exactly, we drew out on a map exactly where they could have these events...

[00:23:33] Rigdon: I remember.

[00:23:33] King: ...and all they need to do is email me and say, "Hey we want to have a barbecue event, this day, this time.  We're staying within our space here."  It's a non-issue.  That was all put into place last summer.  Um, we were never contacted about this.  We had no idea the barbecue was going on.  And to do this type of an operation at an airport, you absolutely can not do it without the proper federal waivers.  There is a proper way to do it.  We can, um, it's, it is an aeronautical event, just like an airshow.  There is certain amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out from the event sponsor.  There is a certain amount of paperwork that needs to be filled out by an airport sponsor, AKA, me, being authorized by the board.  We submit that to the FAA.  They look over all of the plans that are in place, then they say, "Yes, this event is good to go."  We put out the proper notices to airmen and the event takes place.  Or the FAA comes back and says, "No, we don't like this, this, or this.  Change these things and then you're good to go."  The other part of this is the FAA has the right, um, to assign a inspector to that event who may or may not show up for the event.  I know that at our airshow, they showed up two years, they did not show up one of the three years.

[00:24:52] Rigdon: Were the ground activities within the area that we had previously described the flying club they, that they could be?

[00:24:59] King: Some of them, yes.  The people on the taxiway and runway, no, were absolutely not.

[00:25:05] Thallemer: So the aeronautical event that you're talking about would be the flour drop.

[00:25:08] King: Mm-hm.

[00:25:09] Thallemer: That's what would be separate from the event on the...

[00:25:12] King: Correct.  Um, what it comes down to is a non-standard use of an airport.  Had this been held on private ground, say, on a farm north of Pierceton where there's 25-30 acres of farmland, nobody around, we would not be having this conversation at all.  We have no jurisdiction out there, there's a completely separate set of rules for personally owned property that the FAA governs and the airport board doesn't.  But because it happened at the airport, the BOAC has the auth...

[00:25:42] Thallemer: So I assume this is kind of a fun thing that a lot of flying clubs do...

[00:25:45] King: Absolutely, yep.

[00:25:46] Thallemer: ...and they, they'll do it, like out on somebody's farm or, I don't know.

[00:25:49] King: We, we did it...

[00:25:50] Thallemer: ...this is all new to me, but I'm trying to understand the event itself and where the conflict is is how they say that it was done here.

[00:25:59] King: We, I was on flight team in college, and a precision landing and "message drop" is what the fl---or the flour bomb drop, however you want to call it, those are all parts of a flight team competition.  We were in a controlled airport in school and we as a flight team approached the Flight Standards District Office and then the Airport District Office both, got all of our waivers in place for the season that we would be practicing.  Had all the paperwork signed off from the airport, from the control tower, and then we had scheduled practices.  We had to be out there at 6 o'clock in the morning, because the airport didn't want to shut down it's normal operations so that we could practice.

[00:26:37] Thallemer: Has this ever been done here before?

[00:26:39] King: Ah...

[00:26:39] Robinson: Yes.

[00:26:40] King: Years ago...

[00:26:41] Robinson: In the 60's and 70's.

[00:26:45] Fussle: So we're just kickin' it old school, that's what we're doing here.

[00:26:48] Robinson: Unfortunately, things were different then and it wasn't a big deal.  It was an annual event for several years way, way, way back.

[00:26:55] Thallemer: Sure, so it's not an uncommon activity.

[00:26:58] ???: No.

[00:26:58] Robinson: It, it, it ceased... It probably has been at least 20 years since it was last done.

[00:27:06] Rigdon: I'm sure it's been since I was on the board, so I know it's been at least late 80's since we had it happen.

[00:27:11] Thallemer: So besides the FAA and the, you know, their concerns, the bigger issue is just the liability if one of those kids would have gotten bonked on our property.

[00:27:20] King: Correct. So at that point the board could have potentially been liable for that.  And then there was actually another aircraft in the pattern, um, on 9/27 during that time as well.  They were a transient aircraft, they did one touch-and-go and then left.  Um, you know, had they come in and then landed on a, on 18/36 where there were people out on the runway... that just can't happen.  That just can't happen.  I mean, per the airport rules, we have adopted rules that the board approved and adopted, it clearly states in there, "No vehicles out on a landing surface."  That alone...

[00:27:59] Fussle: Where are those rules, cause I was trying to find some of the updated bylaws, I know you've been updating them for a long time and I couldn't find anything online or the...

[00:28:07] King: They're posted publicly right out there in that...

[00:28:09] Thallemer: So Nick...

[00:28:10] Fussle: Behind the locked box?

[00:28:11] Thallemer: Just for clarification, one.  The type of, and again I'm the non-aviation in this room, but, um, for an airport like this that people come and go, there wouldn't be any way if someone was coming in on this, where the conflict might have been, they wouldn't have had any way of knowing that something was going on here.

[00:28:32] King: No.

[00:28:33] Thallemer: In other words, there wasn't someone...

[00:28:34] King: They would not have at all.

[00:28:35] Rigdon: I, I, I promise that this is something that had been talked about I wanna have a chance to talk to you.

[00:28:41] Slabach: Thank you, I'm just trying to get up to speed...

[00:28:43] Rigdon: But I want to ask him questions first, and then we're going to give you, as a representative of the Club, talk, and we ask you questions for yourself.

[00:28:51] King: So, no, there would be no way for someone else coming in to know about the event.

