The 180-Degree Turn In Connecticut

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Danbury Airport: Money Forthcoming After Crash...

An accident last week at Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut came on the heels of a recent local dispute about safety -- and money -- at the field. As AVweb reported in December, the local city council has balked at paying its $110,000 share of the $4.5 million the FAA says it will cost to remove trees that pose a danger to pilots. Last Wednesday morning, a 24-year-old flight instructor was seriously hurt when his Piper Warrior apparently suffered engine trouble, crashed and burned while turning back toward the airport shortly after takeoff. By the end of the week, the mayor of Danbury had told AOPA that he would make sure the city pays its share to keep the airport safe. The FAA said that unless the trees were removed, the landing threshold on the field's longest runway would have to be displaced by 1,000 feet, which would leave only 3,500 feet of asphalt available for landing. That change also could affect all five instrument approaches into the airport, AOPA said. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton told AOPA last week he wants to protect and maintain the airport, and increase its profitability. The FAA said it won't contribute to any maintenance and repair costs at the airport until the trees are removed, according to the News-Times. The Warrior reportedly hit trees on its way down, but it was not clear if the trees were in an area that would be affected by the FAA plan.