“Some question safety at Fly-In” was the headline on page one of The Herald’ Local section on July 10. At best, the reporter’s premise is a stretch and took quite a reach to gather in a variety of airplane accidents over six years and use them to conclude that the Arlington Fly-In, held each July, is unsafe.
It should be pointed out that, as tragic as it was, the fatal accident in 1999 was not a part of the organized activities of the Fly-In. Since that time, more than 60,000 aircraft arrivals and departures have occurred at the Fly-In without serious incident. Using the reporter’s logic, a story might be written producing the headline “Apple Cup safety questioned,” since a number of accidents have occurred, some of them aviation-related, as fans crossed the mountains to attend the games.
Safety is a serious issue for the Arlington Fly-In. The city, airport staff, Arlington Fire and Police Departments, with Fly-In staff and volunteers, work closely to insure this. Arlington stations an Emergency Response Team, fire equipment and police patrols at the airport during the Fly-In. Communication and cooperation is a high priority among them and Fly-In personnel.
The story does a disservice to a whole lot of wonderful people who come together to provide a safe environment where visitors of all ages can enjoy and learn about the wonderful world of flight. It would have been better to capture the delight of Daniel, age 6, who proclaimed during Kid’s Day, “This is the best place I have ever been to!”
Ron Jacobson, President
Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association