[00:28:56] Rigdon: Ok, and the other question when you talked to Jon that this was a... to the extent you can call it an official event, this was a Warsaw Flying Club event, ok?  That wasn't really a question.  Other questions for Nick?

[00:29:14] Rigdon: Ok, now, Mr. Slabach?

[00:29:17] Slabach: Yes Sir, Slabach.

[00:29:18] Rigdon: Ok, ok, I'm Jay Rigdon, I'm president of the board.  Are you talking on behalf of the Flying Club?

[00:29:23] Slabach: I believe I am?  Sure.

[00:29:25] *Laughter*

[00:29:29] Rigdon: Are you sure?  Well, I just wanted to get that out of you.  So, um, new, I mean you've heard some of this and I'm curious, uh, I want you to say whatever you want to say in response to that, but I will tell you personally I'm curious as to 1, whether there is any argument about whether these events actually occurred the way they were described as well as whether you had, what your concern as about whether, whether they make a big deal or not [unintelligible], so I'm interested in both of those, so.

[00:30:01] Slabach: Yes sir.  So I took some notes here while Nick was talking and, and as far, first one I took was "kids on the runway".  I don't recall seeing any children on the runway.  They were on the ramp and a couple of them did run out north of, I'm not sure it's, I don't think it's a taxiway, whatever you call it.

[00:30:17] Long: It's a ramp access.

[00:30:18] Slabach: A ramp access, yeah, north of the Club.  But we did go out and chase them back in, I mean [sound of Nick deploying overhead screen covers conversation].  So, one of the members in the club, one of the pilots in the club, his kids running out there, we chased them back, so.  Um, as far as the FAA, you know, saying that "you can't do this," I did call the Flight Standards District Office up in Grand Rapids, which is the FSDO for our airport.  I talked to Nick... I forget his name, I can pull his name out if it's important, but I described what happened to him, and from Nick's take on it...

[00:30:55] Rigdon: Nick?

[00:30:55] Slabach: Your Nick.  Was it Ryan Johnson?  Is that the guy's name?  I'll get his name.  Anyhow, the guy I talked to at the FSDO said the way I described it, no rules were broken.  The FAR 91.15 says that airplanes can drop objects from aircraft as long as you take care not to hurt any people or property.  Um, I can tell you before any pilot took off, we set ground rules, right?  So one of the rules was that you had to maintain at least 500 foot AGL (above ground level), or 1350 MSL (mean sea level).  I was one of the airplanes.  I may have been one of the airplanes he (King) saw, I was piloting one of them, and I can assure you that I never went below 500 foot AGL in my drop.  I'm also a flight instructor there, you know, and so I, I take following the rules very seriously.  When Nick approached me, it concerned me because I don't want to be violating any rules.  I was standing next to the father of one of my students and I don't want to have him think that I'm careless with the rules.  Anyhow, so 91.15 says we can do it.  Someone had said, you know, talking about shutting down a runway.  I also know we, all the aircraft were in the pattern, it was a lower pattern, so we were below pattern altitude, but we were making position calls as is common for the airport the whole time, right?  So normally when I take off, I'll say, "turning left crosswind, turning left downwind, turning left base, turning final," so other in the area will know where I'm at.  That was happening by the aircraft as well.  And then, Mayor, I believe you said, you asked, "how would any other airplane know something was going on," everybody was making traffic calls.  Then on top of that, we had a transceiver on the ground tuned to CTAF (common traffic advisory frequency), um, also listening in.  I know, Nick, you said there was another airplane in the pattern of 9/27.  I can also assure you he never made any traffic calls if he was there.

[00:32:52] King: They absolutely did, I heard them make the calls.  They, they, I assure you they did.

[00:32:57] Slabach: Ok, it's a difference of opinion.  I hesitate to even go on...

[00:32:58] King: It's not a difference of opinion, it's fact.  Handheld transceivers, if you were on the ground, they do not make it across the field.  I can tell you that firsthand, that's why we had to spend $1800 per truck to put an aircraft transceiver in the truck so that we could hear where the traffic was.

[00:33:14] Fussle: No, we've had them at our house before, on the south side of town and we could hear them...

[00:33:17] King: ...and if it's in the air, you will.  But if they came in from the west, came in, landed, and took off, there is a very possible chance that on the ground you may not have heard it.  In the air, I don't know why you wouldn't have heard it.  But there was an aircraft that came in, made calls, and took off and left.

[00:33:33] Long: Well, regardless of that, the aircraft that we were flying was making position calls so they would have known about just like we always do, every day.

[00:33:41] King: And I, and I appreciate that.  What about the aircraft that don't have that?  Because radios are not required at an uncontrolled airport and there are airplanes that do fly in and out of Warsaw that do not have a radio in it. I do believe that the Club's Cub...

[00:33:56] Long: Well, what do they do on a normal day when there's a...

[00:33:58] King: They come in and they fly around, but they're not expecting to find an aircraft doing unapproved approach at an airport, dropping flour bags.  They're also not expecting to find a...

[00:34:09] Slabach: Well, I mean, if I could have my, please have a turn.

[00:34:13] King: You can.

[00:34:13] Slabach: Nick, I appreciate your comments.  I can also assure you the same transceiver I had on the day, I've been at my house which is just, it's just right outside the Warsaw city limits talking to airplanes in the pattern in Rochester.  So I get pretty good range on my transceiver.

