Please be advised that my office represents my client with regard to all of his legal matters. This letter is intended to address your conduct as a pilot out of Pearson Airfield (“Pearson Airfield” or “KVUO”). My client lives in the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood. The purpose of this letter is to inform you that your actions are harming people in the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood and that if your behavior persists, we will not hesitate to take legal action against you or submit a complaint to the FAA.
Behaviors that must cease
An appeal to your better self
We respectfully request that you stop the behaviors described above. We recognize that you are not the only person who is engaging in these behaviors and we have sent identical letters to other pilots whom we have been able to identify who are contributing to this problem. If you observe other pilots contributing to this problem, feel free to give them a copy of this letter. We want to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that your frequent flyovers, circling, and maneuvers are the result of carefree bliss when you are flying. Because the alternative is that you are intentionally targeting the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood in order to amuse yourself at the expense of the people who live there.
Flying is a joy and a privilege. Currently, however, your joy comes at a very high price for the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood. Your experience from the air is very different than my client’s experience from the ground. When you fly over the neighborhood at a low altitude, the sound is deafening and it shakes people’s homes, frightens dogs, terrifies veterans, and disturbs everyone’s peace and quiet. When you and other pilots fly over the neighborhood repeatedly or in quick succession, people are unable to enjoy their own backyards and their own homes. Multiple pilots made midnight flyovers in June. It woke the entire neighborhood up. This is completely unacceptable. People are still in lockdown from COVID-19. They quite literally cannot escape from your frequent flyovers.
Prepared to take legal action if you do not cease and desist
If you and the other pilots fail to collectively correct your behavior, then we will make complaints to the FAA and we will file a private nuisance lawsuit against all of you. Per Washington law a private nuisance is anything “injurious to health or indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to essentially interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of the life and property.”The behaviors we described above are all injurious, offensive to the senses, and an unreasonable interference with my client’s comfortable enjoyment of life and property.
We would also bring a public nuisance claim on behalf of the entire neighborhood. Washington law defines public nuisance as “one which affects equally the rights of an entire community or neighborhood”or “a crime against the order and economy of the state… every act unlawfully done” that shall “annoy, injure or endanger the safety, health, comfort, or repose of any considerable number of persons” or shall “render a considerable number of persons insecure in life or the use of property.” When you circle over the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood at a low altitude, fly over the neighborhood after dark, or make repeated and coordinated flights with other pilots over the neighborhood in the span of a few minutes, you render a “considerable number of persons insecure in life or the use of property.”
We are confident that court would find 1) my client and the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood have the right under Washington law to enjoy their homes and feel safe in their own neighborhoods, 2) you have no legitimate reason for engaging in the behavior described above especially when there is an uncongested area directly to the west of the Northwest Vancouver neighborhood, and 3) your activities have no social utility or benefit such that your nuisance behavior should be tolerated. Any court would look at the videos and documentary evidence we have gathered and agree that you have no legitimate reason for doing any of the listed activities. The entire sky is yours to play with, and you could easily do your maneuvers and loops in the uncongested area directly to the west of Northwest Vancouver.
To be clear, litigation and reporting to the FAA are not my client’s preferred path forward. We prefer that you simply correct your course now that you are fully aware of the extent of this issue. You owe the residents of Vancouver a duty of reasonable care and common courtesy. You also owe it as an ambassador of Pearson Airfield so that it can continue to operate for another century. We hope this letter will serve to assist you in better understanding my client’s position, and we look forward to amicably resolving all the issues described herein.
If you are a citizen of Northwest Vancouver, Washington and have concerns about small plane noise and safety from Pearson Field, join our Facebook Group to get involved.