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Wind turbines have impact on aviation  

There have been many concerns raised about the construction of wind turbines in Stephenson County. One serious implication, which cannot be overlooked, is the proximity of the wind towers to Albertus and Dornink Airports. There will be towers which rise up directly at the south end of the Dornink Airport’s runway. These high wind turbines are not static structures.

When the wind is blowing and the blades are rotating, a considerable amount of turbulence is created. With the blade diameter being nearly the size of a football field, this turbulence affects a large area of sky, which is invisible to the eye.

As a pilot, I’m aware that this turbulence can be fatal to an inexperienced pilot flying a small plane or to the pilot of an ultralite. Earlier this year, a friend of mine was killed while flying his ultralite. He encountered a similar type of turbulence which was caused by a helicopter that had flown in the same area a few moments earlier. The airplanes flying out of Dornink Airport are not large aircraft. They don’t always have enough power to climb fast enough to easily clear the nearly 400 foot tall structures.

The aircraft which commonly use Dornink’s airport are small, lightweight, single engine planes used for pleasure and training. With wind towers constructed so close to the Dornink Airport, a grave and unnecessary hazard awaits student pilots.

The EMS helicopters frequently use the Dornink Airport as a transfer location for medical emergencies. Even though the wind towers won’t prohibit the helicopters from landing or taking off, they can alter the flight path. When time is of the essence in such an emergency, why would we allow large obstructions, such as these, to be built so close?

This serious safety issue is just one more in a long list of issues which must be considered before allowing the construction of a wind turbine complex so close to homes, towns, schools and airports.

Rick Giles

Freeport

journalstandard.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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