[00:34:30] Rigdon: What I'm particularly interested in, just to mention, I don't wanna, I'm not gonna go down a rabbit hole about transceivers and not transceivers.  I mean, I'm listening to that and I say, you know, that's kind of one would say is an atypical activity out at the airport.  Uh, and that doesn't mean automatically when I say atypical that it's illegal.  But if it's not atypical then the airport's not doing very well, because we should be doing a lot of customers with a lot of different flights.  This kind of activity shouldn't be the common activity.  So I guess my question is why is this, why is this [unintelligible], why isn't there some warning, why isn't there some comment with the folks at the airport, "Oh by the way, we're going to do this atypical activity out here?"

[00:35:17] Slabach: So, as far as notifying the airport, I wasn't aware, I didn't know we were doing that event until I showed up that night and said we were gonna do this.  I was aware of 91.15, I knew it was legal as far as the FARs go, and so I didn't question it.  And so, in fact [unintelligible], because I did call the FSDO, and the FSDO said everything looks legal.  You know, you guys do need to be a better neighbor and just tell people what's going on, so if I'm speaking for the Flying Club, I'll apologize in not letting the board know ahead of time.  That's not my intention to be a bad neighbor, I do want to let you guys know what's going on.  I also called the AO, I have an attorney with AOPA, and so I called the legal services for AOPA.  From their reading on things we didn't break any rules.  I've called Rob Escovel at the Airport District Office (ADO), Rob said I need to fill out form 7711-2...

[00:36:11] King: Yep!

[00:36:12] Slabach: ...but I also called Rob back and said, "Rob, that form is an application for a waiver from the FARs, from the rules.  We didn't break any rules, and so I called Rob back and he hasn't responded yet to say what, what rules do you want me...

[00:36:27] King: Those are the rules you need to...

[00:36:29] Rigdon: Let him finish and I'll get back to you.

[00:36:32] Slabach: What rules do I need to apply for a waiver for, because if the FSDO's telling me that I didn't break any rules, the AOPA folks are telling me that I didn't break any rules.  I'll fill out the form if it's needed, but we didn't stop traffic, it was, really it's a training event, a ground reference.  Of the pilots at the Club, we had a safety brief beforehand, we were 500 feet AGL, which I also asked the FSDO if I'm any airplane flying over any uncontrolled airport, can I fly over in any fashion I'd like to?  In uncontrolled airspace, which is the airspace above Warsaw at 500 feet?  And the answer the FSDO said is "yes, you can do whatever you want."  There's rules as far as clearance of buildings and property, but over an airport it's pretty sparsely populated.  You know, so I don't... I'm under the contention that we didn't break any rules and I know Nick, you told me that I broke seven federal regulations, you mentioned Part 77 airspace, which refers to buildings?

[00:37:33] King: Protected runway space.

[00:37:35] Slabach: But I'm not aware of seven... I mean, you said we broke seven federal regulations, if you could tell me what those are, I'd appreciate it because I'm not trying to break any rules.

[00:37:45] King: I'm not a FSDO officer, I do not pretend to be.  I had to make this same report to the FSDO and they are investigating it.  I know you say you talked to them?

[00:37:55] Slabach: We talked to the FSDO last week and they're not investigating anything.

[00:37:57] King: I talked to them at 2:00 this afternoon, and they are investigating.  Whoever you talked to didn't know what they are talking about.  I've talked with both the manager and the assistant manager for Grand Rapids, I should say "the acting manager" because the current manager...

[00:38:11] Slabach: Mark, or...

[00:38:12] King: Mark Kosco and his number two, and they are investigating.

[00:38:17] Slabach: Ok, I also talked to an airport outside of Milwaukee, also an uncontrolled airport, and asked, they did the same thing.  I asked, you know, what issue did you have with the FAA or anything like that, and they had no, no issues with the Airport District Office, and I believe they're still in the Chicago District.  Um, and uh, and the issue they [had] was actually resolved by Mark [Kosko], and uh, they tried to say that they were, it was, um, too close, that the rules about how far away you had to be from people and property.  And Mark [Kosko] said, "look, it's over an airport, it's not an issue," and he granted them that approval to do that.  So, I mean, if there are an investigation, I'd welcome it.  I'd like to find out what rules I broke, but I can also assure the board that when I called them the first time, and the second time that I hadn't broken any.

[00:39:07] King: And at the end...

[00:39:08] Rigdon: Let me just say something real quick here, and then I'll ask you...  Do you have any question that if, if the... you talk about being at 500 feet, question, if it were 250, 300 feet that would have been a problem?

[00:39:18] Slabach: Um, I would still question that because we were right over the runway environment and we could have made a... we can go that low if we were gonna land, and because we're so close to the runway we could have made an argument that we could have executed a landing from that point.

[00:39:35] Rigdon: Well, would have and could have are two separate things.

[00:39:38] Slabach: Well, I mean you're asking me a hypothetical...

[00:39:39] Rigdon: Yeah, and you're not planning to land.  You're telling me that 500 feet is fine, and my question to you is, is 250-300 feet a problem?

[00:39:51] Slabach: From what I know, from what Mark [Kosko] said about the airport outside of Wisconsin, I would say no.  But you're asking hypotheticals and I haven't researched that.  We were at 500 feet and that's what I can speak to intelligently... or as close to intelligently as I'm gonna get.

[00:40:08] Rigdon: Ok, Nick, tell us what you got here.

[00:40:11] King: This is runway 18/36 surface right up here, here you can clearly see the golf cart and the two individuals standing there.  I was unable to get my phone out in time, but these here both are the children as they were running, even if you did chase them, they made it all the way out there.  And then they turned around and they made it all the way back to, um, they went back toward the Flying Club then.  But you can clearly see out there on the pavement surface where those individuals were on the runway.

