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Our Times: Orange County Communities

Irvine

February 10, 2000|Kristiane M. Ridgway, (949) 764-4309

A private plane treated Northwood residents to an unwelcome acrobatic air show Monday evening, fueling the anger of local leaders who are demanding better control of airspace above Irvine.

"This is completely uncontrolled airspace, and a lot of rogue pilots are taking advantage of it," said Irvine resident David Markley, a licensed pilot and an Orange County Airport Commissioner.

Irvine police received several calls from Northwood residents starting at 5:35 p.m. Monday, who said a "small plane was circling and doing loops and rolls," said Lt. Sam Allevato.

The airspace over Northwood homes has gone unregulated since the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station closed in July, and the Federal Aviation Administration denies that any planes are using this airspace. But since the base closed, residents in Irvine and in other south Orange County cities have complained that commercial planes now fly over their homes.

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