I’m mellower than ever, but this pissed me off!

That’s right, the older I get, the mellower, less stressed about the small stuff I get. Back in the day, I could get worked into a frenzy about the itty-bitty stuff, get all indignant and hellbent on fixing whatever the injustice was. It didn’t matter how insignificant it might seem to others, to me a slight, an unfairness, an intolerance must be righted. Rarely did my tiny battles provide me, or anybody else a win, but at least I was an object in motion.

But time’s moved on and I’ve learned to turn the other cheek. To chill out, listen, learn, and then finally react.  I acknowledge that we live in a world that’s imperfect while appreciating there’s never been a better time to exist on planet Earth. The road’s been easier for some than others and wealth, upbringing, education, skin-color and social status sling us in the direction of the odds.  But our destinies are not predetermined and, at least in the U.S., our individual life choices are what sets our trajectory for our futures. Daily choices have immense power.

At this point, you may think I’m about to digress into politics and a fervor of injustices, or lack thereof.  I could write about the current color revolution, the daily removal of historic statutes and artwork, of book-burners, free speech under assault, and the destruction of cities. But I’m not going there.

Instead, I suggest everyone be open, willing to learn, and willing to walk in our challenger’s shoes. There is still middle ground to be found and positive changes ahead for us all.  Acknowledge. Understand. Compromise. Progress.

My complaint today is aviation related. It’s the one that really pissed me off and follows the narrative that “I’m more important than you”. The question I’m looking for an answer to is, do residents who purchased property on the glide path to an airport have a voice in the future of that airport?

Additionally, I’m irritated and confused how I could be on anyone’s negative email list about Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, Washington.  Who would send me a hideous, derogatory email about this wonderful, general aviation friendly airport?

In 2018 I landed at Pearson Airport, loved it, appreciated a small unicom field being accessible in the heart of Vancouver and felt right at home. This airport is a piece of American history – the first airplane landing at this far N.W. territory was in 1911. Pearson has a museum full of local and aviation history that cannot be forgotten. It’s time to meet and resolve any misunderstanding about flight patterns and over-flys with local residents and the non-pilot population. It’s time to stand up for rights, benefits to community, and the future of general aviation.

Dear Judy​​,

During this time of protesting using force that is harmful, detrimental and violent when it is wrong to do so, some are victims of airplane abuse. This is a time when all violence is being called out and concern for the quality of care for all is growing world wide.

Would you like to know more about the Pearson Airfield Pilots harassing residents in Vancouver, Washington?

I can connect you with Sam Lanahan who is an expert on this. His email (Lord of the Flies Vancouver, Washington) is copied below.

All the Best,


cell: 206-841-9129

“Lord of the Flies”. June 10, 2020, Vancouver, Washington. Pilots from Pearson Airfield, the local municipal airport, are flying low over neighborhoods and harassing residents. Buzzing small aircraft have singled out one individual for targeted intimidation and consequently a whole neighborhood suffers. As if ripped from the very pages of Golding’s classic Lord of the Flies, in this case the flies are literally fliers. The contemporary version is complete with an ecological disaster, cult leader, and primitive tribal behavior.

Problems began for homeowner Sam Lanahan when he erected an elaborate sunshade over a patio. Little thought was given to how the multi panel sunshade, comprised of muted fall colors, might appear from above. Unfortunately, the shade proved to be an alluring target from above. Referencing it as the “Maple Leaf”, pilots flying small planes started to use the shade as a marker on their approach to the airfield located 3 miles SE from Mr. Lanahan’s home- too far from the airport to be in any normal landing or takeoff path. In fact, it has been used in radio transmissions, “south over Maple Leaf” to establish location. 


When upwards of 50 aircraft a day started to fly directly over his home, at low altitudes, from every direction, Mr. Lanahan knew that the flights of small planes were no longer random and infrequent. He turned to publicly available data sources,  www.flightradar24.com  and www.webtrak.com . Both applications allow the user to observe the flight paths of aircraft. The analysis reveals that the deliberate targeting of  Mr. Lanahan’s home continues to this day. He discovered that the pilots are flying low and loud over his home from every direction, and collaterally affecting the entire neighborhood. In fact, many planes go well out of their way to fly directly over Mr. Lanahan’s home. This information is available at www.citizensforquieterneighborhoods.com .