[00:40:39] Rigdon: Where was the drop?

[00:40:40] King: Drop was... and this is the first drop right here, this was on taxiway bravo.  This, this taxiway was not closed.  It was a active, open taxiway.  The other taxiway was right here.  This is where the second bag hit.  There were people standing all out and around in front of the hangar here, out into the concrete, and then over into the grass as well.  That is a unnamed taxiway but that was also not a closed taxiway as well.  They were aiming for...

Ramp access

[00:41:14] Slabach: It's not marked like a taxiway.

[00:41:18] King: It is.  It has a centerline, it's a taxiway.

[00:41:21] Slabach: There is no centerline.

[00:41:22] King: They were aiming for a barrel that was located right there in the center.  Here you can see where people are out, running around and that's where they were trying to hit was that barrel right there...

[00:41:31] Rigdon: How far from where their target was did it actually land?

[00:41:36] King: The first one was approximately 110 feet away to the southwest.  The other one was approximately 50 feet due south.

[00:41:44] Long: But there was one that got really close... And there was a third one, like 40 feet away.

[00:41:53] Fussle: Nick, I do have a question, though. I understand that that's a problem and we didn't get those kids back, and we do have them, have the event marked with cones when we have these events.  Kids don't always follow the rules, we do our best, we try to maintain, you know, organization and everything.  But in the past, you have noted that you want our visitors, whether they be Club members, which is typically who comes to these events, are not, park here and then walk across this live ramp.

[00:42:24] King: To be escorted across, to be escorted across.

[00:42:28] Fussle: Well, it happens after hours, typically, though.

[00:42:30] King: We don't have to, we are not responsible for the event.  If you guys are putting on the event, you're assuming the responsibility.  And that's what coming to the Board or coming to me and getting the permission for that.  Just like here in a few minutes, I'm going to be presenting two different events coming up here at the beginning of November.  They're happening on the other side of the airport, and these people have come to me, they've sat down and come up with a safety plan.  They are getting put in place.  One of them has private security, the other one has staff members and KEDCo that are going to be, um, monitoring the, the, the event to make sure that people don't make it out onto the runway.  If they do, they will be dealt with in the exact same way that we are talking right now.

[00:43:10] Fussle: I just didn't know what the difference was between walking across this live ramp and walking across a, a taxiway or ramp in front of our hangar.  Wanted to know if you could kind of clarify that a little bit cause that seems confusing to me.

[00:43:26] Slabach: [Unintelligible] stop anyone from parking here and walking wherever they want, I mean there's no gate.

[00:43:31] Rigdon: You know, I'm just looking at the, at, I mean I look at these things and I heard the report initially and I do not pretend either to be an expert on the arcane of minutiae of federal regulations, but it just seems like there are several things here that are just a matter of common sense are obviously wrong in terms of them being dangerous, potentially dangerous to people.  And to me it seper... I know, geeze I'm an attorney saying this, but the liability thing isn't as important to me as just a safety thing.  You know, if, if, if we got a golf cart issue or someone else has a plane issue, to me, if they get hurt, that's what I want to stop.  I mean it's not okay, I'm not liab, we're not liable, let it go.  We don't want people to get hurt out here.

[00:44:19] Long: Well we don't [unintelligible], I mean, safety is a very important part of our protocol...

[00:44:25] Slabach: And we had a safety brief before anyone took off.

[00:44:28] Rigdon: Well, I appreciate that but what I've heard so far is that this didn't, we didn't get notified of it to be able to notify other folks and to have proper warning to folks and that apparently, at least from your perspective, it got thrown together that night.  Cause you told me you didn't know anything, you told us you didn't know anything about it until you got there that night.  And, you know, no, that's not good.  That is not good stewardship of the property that you have, it's not a good stewardship of this airport to allow people to throw things together without having planned for it, not apparently not having gone through and thought about all the safety issues here, and then just do stuff, and then come in and say, "well, okay we're lucky this time nobody got hurt."

[00:45:15] Long: No, we're not saying that.  When you're talking about the safety issues, we did, we had briefings before every plane took off.  Every time the plane took off, there was a briefing about what was gonna happen, how it was gonna happen, and it happened that way.

[00:45:34] Slabach: Right.  So whether or not it was planned a year in advance or not, there were proactive steps taken to ensure everyone's safety.

[00:45:43] Long: And everybody on the ground in that area knew what was going on.  Nobody was gonna be blindsided by anything 'cause everybody was aware of what was going on.  Now, should we have asked for permission?  Yes, apparently so.  Will we in the future?  Yes, we definitely will.

[00:46:01] Rigdon: Well, that of course, is part of the decision making we're going to deal with.

[00:46:04] Slabach: And then, also the protocol we had said, I mean, no one, no one came in the pattern that night for 18/36, had someone come in the pattern, our response would have been, that we'd talked about, we were gonna knock it off, we're not gonna, we weren't gonna interfere with any other air traffic using that runway..  So it wasn't, no one came in to be impacted, but had someone come in, our pre planned response was, "leave the area, let them land, do whatever they're gonna do" then we can come in.  So we weren't gonna, no one did come in to be affected, but that was our plan should someone have approached the runway.

[00:46:39] Rigdon: Yeah, I used to play kickball in the streets of Fort Wayne under the same theory... until one of my friends got hit by a car.

[00:46:45] Slabach: Well, that's not exactly the same, that's not a fair comparison.

