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San Gabriel Valley Digest

Azusa : Aerial Patrol Plan on Hold

August 04, 1988

The Police Department's proposal for an ultra-light aircraft to begin surveillance remains in a holding pattern, pending answers about the city's liability insurance.

Last month, the proposal was held up by Councilman Harry Stemrich's concern about the aircraft's effect on the city's insurance coverage and his desire to have only qualified pilots in the air. Originally, the department's proposal did not require pilots to be licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration. Ultra-light aircraft are not regulated by the FAA and pilots do not have to hold licenses to fly them.

Police Chief Lloyd J. Wood said he has contacted the city's insurance pool and several private insurance companies about the premiums and extent of coverage that could be provided. Wood said he expects to have answers within a week and will probably present the conclusions to the City Council on Aug. 15.

"We worked out everything else," Wood said. "We feel now we've covered every concern that most people have asked and the only thing we haven't resolved is the liability factor."

Because of Stemrich's concerns, Wood said a number of his prospective pilots have agreed to pursue their private pilot licenses.

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