Tower And Airport A Fatal Mix
Local pilots at Fullerton (Calif.) Municipal Airport have complained for years that a 760-foot-tall radio tower just a mile and a half from a runway is a hazard, the Los Angeles Times reported last week. On Dec. 19, a Cessna 182 hit the tower at about 9:45 a.m. and crashed into a warehouse parking lot. Jim and Mary Ghosoph, both 51, died. The orange and white tower, built in 1947, is owned by Clear Channel Communications, and is used to broadcast a local AM radio station. Pilots had long lobbied for strobe lights to be added to the structure, and in 2001, both of Fullerton's airport advisory committees asked the radio station managers to add strobes. The tower is difficult to see even in clear weather due to all the ground clutter in the area, according to local pilots. The current radio-station manager told the Times the tower had all the lighting it was required to have, and he was unaware of any complaints from pilots.