Stop The Noise Movement Spreads

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If last week's news about the harassment suit filed by the Massachusetts group Stop the Noise made your blood run cold, you'd better fire up a heater before you read this. A group that has named itself Stop the Stunts seems to be taking its cue from Stop the Noise. The Mineral Point, Wis., group is complaining about two aerobatic pilots using a legal aerobatic box at the Iowa County Airport. According to an article in the Duluth News Tribune, the box was established in 2003, and the neighbors have been outraged ever since. They have since gotten U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) to represent their pain. Kind has lobbied the FAA successfully for a noise assessment. An FAA spokeswoman tells the newspaper the assessment will consider the impact of the noise on the residents and property, taking the altitude flown and type of aircraft into account.

But the "mission statement" on the Stop the Stunts Web site indicates the group may not really stop with "stunts." "It is our mission," it reads, "to restore peace and quiet to our lands and skies by empowering property owners and by restoring local control over the non-essential, recreational uses of the airspace, which is part of our lands." (Italics added by us.) Non-essential? Recreational? That hits pretty close to home for most general aviation pilots. Steve Cunningham of the General Aviation Legal Defense Fund warned last week that folks from Wisconsin had met with Stop the Noise. The question now could be, "Who's next?"