To the Editor:
My name is Joseph A. Costa. I am a licensed pilot. I received the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. I have over 4,361 flying hours. I worked for the Steamship Authority for 45 years, the last 25 to 35 years years as a purser. I have flown out of Tradewinds airport for over 50 years and it was never a dog park, it was an airport. I worked for the Land Bank for several years, to mow the field, fix fences, fix hangar doors, an all-around handyman. I had a 1945 Cessna 150 airplane I kept in the hangar. It was nice until the dog people came on the property.
I have had dogs all my life and loved every one of them, but now come the people; some are not so nice. I asked a man if he could not have the dog poop on the taxiway. Well, the next day, there was about 14 or 15 dog poops where I needed to taxi out to the runway. I have wheel pants on my airplane, and if anything gets in the brakes it could make a brake lock up and cause an accident. Where are the State Police? Oak Bluffs Police? I had one chief in Oak Bluffs say, “We don’t want to be bothered with you and the Tradewinds” airport.
The last time I landed on the field, the other pilot said, “Stop!” and in the middle of the runway was a 10-foot steel pole upright in the middle of the runway. Now that could kill someone. Why, you ask? That’s what I would like to know. I had to stop my engine three times because a dog was running to my plane and it could shock/cool the engine. That is NOT good for my engine. Now that they have a fence around the field to keep the dog people out, it will be safer for the planes to land on the airport. That’s what I said, airport. If you look on any map, you will see Tradewinds airport. I also had 83 permits for pilots to land at Tradewinds to play golf, eat, and to go into town. I had tie-downs for the planes also. They stopped coming because of the dogs and people on the runway.
Joseph A. Costa