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Posted: Thursday, May 23, 2019 9:00 am

Editor’s Note: David Caine is the founder of Quiet Skies Lake Arrowhead, an organization intended to make the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) move flight paths away from Lake Arrowhead for various reasons. Caine also provided a document displaying over 8,000 complaints made to the FFA. The document is available for download on the left-hand side of this article, under "related documents."

The most frequent question I hear from people after they identify me is “oh, you’re the Airplane Guy! What’s the skinny on with the flight path? The planes are still flying over us!”

Here’s the skinny: In December, the FAA said they are working on moving the flight path over toward Heaps Peak area, east of Lake Arrowhead, but as of yet we don’t know exactly where. Friends of Lake Arrowhead Mountain Communities (FLAMC) wrote multiple times to the FAA Western Pacific Regional Administrator, Raquel Girvin, asking for confirmation and to include FLAMC in the “community involvement” phase of developing the new flight path. So far, there has been no reply.

Through Peter Muller, at Senator Feinstein’s office, FLAMC was informed that the FAA “are doing preliminary environmental work,” will respond in a couple of weeks, and they confirmed there will be a community involvement process. We are still waiting.

It is absolutely paramount to keep the pressure on the FAA to move flight path EAGLZ2 as promised. The area under consideration is ZIGGY7. Flights over Crestline are using a different pathway entirely and no commitment by the FAA involves Crestline, at least not to our knowledge.

“If Lake Arrowhead wants to be heard among the cacophony of voices complaining about the flight path issues in this nation, Lake Arrowhead needs to be the loudest voice in the room,” said a confidential source within the FAA operation at TRAYCON in Miramar.

Seeking to be that loudest voice, letters were written, petitions signed by over 5,000 people were filed, Quiet Skies joined the nationwide caucus, websites were designed, and FLAMC.org was formed. FLAMC also determined the Ontario Airport complaint system excluded complaints from Lake Arrowhead communities because the FAA only considered a radius of five miles around the airport to be an “airport community.”

Undaunted, Quiet Skies and FLAMC merged to bring about use of the “Airnoise” button and mobile phone filing system to capture transponder information on all inbound aircraft for detailed complaint filing (see www.Airnoise.io to subscribe). Since Sept. 13, 2018, over 8,703 complaints have been filed using the Airnoise system. This is not the number of aircraft flying overhead; it is simply the number of complaints filed due to loud, low-flying, polluting airplanes destroying the peaceful quiet enjoyment of our special getaway and retirement community.

FLAMC uses the gathered data to effectively inform US Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, Congressman Paul Cook and Supervisor Janice Rutherford of the ongoing negative impact and important data mined from Airnoise.

We know complaints indicate the top three offenders in the destruction of our environment and peaceful enjoyment of our homes are United Parcel Service (UPS), Southwest Airlines and Amazon Prime. We know where the flight originated, when it arrived, altitudes, speed, and call signs. We also know that complaints filed involving passenger and cargo carriers flying low and loud are valid complaints. The numbers below refer to complaints filed and the “Above Ground Level (AGL) ” height of each plane passing over the community. We use Rim High School, which is at an elevation of 5,780 feet, as a fixed point of reference.

 

Below 2,000 feet AGL 362 complaints

From 2,000 to 2,500 feet: 2,236 complaints

From 2501 to 3,000 feet: 2,267 Complaints

From 3,001 to 3,500 feet: 2,744complaints

From 3,501 to 4,000 feet: 431 complaints

Above 4,000 feet AGL:623 complaints

 

Complaints revealed the 6,645 were for planes using the EAGLZ2 flight path while only 614 complaints involved JCKIE1, which is the so-called nighttime flight path. Interestingly, 617 flight paths terminated on the ZIGGY7 route which the FAA claimed was “too dangerous to use with modern aircraft.” There were also a small group of flights using other routes into Ontario.

Everyone concerned about the low, loud, polluting aircraft needs to help the community push the FAA along in moving the flight path to the uninhabited area near Heaps Peak. To do that, we need you to call, write and email the FAA and send copies to our legislative leaders. Please include a copy to Matthew Kallis at matthew@kallis.org, or to me at quietskieslkarrowhead@gmail.com.

For more information, visit www.flamc.org.

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