[00:46:49] Rigdon: No, it's not exactly, right.  But it's the theory, which is, "Ok, we're gonna wait till someone, we'll mourn somebody when somebody gets..." Well, you know there's a reason you do things in advance, there's a reason you block off the street to play kickball.  Um, yeah, so you say FAA is investigating this right now?

[00:47:04] King: The FSDO is, yeah.

[00:47:05] Rigdon: And, what is their usual routine?  Do they send us a report?

[00:47:11] King: We don't have anything to do with this.  This is strictly flight side, this is not anything to do with the airport.

[00:47:16] Rigdon: Well, I understand.  Would they notify us of it all if they, once they've investigated something as to what they've done?

[00:47:22] King: I've never had to go through one before, so I couldn't tell you.  I've been ramp check, ramp checked in 15 years of flying, which is where a FSDO officer came by and asked for me to show my documentation of who I was flying this aircraft and that I actually was who I was because I was 17 and looked like I was 12 and they didn't think that I was old enough to be flying an airplane.

[00:47:43] Rigdon: Ok.  Have you, is there anything else you wanted to say to us on behalf of the Flying Club?  You got your chance to say, I thought you did, but I wanted...

[00:47:53] Slabach: No, just that we did take proactive steps to ensure everyone's safety.  I don't believe that the comparison to you playing kickball in the streets is a fair comparison.  We did have safety briefs, we were grown adults, you know, we did have protocols in place to handle those situations.  It's not the same as kids in the street and I personally am offended by the comparison.

[00:48:14] Fussle: However, if you do want to make a comparison like that, I feel like the most dangerous part of the night is when Nick came squealing up in his car, off of the same taxiway that he's talking about other people being on, right up onto our ramp, and then leaving a skidmark on our ramp, which is now gone, um, unfortunately I didn't take pictures of it, but um, to shut it down, shut down the event.  That, I feel like, is the biggest safety concern because there were kids on the ramp, and they were in the place that they were supposed to be.

[00:48:44] Yuengling: Did your safety briefing include talking about people not being out there that close to the runway?  Because obviously they were.

[00:48:56] Fussle: He wasn't on the runway, just for clarification.

[00:49:01] Slabach: I was in the grass beside the runway, not on the runway.  But if you're talking about, the brief was for the pilots on how the pilots were to conduct the drop, it wasn't a brief of the kids.  The kids, we, as they went out, corralled them back in.  But that's general Club behavior, we didn't brief, we didn't go over specific, that specifics that night.

[00:49:24] Fussle: And unfortunately those children I don't believe were there when we started the event to hear the rules and everything.  Grant it, their dad is part of the Club and he... yeah.

[00:49:35] Thallemer: You said you were, never got under 500 feet.  You said it you thought it looked like they were about 250 feet.  What's the implication of that?  Is it hard for you to gauge how high they are?  Is it plus or minus a couple hundred feet when you're trying to gauge?

[00:49:49] King: Mm-hm, really, yeah.

[00:49:50] Long: Well, you said, "from [your] vantage point".

[00:49:52] King: From my vantage point I, that is what I saw.

[00:49:55] Slabach: I'll swear on a stack of Bibles I never went below 500 feet until I was landing.

[00:50:02] Thallemer: I just, I wanted to clarify cause it sounded like there was some conflict there.

[00:50:06] Rigdon: John [Yuengling], your questions, Dan [Robinson], either of you have any other questions?  Nick, I...

[00:50:15] Robinson: I've been around too long.  I don't know if this rule changed, if it did, I didn't know it, but unfortunately I hate to admit that, but it used to be that if you were not over population or buildings, that you could fly as low to the ground as you wanted, according to the FAR's.  There was no height restriction at all.

[00:50:47] Slabach: That's still the case.  Open fields, that kind of thing...

[00:50:51] Robinson: I thought that hadn't changed, but I wasn't sure.

[00:50:53] King: 500 foot bubble around the aircraft from persons or structure over non populous areas.

[00:51:03] Robinson: That... The kids being, you know, on and obviously you didn't tell them to go out there, but that, that's, I see big problems with this whole thing is that kids being, wandering around out there and the, um, being out, on or out by the runway on the golf cart, um.  That, that really, I see is the problem that needs to be not happening.

[00:51:38] Slabach: Yes sir, I agree.  And, Chris, maybe, did you see?  Were kids out there when a drop was actually happening?  Or they ran out I believe they ran out after the drop happened.

[00:51:48] Fussle: They wanted to see where the drop was.

[00:51:52] Slabach: It wasn't drop after drop.  It was one drop, they'd land, come in, shut down, new pilot would get in, take off, drop, land, shut down, so it was... 10 minutes between drops.

[00:52:04] Robinson: I, [unintelligible] laws have changed, legal atmosphere has definitely changed, but we used to do three things every year.  Flour drop was one of them, spot landing was another, and the third was, we would chase a balloon and try to break it with the airplane.  We would have 20-30 airplanes participating in this event, you know, it was an all day thing.  I honestly don't know if the FAA required waivers back then or not.  Somebody else always took care of the stuff, I just participated.

