by Sam Dehné
After years of warnings about the potential of a disaster, on 12 Sept, 1997, a 6 passenger private airplane crashed into a school yard in Reno, Nevada.
The Reno Airport Authority and its staff have been advised over... and over... and over... that planes fly at dangerously low altitudes (sometimes as low as 300 feet) over schools (this school in particular) and homes in the vicinity of the airport.
The warnings have fallen on deaf uncaring ears; even while other near-disasters have been covered up by Airport honchos. Airplanes are often prompted to divert away from the normal flight path in order to accommodate airliners anxious to take off and not miss schedule.
This accident occurred when a plane skimmed just inches over the heads of hundreds of innocent school children and plummeted into the Pine Middle School playground tennis courts at 1:52 PM on 12 Sept.
God was obviously performing one of Her miracles... nobody was killed on the ground and the passengers were taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
Ironically, just the day before, the Airport "trustees" voted unanimously to initiate a huge ill-conceived airport expansion and double the size of the Air Guard base. This ill-advised cancerous airport expansion would mean hundreds of additional dangerous flights at the already over-crowded airport.
If built, the Air Guard base would be located less than 1/2 mile from this school... and would be a magnet attracting hundreds of additional military flights to the already over-crowded airport.
The landgrab and expansion were challenged and opposed by sane citizens. But their pleadings fell on those deaf ears... again.
And where have Reno's "leaders" been? They have been too busy nest-feathering and worrying about the railroad horns to bother themselves with airport problems. Not one of their appointees to the Airport Board has any airline experience. In fact there is not even one pilot among those appointed Board amateurs... members who "serve at the Reno city council's pleasure."
Thank God for the quick-thinking teachers!
The next time the school kids and citizens might not be so lucky...
It is time to think seriously about the folly of having such a dangerous airport in the middle of downtown Reno.
NBC Movie Raises Questions about the Safety of Reno's Airport
Sam Dehne

After Watching the NBC Sunday Night (1/4/98) Airport Disaster Movie... shouldn't Citizens be nervous about Reno's Airport?
Despite the continuous damage control by Reno Airport staff, the airport might be more dangerous than they want you to believe... Remember that:
1. May 11, 1997 an amateur terrorist was able to crash through TWO security systems and then drive up and down the main runway. Only extra diligence by the single tower operator prevented catastrophe as he hastily ordered airliners to make last-second aborted landings... in the dark.
2. September 12, 1997 a light airplane, with a potential emergency, was directed over, and then crashed into, a school yard filled with kids. Only another miracle prevented a catastrophe.
3. The almost out-of-control increase in airport traffic could be over-taxing the airport system... waiting for a catastrophe.
4. Local Air Traffic personnel charged on NBC TV that equipment is antiquated... but that FAA refuses to provide funds for updating. [editor's note: Reno Airport has plenty of FAA funds to force innocent citizens out of their homes with their landgrab scheme.]
These and a plethora of other airport problems can be found in earlier issues of The Reno Citizen.
One of these days it will be too late for the airport Spin "Doctors" to perform their quackery...
Sam Dehne
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