I received a call this week from a man who lives near the Neosho-Hugh Robinson Airport. He's unhappy about the noise the stunt pilots who practice there make. It is almost more than he can bare.
Although I live in town, probably two or three miles (as the crow flies) from the airport, I can also hear the roar of the big engines that stunt pilots have. And lately, there have been day after day of stunt plane traffic.
I fully appreciate the fact that men and women who depend of this type of flying need to practice their skills and their stunts. And, as I understand it, the Neosho airport is one of a few in the area which is allowed to offer space to stunt pilots for practice.
Yet, as I spoke on the phone to the man who is unhappy about the stunt pilots, I could easily hear the sound of the plane as he stood in his living room. There is no question that this would become very annoying if I had to put up with this every few days. Not to mention, it would probably give me a headache after a while.
But, what's the answer? Should the airport restrict stunt planes to certain hours each day? Should there be only certain days for practice? Is there any way to make amends to residents living within a certain distance of the airport? Should the city consider a buyout of personal homes in the area, but no buyouts for people who move or build there in the future?
As for me, I have sympathy for both sides. I recognize the pilots' need to train in their career and I understand the city has a certain degree of pride in having stunt pilots work at the local airport. But there is certainly a lot of sympathy for people whose lives are interrupted or disturbed by the noise. The gentleman I spoke with says that he and his wife cannot keep their grandchildren because the noise keeps them from taking daytime naps.
I feel the city should honestly work with the man and see if there is any way to give him relief from the noise. If both sides are willing to talk in good faith, they might find an answer. Better to find an answer than to have it settled in court.
Speaking of cooperation, I want to say how much the help given to the fish hatchery is appreciated. Many people and places help with the fishing derbies and other events. I sat down the other day and made a list of our supporters. The list reached 25 and I'm sure I forgot some. I would love to mention each one, but would surely miss someone. So please know that each of you, whether your donation is large of small, make all the good things at the hatchery possible. We try to send thanks you cards or an e-mail notes or make a thank you phone call to everyone, but I am sure we miss a few, especially when there's an event with so many thank yous.
Page 2 of 2 - So, just please know that you are appreciated.
Kay Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.