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Tue, Aug 22, 2006

FAA Opens Skydiving Probe In Oregon

Atty. Says City Owns Land Closed By State DOT

The FAA is investigating complaints by the city of Creswell, OR that two skydiving companies are landing jumpers at the local airport -- even though they've been denied permission to do so.

The city's complaint points to an FAA rule that says deployed parachutes can't be any lower than 2,000 feet above an active airport.

The Eugene Register-Guardian reports this is the latest in a year-long dispute between the city and two skydiving companies operating from the Creswell Airport. At issue: safety and airport liability.

But Wright Brothers Skydiving and Eugene Skydivers say their contracts and past experience gives them the right to continue landing jumpers at the airport. They've also used a parcel of land adjacent to the field.

Complicating the issue is the fact that earlier this year, the city failed to renew its lease for that drop zone. After that, the Oregon Department of Transportation posted "No Trespassing" signs on that land.

Well, attorneys for one of the skydiving companies says it turns out the state doesn't own that land -- Creswell does. In fact, the lawyers say Eugene Skydivers' owner Urban Moore should get the key to the city for discovering the town's lost land.

Moore's lawyers say... if the city is worried about safety, then the FAA should conduct a safety investigation.

The FAA confirms an investigation is now underway... but a spokesman refuses to talk about it while until it is completed, sometime around the middle of next month.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.creswellairport.com/

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