When Mr. Lanahan began his research, he was keenly interested in the motivations for this harassing behavior. He declares he has never met or knows anyone in the local flying community. However, he quickly realized the pilots themselves were behaving as members of a cult, which would explain the coordinated programmatic activity. Rather than motorcycles or religion, this time it’s a cult of small plane pilots bound in a brotherhood of 8-10 committed members and associates. It is part of our social biological being to belong to groups and pilots are no different. All the other ingredients for a cult are present; foremost, the leader is a veritable fixture about the airport and the enforcer self identifies as facilitator/coordinator in web postings, and young, twenty-something men follow. It is quite astonishing to consider that pilots would organize purposefully to harass someone.

What started as research into harassing planes also revealed that small planes are the last transportation segment to use LEAD in fuel, aka Avgas. Lead is permitted in Avgas because of exemptions based on the operating performance of rotary engines. Small planes spew lead particulates everywhere they fly! That’s right, see www.citizensforhealthycommunities.com ! There are no exceptions. The particulates must land somewhere and that somewhere is in our school yards, streets, rivers and forests. In this time of great economic injustice, society has granted a very small group of pilots special permission to poison us all.

When asked about this situation,  Mr. Lanahan replied, “Pilots must be smart because they have to demonstrate a technical proficiency but that doesn’t prevent them from being dumb.” He went on to explain, “cults need constant short-term stimulus; in “Lord of the Flies” it was the ceremony of the hunt. It is basically a neurochemical response. In this case, the tribe condone harassing behaviors and creates psychological incentives to repeat the behavior, to curry favor and please the cult leader. 

However, the cult is ignoring its own extinction, spewing lead into the environment, harassing people and whole neighborhoods with their loud engines and antics for short term neurochemical rewards. The looming extinction is the I-5 bridge replacement. The increased height of the approaches to the new bridge will reduce the necessary clearances for small planes to safely takeoff and land from Pearson Field.  There is a high probability that local authorities will vote to close the airport because of the inherent danger presented by amateur pilots flying low over the freeway. The I-5 is perpendicular to and approximately 200 yards from the end of the runway. At a time when pilots should be forming alliances with the community, they are alienating whole neighborhoods with their toxic behavior- literally.  Basically, pilots are forcing the community into opposing camps with many citizens now calling for the closure of Pearson Airfield.  Pilots need the support of the community if they want to keep the airport open, but pilots are pursuing a strategy of making an enemy of the good citizens of Vancouver, Wa. The short-term approach is dumb.”

We know where the children are. How can we forget the main character in ‘Lord of the Flies,’ Piggy, in distress, asking, “Where are the adults?” 

Comments welcome.




  • Bill Simpson
    Posted at 06:50h, 25 June Reply

    This guy creates a prominent landmark near an airport and is surprised that folks use it? Yes, someone needs to take him for a ride to see his creation from the air… Why that did not happen right away is a mystery.

    And then another guy slanders a whole sub-population that just uses the fuel that the federal government has abdicated on figuring out a replacement for? arggh.

  • Kelly Jeffries
    Posted at 13:44h, 21 June Reply

    The pilots aren’t targeting this disgruntled person, they are using a landmark he created. There is a way to work together. Tell the pilots not to fly over the disgruntled person, invite him flying, educate the surrounding neighborhood. Pilots have to be ambassadors of aviation and sometimes must make concessions. Would you rather have another airport close? No. Work to make it work.

  • Becky Breckenridge
    Posted at 12:06h, 21 June Reply

    I was alerted to this article as I am soon to be president of Oregon Pilots Association, and this airport being local. The tone of this article is just nasty. From my understanding this guy’s place isn’t even in the glide path. I thought about posting it on OPA’s Facebook group and open for comments but I didn’t want to give the author a bigger platform than he already has.

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