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Australian Man Given OK To Commute To Work In Replica Spitfire

But He Can Only Make One Return Trip Per Day From His Private Airstrip

An Australian man has won the right to commute to work each day in the replica Spitfire that he built over six years, but the local government has placed several restrictions on his flying activities.

Radio Australia reports that the airplane builder is Patrick English, an engineer who operates a business in Cairns in northern Queensland, Australia. By car, his commute from his rural home is about 45 minutes. It's five in the Spitfire.

But the local Mareeba Shire Council had restricted his flights from his private airstrip to 52 per year ... or one a week. Their latest ruling will allow him to fly once per day out and back, every day of the year.

English had asked for up to six operations per day, but despite the fact that he has few close neighbors, the council got over 180 responses to a call for comments on the proposal, 86 percent of which were opposed to his applications. In partially approving his request, he is restricted to flying between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday. He must also follow a predetermined flight path that avoids his neighbors.

Many respondents had asked that the Council prevent all flights from his private airstrip, mostly based on noise. But English argued that his airplane "makes less noise than a Harley Davidson." He said if he flies at higher than 1,000 feet AGL, it is quieter than the commercial jets "flying to Cairns all day long."

(Image from file)

FMI: Original report

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