Cairo pilot grounded after complaints

Published: May. 1, 2014 at 11:57 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2016 at 10:33 PM EDT
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CAIRO, GA (WALB) - A Cairo pilot has been grounded from practicing his acrobatic maneuvers at the city airport. The decision comes after complaints from people living near the airport but not everyone is complaining.

Bridgette Davis stands outside of her home that is located across the street from the airport and shows where aerobatic pilot Chris Rudd usually does his training. With Rudd's flight privileges suspended at the airport, there is no telling when she will see him perform again.

"Sometimes I will come outside on the patio and sit and watch him do his tricks," said Bridgette Davis. Davis says some of the moves she watches are frightening but it holds her attention. "I heard his engine shut off and he started to dive down, and I got scared I thought he was going to crash."

Rudd is right now preparing for a competition out of town. He says he has been flying at the airport for eight years and this is the first time anyone has complained to the city about the noise and safety concerns.

At a trailer park located next to the airport, several residents told me off camera the noise was not a problem and they were not concerned about Rudd's flying. "I can understand because he does just stay in this general area while the other planes are taking off and leaving, but he's practicing where else is he suppose to practice," Bridgette Davis.

She says some noise is to be expected when you move so close to a functioning airport. Cairo city manager Chris Addleton says while the complaints are taking place in the county the airport belongs to the city, so the city is responsible for finding a solution. He says the situation has not yet been resolved. Davis says she wishes the pilot well in his upcoming competition.

"I'd love to see how he does, I hope he does well," said Davis. Rudd says he has several competitions lined up but with no place to practice as of now preparing is going to be tough.

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