new place to fly in Springfield, MO

Now that I've lived in my new home in the country for a month I figured
it was time to find a place to fly airplanes. Not being much of a club
joiner, I decided to try out the freshly baled hayfield about 50 yards
down the road. Although the grass is nice and short, unfortunately it
grows in thick clumps about 3 inches apart, which is no good for landing
a 15 sized plane with 2 inch wheels. I was really spoiled by the paved
runway back in Kansas City. I have to admit that I kind of miss it.
The house we're renting here is surrounded by trees, and the owner has
forbidden us to trespass on her cowpasture, hayfield, crop fields, or
the big pond in the back. That came as a big disappointment to me,
especially because I always expect country folks to be more neighborly
than that. She's not really a farmer, she runs a greeting card company
and lives in California. When she heard about the airplanes she was
concerned that I would scare her cows, so she re-emphasized her ban on
trespassing. I doubt that a cow would care about an airplane. We used
to fly ten feet over the deer's heads in KC, and they acted like they
didn't even notice.
About 2 hours after the hayfield experiment I heard the telltale sound
of an airplane engine in the air. I looked out the back window and saw
what looked like a Mustang flying just above the treetops. My boys and
I jumped in the car and drove in that general direction looking for the
source, but the plane had already landed and we never saw the pilot.
Today I heard the noise again and had better luck. As it turns out, the
pilot lives directly behind me and has a nice runway that he mowed in
his back yard. He's just a beginner, but he's doing a pretty good job
with his Hangar 9 Mustang after only about 6 flights. He's a really
decent guy, and he encouraged me to hurry up and finish building my
current project so I can come over and fly it. I couldn't believe my
good luck. I even planted the idea of float planes in his head and
asked him if he knew of any ponds nearby. He said his neighbor has a
nice one. I think I really got him going with the float plane idea,
because he said he would talk to the neighbor about it soon. This could
turn out better than I ever expected. The icing on the cake will be to
wait until my landlady is in town and buzz her cows from his yard.
Reply to
Robert Reynolds
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You won't believe what happened yesterday. The landlady knocked on my door unexpectedly while I was making dinner. I didn't even know she was in town from California. She asked me "are those your planes flying?", referring to the single airplane that I didn't even know was in the air. I stepped outside and heard the engine. I was holding a bag of flour in my hand, which made her question seem even more stupid. When I said no she asked me whose they were, which is a classic control freak question.
I considered playing dumb, but I went ahead and told her it was probably Dave. Then she asked if he had asked for my permission to fly over her property, which sounded even more stupid than her first question. She went on to say that she could hear the engine, and I could hear the engine, and of course everybody else could hear the engine, so it was obviously a nuisance to her cows and the entire community. I have to admit that out of spite I had shot about half a dozen bottle rockets at her cows hours earlier just to prove to myself that they wouldn't care, which they didn't. (I hadn't known she was in town, but she apparently wasn't in the vicinity or I would have heard about it.) When I was a kid we used to throw grapefruit at our cows because they loved to eat them. They didn't care if they got hit. Most of the time they didn't even notice getting hit. I considered telling her that the cows don't even notice the airplanes, but she was already in a tizzy and I probably don't want her to hate me until we're at least halfway through the lease.
Then she interrogated me on where Dave's house is. I had decided to be nice and helpful, so I told her. Dave is the president and owner of two very successful companies so I figured he could handle her. I gave them about 15 minutes to talk, and then when I heard the plane in the air again I went to Dave's house to see what he thought of my landlady. He found the whole encounter amusing. He agreed that she is an absolute control freak.
My wife and I have figured out that she's just like our old neighbor in Kansas City. Her great grandmother used to own lots of land around the old house, then she sold it off to developers, but she still thinks she can tell everybody what to do, even though our house was built in 1925. Similarly, our landlady here in Springfield inherited about 100 acres, so she thinks she can dictate policy to the whole county. If she brings it up again I'm going to suggest that she try to form a neighborhood association with all of the neighbors to control loud noises and inappropriate behavior. Or maybe she could get earplugs for her cows. At any rate, she's not much of a farmer or a landlord.
I told Dave that she lives in California, which she had neglected to mention, even though she told him all about her ban on me and my family setting foot on any of her property outside our yard or flying airplanes on her property. He had already figured that she wouldn't have enough energy to wage a war, but he was glad to hear that she's not local.
I'm pretty sure that none of this makes a bit of difference to anybody but my landlady, but it has made me wonder. Is there anything illegal about flying a model airplane in the airspace over somebody else's property without their permission? Maybe it's OK as long as you observe the restriction of maintaining a 500 foot distance from people. While I was talking to Dave in his driveway somebody flew a Piper Cub over us, and he was flying lower than Dave's model had been. I hope the cows didn't get stressed. I hear a Cessna fly over almost every day, and helicopters are pretty frequent, too. I don't think anybody can do anything about that. Are models any different?
Reply to
Robert Reynolds
On Wed, 10 Oct 2007 14:36:01 -0600, Robert Reynolds wrote in :
The "regulations" from the FAA that govern our hobby are almost totally silent on that point.
I put "regulations" in scare quotes because what we have is an Advisory Circular:
It suggests that flying be done at a "sufficient distance from populated areas." The terms, so far as I know, are not formally defined.
I personally would not fly over land that I did not have permission to fly over. I don't think it is good to rile the neighbors. YMMV.
Reply to
Martin X. Moleski, SJ
I agree, that's generally a good philosophy. This particular neighbor is easily riled, however. I think she's basically pre-riled, just waiting for something to set her off.
Reply to
Robert Reynolds
in :
I do a little flying that brings me to the edge of peoples' yards, usually unintentionally. I fly electrics only; if someone were flying a nitro plane over my property *I'd* be pretty pissed off. I ride motorcycles, but still call idiots with unmuffled Harleys and uncontrolled sport bikes what they are - idiots who ruin things for the rest of us. If asked not to fly somewhere, I'd do just that - not fly there.
Reply to
I don't want to sound belligerent. I generally do the same thing you do. I don't like to bother people, but this is a different situation. Nobody was flying over her land, and we're not bothering her under normal circumstances anyway because she doesn't even live here. Realistically, the only thing that bothers her is that she has neighbors and a tenant. She doesn't want Dave doing anything in his own yard.
I was just curious about the law because she's such a control freak. I wouldn't be surprised if she called the sheriff, but I'll bet nothing will come of it if she ever does.
If the cows complain I'll quit flying.
Reply to
Robert Reynolds

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