[00:52:52] Thallemer: I think, I agree that the kids being out there really troubles me.  But more importantly, Nick is in charge and has a responsibility to this airport.  And to me, I would bank my reputation on his knowledge of what needs to be done.  At minimum, he should have been notified about the events so that then if he had specific concerns, he would have said, "Ok, what are you going to do about this, what are you going to do about that?"  You know?  I mean, that's why he is my airport manager, because I know he's, he's diligent and he understands the rules and has respect from you all that you show him that he have an idea of what's coming up as is the protocol that has been set up.  There's a reason for that, and, you know, I guess that bothers me more that there doesn't seem to be that much concern that you didn't get ahold of him.  That to me is the most important part of this because I know Nick wants to build this airport up, Nick's trying to build the fuel sales, he wants people to fly, you know?  So he wants nice events, fun events to attract people.  But you know, the liability, he's also, he gets brought to task if there's an issue, and he's the responsible party, so I... That's my probably biggest concern other than the safety of those kids.  And even if they weren't out there during the drop, if they shouldn't have been out there, they shouldn't have been out there.

[00:54:12] Rigdon: You know, from the board's standpoint, we've got responsibilities to make sure that typical behaviors, typical activities at the airport are done safely, and when there are atypical behaviours, and again, I'm not saying that... that's not a connotation, just, it's not a typical activity.  It's an atypical behavior, well, you know, we've got to know about it, and he's the guy that's got to know about it cause he's the one that's got to coordinate that with the other responsibilities that we have, and it's really not the judgment of the others to decide whether he should get the information or not get the information, it's not the judgement of others to decide how much any atypical activities are going to disrupt the activities that typically go on here that are our primary responsibilities.  It's his.  And if we have people out here, whether they are individuals or groups that can't understand that atypical behaviours have to be coordinated here for safety and operational issues for us as a board and for Nick as the manager, then those people will not be out here anymore as far as I'm concerned.  Because we run, you know, we're running for the whole group here and to protect those activities we have to make sure that a couple of people aren't here, guess what?  I'm glad to do it.  Because I've got the responsibility to the group as a whole.  That's my feeling about it.

[00:55:40] Yuengling: All I can do is ditto what everybody is sayin'.  Safety is the biggest concern.  I mean, that, that's our number one concern, and of course, as everybody said let Nick know.

[00:55:53] Long: I won't argue with you on that.  Now is there any way that we can move forward from something that's already happened, and plan for, in the future what we're gonna do to plan for the future?

[00:56:06] Rigdon: What is your suggestion Nick, in terms of...

[00:56:09] Thallemer: Well, what about this investigation?  Is there, if there's an investigation going on, I don't think you can do anything until you hear from that.

[00:56:15] KIng: That's, that is completely separate from what we're discussing right now.  That is what the FAA is investigating as far as a flight standards or concern.  What we're looking at is what happened on the ground here.

[00:56:26] Thallemer: Ok, so that doesn't have anything to do with this incident.

[00:56:27] King: It was this incident, but it was the flying side.  This is the airport side.  We have a set of rules, we, we as an airport are responsible and answer to the Airport District Office.  You guys as a pilot and me as a pilot, we, we also...

[00:56:42] Thallemer: So the FAA basically says, we'll look at the flying portion, you guys are in charge, you make the decision...

[00:56:47] King: ...on the land activities, yep.

[00:56:52] Rigdon: Do you have a suggestion for any action to take now, or did you want to bring this to our attention so we could contemplate it?  What is your recommendation right now?

[00:57:06] King: I've been thinking about this for two and a half weeks.  I absolutely do not know how to move forward with this.  If we follow the rules that we have in place, if we follow what the FAA tells us what we need to be doing, if we follow our grant assurances that allow us to receive federal funding, um, eviction is the only thing that is across the board.  You can call any airport in the United States, if this would happen at any other airport, unauthorized use like this is an immediate eviction.

[00:57:39] Fussle: Well, that's not true, cause Jayson said we did call...

[00:57:40] Slabach: In the rules, I've looked at the rules.  There is nothing in there that says you can't drop flour from an airplane.

[00:57:48] King: You are absolutely correct.  In our airport rules, they do not say that you cannot drop flour from an airplane, but they also say that you cannot fly a non-standard pattern, except for training purposes, which that wasn't.  It also states that you cannot have vehicles on the runway or landing surfaces, which you did.  Those two alone are reasons for being evicted.  Now, I am trying...

[00:58:19] Slabach: It's the non-standard pattern is, the non-standard pattern, I've already discussed with the FSDO, if we're 500 feet or above, the airport can't tell us we can or cannot.

[00:58:30] King: We absolutely can.  We have a set of written rules that are published and posted.  If you had wanted them beforehand, I realize they are in a glass box, all you have to do is ask Linda or myself.  Jayson, you called me and I sent you a copy within 30 seconds.

[00:58:46] Slabach: And I appreciate that, but...

[00:58:47] King: Those are available publicly for...

[00:58:50] Slabach: But that doesn't change the fact that if Joe Blow, you know, John Doe, comes flying over at 500 feet and does figure 8s 500 feet above the terminal building all day long, he's in Class G airspace, it's uncontrolled airspace, he can do that.

[00:59:10] King: He can't!  He can’t!

[00:59:12] Slabach: And you don't have the right to stop him.

[00:59:13] King: We absolutely do!

[00:59:14] Slabach: And how would...

[00:59:15] King: We are charged...

[00:59:16] Slabach: What enforcement, if it's uncontrolled airspace, if he's 500 feet and is not busting the bubble for being close to people or property, how can you stop him in uncontrolled airspace?

[00:59:27] KIng: If I took a video of someone doing a figure 8 500 feet over our airport, that person would lose every single ticket that they have.

[00:59:38] Slabach: Not according to the FSDO I talked to, which is our FSDO.

