Suit Launched In Toilet Collision

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A Utah pilot is suing a local environmental group for damages to his airplane after he hit a camouflaged portable toilet on a backcountry air strip placed “on or very near” the landing surface at Hidden Splendor airstrip. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Wayne Grant claims in his suit that he surveyed the clifftop runway to look for obstacles before flying away to set up for landing. He alleges that while he was momentarily out of the immediate area, someone allegedly affiliated with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance put two portapotties “painted in colors than nearly perfectly matched” the terrain in his way. He didn’t see the biffies until the last second and couldn’t swerve to avoid them without going over the cliff.

The airplane’s wing was damaged and had to be repaired on the mountain before it could be flown away. The suit says the environmental group, which was holding an event at the airstrip, should have known better than to put the toilets where an airplane might hit them. “Planes have wings, and require sufficient clear space around the airstrip for those wings in order to land safely,” the newspaper quoted the claim as saying.

Comments (13)

Clearly a shitty outcome to a potentially glorious day.

Posted by: Tom Yarsley | November 15, 2017 7:28 AM    Report this comment

Upon impact, the pilots words were correct..

Posted by: Mark Fraser | November 15, 2017 11:35 AM    Report this comment

At least there was no prop strike. Coz then the sh*t would have truly hit the fan!

Posted by: Dj Molny | November 15, 2017 2:08 PM    Report this comment

Jokes aside, environmentalists have dug holes in runways to discourage pilots from landing (and to punish those who do). I've never heard of anyone being successfully prosecuted for that type of malicious vandalism. From this story it looks like a bad case of 'cluelessness' by the groupies was the problem.

Posted by: John Townsley | November 15, 2017 2:15 PM    Report this comment

I hope the police also add charges of attempted murder or assault. This stupid act could have caused serious injury or death.

Posted by: James Kabrajee | November 15, 2017 2:26 PM    Report this comment

Ironic that a group with such a "clear vision" would be so "short-sighted". Glad there were no fatalities.

Posted by: neil lynch | November 15, 2017 2:41 PM    Report this comment

"The suit says the environmental group, which was holding an event at the airstrip".

It strikes me that this is an example of folks arguing they're saving the "Wilderness" for their own use and resent when others find alternative uses that don't meet the environmentalist "green" definition.

Their usual mode of operation is to tie anything that isn't acceptable up in court litigation for years. Apparently the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance has decided they're justified in actions that at most domestic airports would be classified and should be prosecuted as an act of terrorism.

Posted by: ROGER HAMILTON | November 15, 2017 2:44 PM    Report this comment

Oh, please! Let's not go all bat-sh*t ballistic about the tree huggers. I recently read an article on out-of-the-way off-the-beaten-track airstrips. Do a high pass (pattern altitude), a medium pass (200-300'), and then a lowl and slow pass (10-20' all) looking for obstacles (living and otherwise). I truly believe this is one of those cases that "you won't see what you're not looking for." Glad the pilot wasn't hurt. Once again, only the lawyers make the money.

Posted by: Philip Vardara | November 15, 2017 8:11 PM    Report this comment

What about the poor oriental guy in the crapper - Who Flung Dung ?

Posted by: jerry king | November 16, 2017 5:38 AM    Report this comment

What about the poor oriental guy in the crapper - Who Flung Dung ?

Posted by: jerry king | November 16, 2017 5:40 AM    Report this comment

Ho Le Shit was in the other one.

Posted by: Richard Warner | November 16, 2017 5:36 PM    Report this comment

What about Ho Le Zhit in the other one.

Posted by: Richard Warner | November 16, 2017 5:38 PM    Report this comment

To see the video (can't post a link here) look for "Hidden Splendor Impact in the Husky" on YouTube. It looks expensive. Wing leading edge vs port-a-potty. Yikes.

Posted by: Bruce Boyes | November 21, 2017 3:00 PM    Report this comment

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