A fresh look at where an airport is located should be given a great deal of consideration by our federal government.
Surely general aviation airports should be located in unpopulated or sparsely populated areas. Here by Santa Monica Airport (SMO), we now have three acidents spaced about one year apart, with two fatalities to the pilots of two of the aircraft.
1. Santa Monica Patch (Aug. 10, 2012) - - By City News Service and David Carini
2. Santa Monica Patch (Aug. 29, 2011) - - By Kurt Orzeck
At 2:27 p.m. on Aug. 29, a single-engine Cessna 172M flown by a student pilot traveling across the country crashed into a home near 21st and Navy streets during an attempt to land at SMO.
3. Santa Monica Mirror (July 01, 2010) - Plane Crashes After Takeoff Into Penmar Golf Course - By Christopher Rosacker / former editor-in-chief
A small airplane crashed into Penmar Golf Course on the north border of Venice and Santa Monica shortly after 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 1. The course sits just at the end of the runway of Santa Monica Municipal Airport, indicating that the plane crashed immediately after takeoff.
The pilot, 60-year-old Robert Ralsey Davenport of Los Angeles, was the sole occupant of the plane and was killed from injuries sustained in the crash after being treated by Los Angeles Fire Department rescuers, the Los Angeles Coroners office confirmed. The coroner also indicated that Davenport was a student pilot doing "pattern work" flying – which includes touch-and-go landings and takeoffs, among other things
I have attached a sequence of five WebTrak screen captures to show both how WebTrak can be used and how the most recent, Aug. 10, 2012 tragic crash unfolded. You can find the time and elevations on each shot. In the last two you will notice a drop of approximately 1,000 feet in just over a minute.
The airport's neighbors have been fortunate to avoid bodily harm from these three crashes, but what if a private jet were to have an accident into the densely populated surrounding SMO neighborhood? Logic and probability point to a reasonable conclusion that it is only a matter of time until a very tragic scenario unfolds. The FAA and NTSB would then have a lot of explaining to do.
In the meantime jets continue to spew toxic emissions on thousands downwind of
SMO and piston planes continue to cast lead deposits on the dense urban areas
surrounding not just SMO, but all airports. Who is counting the deaths that
have resulted from these toxic chemicals? Who is interested in ascertaining how
human health is affected by SMO and other airport operations? Certainly not
those who have a financial stake.
Just as the economy suffers from protecting the interests of the 1 percent, our local Westside environment, safety and quality-of-life suffers at the service of the 1 percent of jetsetters too.
We, the community, need to continue to insist that this airport be known for what it really is; a private jet port for the rich and famous, a menace to public health, and a menace to public safety!