[00:59:49] King: I'm between, you asked me my recommendation, I'm between a rock and a hard place.  I'm bound by the rules the airport has by the grant assurances that the FAA holds the airport to, without, without going with those grant assurances, the airport could potentially in jeopardy of losing the federal money.  The incident of children out on the taxiway/runway, that is a liability issue in my opinion.  Safety issue and everything else.

[01:00:19] Thallemer: To comply with those grants that suggest that that type of behavior, eviction is the only thing, do you have to file a written report on the incident with them?

[01:00:31] King: I will have to follow up with the Grant Compliance Office, yes.

[01:00:35] Thallemer: And will they make the recommendation, or...

[01:00:38] King: It is solely up to the board, the grant assurance member...

[01:00:42] Thallemer: But no matter what we do, you will still file a report with them?

[01:00:48] King: Grant assurance number 5 from the FAA, which is what we govern for airports states... [8 second pause], that the board ha... it... grant assurances five preserves the rights and powers of the board and it, I mean it, I'm not gonna read it all, it's uh two and a half page, uh... grant assurance.  But what it states is it preserves the rights and the powers of the board to govern the airport in a way that they see fit for safety and security within the means of the law.  And we have an adopted, approved set of airport rules that were not followed and the problem that we could potentially get into in the future is that if these rules are not enforced now, if we enforce a different set of rules from that document on any other pilot that operates out of this airport, they can file a chapter 13 complaint with the FAA.  A chapter 13 complaint is a discrimination complaint against the airport.  If that goes to the FAA, the burden of proof is on the person making the complaint.  But if we have board minutes showing that we did nothing to correct this action tonight, or if the board chooses to table it and correct the action next month, that disciplinear... that discrimination complaint could become valid and if that is the case, the board could, the airport could potentially lose federal funding.

[01:02:20] Rigdon: So in your definition of corrective action is eviction is what you're saying.

[01:02:24] King: That is the standard that is across the board.  I'm not saying that that is what the board has to do, that is one of several options.  It is the board's exclusive right and authority to come up with the way that they feel is best to govern the airport in the safest, most effective way possible.

[01:02:45] Rigdon: And what would eviction mean in this case?

[01:02:49] King: Um, we can not prevent as an airpo... as a board, you can not prevent someone from landing and taking off, or taxiing on runways/taxiways, but airside access can be denied per your discretion.

[01:03:04] Rigdon: And that acts, and again, in this case, cause we got a flying club, we have an entity.  What exactly would we be preventing?  Are we preventing the entity and its activities, or any members of the entity?

[01:03:20] King: And that's...

[01:03:21] Rigdon: See what I mean?

[01:03:21] King: I absolutely do.  And it's up to the discretion of the board, access to the air side and storage on air side of aeronautical activities.

[01:03:32] Long: Because, you see, the way I look at it is, um, yeah, obviously we overstepped the boundaries for the airport.  But a guy like me, for instance, I'm just gonna speak for myself, I wanna fly.  I will never own an airplane, I can't rent your airplane because you don't have one to rent to me.  I can't rent, the only person that's gonna rent me an airplane is the Warsaw Flying Club.

[01:03:59] King: And when I said "This breaks my heart", that is exactly why.

[01:04:03] Fussle: That's it, you guys have been trying to get us off basically the last four years.

[01:04:08] KIng: In the last four years, when have, when has the board or I denied an event that you guys have brought to us.  In the last 3 years, when have I not gone to bat for you guys?  When you started, when I started with the fuel bill, I tried to get the board to waive your interest fees and come up with a monthly block payment.  This has been going on for four and a half years.

[01:04:27] Fussle: If you were at bat with us, you would have come to Jon or myself, or called us, or emailed us, and we would have sat down and had a meeting to talk about how we can fix this in the future instead of going with the FAA, you're going to the principal's office before you've even talked to the teacher or calling us for a solution.

[01:04:43] Long: It sounds like you were predisposed to our eviction, the eviction was already in your [unintelligible]. And the thing is, well I'm lookin at is, ok, we got muddy water going under the bridge right now, let's look at the future.  You know, some of these guys, Jared and some of these guys, they're gonna be aircraft owners here at some point.

[01:05:03] Fussle: Jared already bought a hangar at Nappanee because he doesn't want to deal with this...

[01:05:05] Long: Where are they gonna keep their hanga... their airplane, where are they gonna buy their fuel, what does do for a relationship?  I mean, it's just bad for general aviation.

[01:05:16] Rigdon: Well, there's no question that the board, as a matter of policy, would like to have as many people using the airport.  That's kind of the starting point.  But, you know, I indicated before, when the use of some potentially have an impact on the use of others, well, then we have to make that choice.  And that choice one would limit in some fashion.  Here is, I'll tell you my thinking, if you want to follow it or not follow it, if somebody makes a motion, that's fine.  You know, my thinking is that you, sir, indicated that, okay, well how would we go forward?  Okay, I would tell you that if I had to make the decision right now, I would move to evict Warsaw Flying Club and keep them from access everywhere.  But that doesn't mean that you can't convince me otherwise.  Now, I want to give you the opportunity to convince me otherwise.  So, what I would like, before next month's meeting, I would like a written commitment from the Flying Club as to what steps they will take to make sure the problems here are not repeated.  Now I want to warn you about this, okay?  I want to make my position clear.  I don't wanna get some kind of response that says, "He's not doing his job right," because he is.  I don't wanna get some response that says, "Ok, well we're gonna do all this stuff, but trust us, we're sorry, it ain't gonna happen again." That's not gonna be good enough.  I want something that's gonna say, "Ok, here's what we've done as a Club and as an organization to make sure we're following the rules.  Here's what we've done to make sure that the people we have at our activities are following the rules.  Here's what do to make sure the airport is properly notified of atypical behavior out at the airport."  And then that would be a commitment that the Flying Club has made to us.  I mean, I'm talking to you because you've mentioned it.  But with the Club as an entity makes to us.  And if the Club, as an entity, can't make enough of a commitment that makes me feel safe about the use, the Flying Club's use of this airport in conjunction and comparison to the rest of our customers.  You can't make me feel safe, I'll be the one vote for eviction.  And if you can make me feel safe, that "Okay, we've got some lessons learned, and we got some different approaches we're gonna take," if you can convince us of that, well then maybe that eviction action is not gonna be taken.  That's my thinking.  What do you guys think?

