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Crash May Lead to Move for Fewer Fullerton Flights

October 18, 1987|DOUG BROWN | Times Staff Writer

The crash of a single-engine plane in Buena Park on Saturday may lead to new efforts to decrease the number of flights at Fullerton Municipal Airport--the plane's starting point--said Roy Koeayashi, chairman of a citizens group.

"The crash will bring some apprehension to people in the neighborhood, and I think there will be more people involved in the movement to change things at the airport," said Koeayashi, chairman of the Community Airport Watch Committee.

Koeayashi said the Watch Committee is not seeking to close the airport but wants to decrease the number of flights in and out of the facility. It also wants planes to be required to fly higher and make less noise during takeoffs and landings.

"We're upset about low, noisy flights," Koeayashi said. "We encourage people to call the airport and complain about planes that are too low or that make too much noise."

Koeayashi, who lives half a mile from the airport, said the Watch Committee was formed a year ago to oppose a new Fullerton ordinance allowing jets to land at the city-operated airport.

Petition Drive Failed

Last October, the Watch Committee sponsored a referendum drive to overturn the ordinance but did not get enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The ordinance permits jets weighing less than 12,500 pounds and producing less than 75 decibels of noise to use the airport. But Fullerton City Council member Molly McClanahan said Saturday that no jets have used the airport as yet.

McClanahan, who voted in favor of the jet ordinance, said she did not believe that Saturday's plane crash would bring community pressure to close the airport or restrict air traffic there.

"Safety is always an issue," McClanahan said. "The intention is not to close the airport, but to make it fit in with the community."

Saturday's crash brought back eerie memories to Patricia A. Keele of Fullerton. Last November, a single-engine plane crashed in a yard two doors away from Keele's house on Fern Drive. Keele and her neighbors helped the injured pilot and his passenger from the aircraft.

"It was a frightening thing that stays in your mind," said Keele, who lives two miles from the airport and has been active in the Watch Committee. "Planes fly low, and sometimes they sound like their motors are cutting out."

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