General Aviation Legal Defense Fund Fights Back

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GA pilots and airplane owners may have gotten a break from the TSA, but there is still danger afoot, warns Steve Cunningham of the General Aviation Legal Defense Fund (GALDF). The GALDF was formed in response to the Massachusetts group Stop the Noise, which has been busy suing pilots who have the audacity to fly over their homes. "I have never seen this in America, never," Cunningham tells AVweb. "We [the GALDF] want to go on the offensive ... we intend to try these people [Stop the Noise] in the court of public opinion." The fund hopes to raise $100,000 to help pay legal expenses for those pilots entangled in the Stop the Noise lawsuit, and spread the word that airplane liberties are just the first rights that may be lost if the lawsuit succeeds. The landowner-filed court action claims that legal GA flights over homes, towns and property are a "nuisance." Landowners are also demanding to be compensated for their alleged inability to use their property. In addition, the plaintiffs want the pilots to purchase tracts of property and limit their flying to those "air corridor" areas only. The suit doesn't allege any violation of Federal Aviation Regulations, and in fact, the FAA has found none. But anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason, and regardless of who's right or wrong, attorneys' fees still add up.