Mon, May 12, 2008
Pilots Advised To Steer Clear Of X59
ANN REALTIME REPORTING
05.12.08 1520 EDT: Surging brush fires near Florida's
Space Coast are threatening property and aircraft at Valkaria
ANN News-Spy Mike Whaley reports "the brush fires are now on
Valkaria Airport property, and things don't look too good at the
airport at the moment." No one at the airport has been injured,
"but the high winds are blowing the fire into the airport
property," said X59 airport manager Steve
Fueled by dense, dry grasslands and strong winds, the fires are
also threatening a nearby mobile home park. A second fire is
burning to the north, near Daytona Beach.
Arson is suspected as the cause of the 2,300-acre Brevard
Complex fire. Witnesses report seeing someone in a car drop an
unknown object in a field, Palm Bay Police arson investigator
Ernie Dieble told CBS News, then flee from the scene. The flames
started shortly after.
Pilots and owners with aircraft based at X59 are strongly
advised to AVOID the urge to try to get on the airport grounds, in
hopes of saving their planes.
The fires pose a new threat to the small airport's existence.
Aero-News has reported extensively on the ongoing battle between
airport personnel and county officials, regarding stalled approval
of the airport's master plan. That plan was finally approved in
August 2007, but the controversy didn't end there.
In February, a vocal airport opponent was appointed to the
airport commission by Brevard County Commissioner Chuck Nelson
-- a move former Valkaria Airport commissioner Milo Zonka, in
something of an odd portent, compared to "hiring an arsonist as
ANN will continue to follow this developing story.
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