[01:07:35] Yuengling: I totally agree with you.

[01:07:37] Rigdon: You good with that, Dan?

[01:07:39] Robinson: I'm not ready to vote for eviction.

[01:07:42] Rigdon: Yeah, okay, so you think that is something we can count on getting?

[01:07:47] Long: That's something you will have.

[01:07:50] Robinson: Again, I have no mixed feelings about this.  Nick should have been notified.

[01:07:59] Slabach: We agree.

[01:08:02] Robinson: The safety issue is a big deal, it's important.  But on the other hand, I like the fact that the Club is fostering interest in aviation and people underneath them.  We have to have that or aviation, general aviation will die and nationwide there is a general aviation fall-off in general aviation in the past few years, so anything we can do to get that back up again... most people get interested in flying when they are kids, and I was one, too.  Everyone has kids [unintelligible].

[01:09:12] Thallemer: Now, I wouldn't say they're mixed, I'd say they're balanced.  Trying to balance safety with promotion of [unintelligible].  I'm not a voting member, but I respect what the chairman has brought ahead.  I think the voting members here are nodding their heads, so I would view this as an opportunity to make this better, make this better, and I'll leave it at that.

[01:09:38] Rigdon: I would like you to [unintelligible] have this issue again on next month's meeting.  I would like, and that is November 14, okay?  I would like to have, again, this something gonna be in writing representative of the Flying Club presented to us.  I would really like to have it by the 10th.  I don't want you to just walk into the meeting and hand it to us, because presumably you put some thought into it, I wanna put some thought into reading it.  So I would like you to deliver that Nick by November 10th at the latest, and he can circulate it to the members of the board, and then we can be ready to discuss that, and if we're gonna take any further action, we're going to take action at the November 14th meeting.  Is that fair enough?  Ok.

[01:10:18] Slabach: I came today with a proposal for a flour drop going forward, I'm happy to give that to the board tonight.  I don't know if that's the whole answer you're looking for, and things we'll do, and how we'll act going forward.  I'm happy to give that to you and everybody else here tonight.

[01:10:33] Rigdon: I would say I want something, obviously you can leave me with anything you want, but what I'm looking for I don't necessarily need to have that for tonight because that's a future activity.  I want to deal with this in a broader fashion.  Because I don't want it to be this and then,ok, we got some other atypical behavior.  "Well we didn't talk about that because that wasn't a flour drop."  It's a broader issue than whether it was flour being dropped or something else.  It's a broader issue we got going here.

[01:11:01] Long: Could we define, can we define atypical behavior, does that, well, obviously we're not gonna do anything... but we do like to get together once a month, as a Club, and have a cookout, have conversation, bring in new members, and... is that something that we need to get permission for three weeks out, or?

[01:11:23] Slabach: It's pilots coming to the Club.

[01:11:26] King: I gave Jon a letter last summer that showed exactly where you guys could be...

[01:11:32] Long: I've never seen any of that information, so...

[01:11:33] King: ...and um...

[01:11:34] Fussle: Well it's where we always put the cones.

[01:11:36] King, Thallemer talk at once.

[01:11:38] King: Carla got a copy of that this May.  She asked that exact same question, she received a copy of that letter this May, she came over.

[01:11:45] Thallemer: I'm most thankful that you've shown up with a lot of folks today, cause obviously you've got an interest in preserving the things you're doing here.  But with regards to some type of administrative action by you showing us your intentions, you know.  I don't know, do you have a board, is there a Chairman, a President, an owner, I mean, who represents your group?  I know Jon is heavily involved and I'm a little surprised he's not here.

[01:12:12] Long: Well, he's busy, he's flying for the airlines, and his schedule...

[01:12:17] Thallemer: But I think it's incumbent on your group to be represented by your head of the group...

[01:12:24] Fussle: Well, I'm the Vice President and so that's why I'm here, and then Jayson is a flight instructor.

[01:12:29] Thallemer: But that's what I'm asking.

[01:12:30] Rigdon: Yeah, and you know that's another thing, part of that, and that's a good point cause part of it's gonna be responsibility.

[01:12:36] Long: Well, that's true, you have to have somebody to come to and say...

[01:12:39] Thallemer: That's why I brought it up.

[01:12:40] Rigdon: That's right.

[01:12:41] Thallemer: There needs to be a point person that the buck stops with that individual.  And if you all do the work then at some point Nick presents it to Jon, and he goes, "Well, I didn't see this."  I mean, he needs to be involved and his name needs to be on there.

[01:12:54] Rigdon: M'kay.  Well, we'll look forward to hearing from you.

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