• Detectives search for person threatening to shoot at planes taking off from Pierce County airfield

    By: Kevin McCarty

    Updated:

     Someone is threatening to shoot at airplanes taking off and landing from Pierce County’s Thun Field, angry about noise from the airplanes.

    The threats came in letters sent to Pierce County in late September. Someone living near the southern end of the Thun field threatened to shoot aircraft flying near 224th Street and Meridian East. 

    That worries Spanaflight Aviation owner Doug Miller.

    “Unfortunately for the practice areas that we use, 224th is in the direct line of flight,” said Miller.

    According to a notice sent to pilots on Wednesday, “the individual made emphasized threats for all aircraft and especially an aircraft described as "the red single engine plane,” and that “the individual is highly agitated by noise emanating from aircraft overhead.”

    Pierce County sheriff's detectives are trying to track down whoever wrote the letters.

    “We’ve gone through and looked at any past complaints trying to match them with people,” Pierce County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Detective Ed Troyer. “But nobody has acted on the threats, that’s the good news.”

    Thun Field was first built as a grass strip in the 1940’s and developed into a larger airport noncommercial aviation in the 1950s and 1960s when South Hill was largely rural and sparsely populated. New housing developments have sprung up around Thun Field over the years. Miller said as more people have moved in nearby, complaints about noise at the airport have gone up.

    “We try to be as good a neighbor as we can,” said Miller. “Especially to the surrounding community because that’s really where we get our business.”
     


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