Family's Private Air Show Draws Fire
It's OK to show off to your relatives, but when it involves low-level aerobatics in an F-15, it might be best to let others in town know. The impromptu display by the F-15 included at least four low-flying passes, loops and barrel rolls over Geneseo, a town of 6,400 in western Illinois. At the controls was Maj. Whitney Sieben of the Oregon Air National Guard, a Geneseo native. He said he was putting on the show for his grandmother. Sieben pre-arranged the display with his family by e-mail. The fighter pilot's uncle, State Sen. Todd Sieben (R-Geneseo), joined in the fun, as he flew a Grumman Tiger, at times in formation, with the F-15 Eagle. Apparently, the local air traffic control facility and Quad City International Airport controllers were advised of the impending air show, but residents and town officials were kept out of the loop. The result was a swarm of phone calls to the local law enforcement. "People were concerned,'' said Geneseo Police Chief Tom Piotrowski.