Concern Grows After Plane Crash Close to Loop 250

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND--Just across the Loop from Midland Airpark sits Saddle Club South.   Some residents there are especially concerned since Thursday's crash isn't the first in that area.   Some residents NewsWest 9 spoke to hope it doesn't take something more serious, to make some changes.

"If anything were to die or give out on the plane, all these houses right here, would be right where it would land on them," Resident Anne Evans, said.

Evans has lived on Lancashire Road for the last 10 years.   She's says in that time, the air traffic has steadily gotten out of hand. During the 10 minutes, NewsWest 9 spoke with her, we saw at least three planes fly over head.

"Our neighborhood has been concerned for the last few years because the planes seem to be getting bigger, that are coming over and they're very low.  When you watch these planes come over, some of them are so low you can actually see the pilots," Evans added.

Thursday's crash site is right next to where another plane went down in November of 2007.
Director of Airports, Marv Esterly says he can appreciate the worries, but assures everyone there's no cause for concern, "I guess it's concerning that you would rather it not be as close as it is.  The F.A.A., through Texas Department of Transportation Aviation, inspects that airport every year and gives it a clean bill of health as a safe airport."

Others in Saddle Club South, don't even seem worried at all.   According to 23 year resident Dudley Sumner, "Even with the plane crashes that have taken place on the Loop and the ones down from the Loop and in the neighborhoods, we have not worried about it here."

4 year resident Jere Woolard had this to say, "I think it's one of the things you have to evaluate as a homeowner.  Do you want to live close to an airport and does it threaten you?  It doesn't us."

But there's more.  Evans says some of the planes are larger than she thinks are allowed at the airpark, "Sometime these planes will come in and land as early as 6:30 - 7 o'clock in the morning.  And they sometimes land as late as 11 o'clock at night.  When they're loud, like those, they literally shake the house."

Esterly says, all traffic in and out of Midland Airpark is closely monitored and thus far, there have been no violations the F.A.A. would need to worry about.

Evans hopes it doesn't take something serious to make them change their mind, "It's dangerous, I think, to have an airport like that in the middle of town. I hope it's not crashing into a house."

Marv Esterly says, when you look at the master plan for Midland Airpark, made in the 1980's, the number of planes projected to use the it, is almost double what is actually there now.