Sunday, April 04, 2004

The tale of the Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise County

The Richmond paper has this wild account ("On the trail of Lonesome Pine Airport," 4/4/04) reporting that "state and federal aviation officials have been at odds with Lonesome Pine Airport over long-standing practices giving nearby landowners special access to the mile-long runway."

The article begins:

"Terry Page will never forget the first time he flew into Lonesome Pine Airport.

'When we landed on the runway, a car was coming very fast down a taxiway toward us,' said Page, a Federal Aviation Administration official who works with Virginia airports.

'He did not appear to see the airplane,' Page said of the approaching motorist.

The plane's pilot started to veer off the runway onto a grass siding.

At the last minute, 'The car slammed on the brakes and stopped before he got to the runway,' Page said."

The article quotes Emmitt Yeary from Abingdon: "Emmitt F. Yeary, an Abingdon lawyer who represents Southwest Virginia on the board, called Lonesome Pine an example of 'insider giveaway of public property by public officials.'"

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