Near Collision
Date: Monday, April 12, 2010 @ 12:53:08 EST
Topic: Lantana

Palm Beach Radar data highlights safety issues at Lantana Airport

Above radar snapshot shows two aircraft training at Lantana Airport that came within seconds of a potential collision on April 3rd


With periods of time when Lantana Airport has two and a half times the flight traffic as PBI and with no form of control... it's no wonder there are huge safety issues at Lantana Airport as the incident above shows. But this is not a unique incident... there are so many safety incidents occuring almost daily, that it's impossible to archive all of them. Pick any day and hour and its a certainty that something will pop up somehwere.

And that "somewhere" might even be Rainbow Lakes in Boynton Beach April 3rd at 9:40 AM where Palm Beach helicopter N215WW dropped down to 361 feet MSL which means he was lower than that over the ground. This pilot became a nuisance and disturbance as he circled around a residential community at low altitude... where he wasn't supposed to be. But more importantly, it was the safety risk of operating what is known as "a flying brick" (helicopter) at an altitude that if he had engine failure would have sent him into someones condo. That's why he wasn't supposed to be there. But this happens pretty much every day.

On another occasion it might be an aircraft buzzing the Key Lime House in Lantana at tree top level... at night. He left Lantana Airport and buzzed down the intracoastal at 39 feet before oozing up over the Key Lime House.

Or it might be an old noisy twin Beechcraft whoses pilot loves to buzz houses on High Ridge Road during departure and so flies at a minium altitude while he enjoys waking everyone up at 7:45 AM on a Saturday morning. Again at that altitude over populated areas, he is incurring a huge risk to the public below.

And it's just a statistical reality that with ever increasing operations, the public is put further and further at risk as this incident shows where a student makes the wrong decision, flies against the flow of traffic in the pattern and comes within seconds of meeting head on with another aircraft over a populated area. And this is by no means an isolated incident either.

Without any regulation or monitoring with consequences, many pilots have become reckless, inconsiderate and recalcitrant… even to the point of demonstrating “road rage from the air” all caught on LWM cameras over the past four months.

This may explain why the County specifically designed special flight procedures known as NOISE ABATEMENT PROCEDURES to protect the public from these safety issues. They formally requested the tenant and his training schools as well as all instructors, students and helicopter pilots using Lantana Airport to KEEP ALL PATTERN ROUTES OVER AIRPORT – OPERATE AWAY FROM POPULATED AREAS.

The County anticipated this would protect the communities from further harm from these school operations and they counted on a ‘good faith effort’ from the tenant and his schools, instructors, students and pilots to comply… but they never have, not in FIVE YEARS NOW and the Palm Beach Radar traces confirm that.


This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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