One of Mi-Hile Skydiving’s Twin Otter skydiving planes.
The “Making It Work” series highlighted local residents who make our community work, presumably in a behind-the-scenes public-service type role. I enjoyed the article about lunch lady Sandy Lenhardt, which was well deserved.
In contrast, the article featuring Mile-Hi Skydiving pilot Clayton Schultz wasn’t really about Schultz at all. Instead, it was shameful propaganda aimed at glorifying Mile-Hi Skydiving. The Mile-Hi Skydiving jump ships were highlighted, in particular the Twin Otter, which generates hundreds of noise complaints each year. Nevertheless, Schultz loves “being at a job where people are really having fun and enjoying it.” And he wants us to know that he and the others at Mile-Hi are thinking of us folks on the ground too. Indeed.
Back in 2011, Clayton and I attended a meeting with Frank Casares, owner of Mile-Hi Skydiving. I spoke on behalf of the Citizens for Quiet Skies group and explained our concerns about the incessant noise from the jump planes. The noise affects areas of Longmont and rural north Boulder County. Frank was not interested one bit in making any changes to reduce the noise impact to the community. As a result of our ongoing noise complaints, Mile-Hi Skydiving mailed us “I love airplane noise” bumper stickers.
Mile-Hi Skydiving will soon be ramping up and operating more than 12 hours a day with several aircraft, including not one but two Twin Otters. And they have plans for a significant expansion.
After exhausting other options, we are now pursuing legal action to gain relief from the noise. With your help we can prevail. If the noise bothers you, please consider making a generous donation to our legal fund. Checks can be mailed to:
The noise from Mile-Hi Skydiving jump planes does not bother Ricky Lee Landrum one bit (Open Forum, Oct. 4). Mr. Landrum states that he lives near the airport and is a frequent golfer who plays at Twin Peaks Golf Course.
First, it’s curious that he is just now responding to my letter from three months ago. Second, Mr. Landrum fails to mention that he is an avid skydiver, as shown in his bio on the OpenStage Theatre and Company website.
The Mile-Hi jump planes operate for up to 12 hours or more a day, including every Saturday and Sunday. They climb aggressively over our homes and circle constantly over north Boulder County. It may not bother folks who are hard of hearing or who spend their days inside an air-conditioned home with the TV blaring. But for those who prefer to live with the windows open, or who spend a lot of time outdoors, the ubiquitous drone is quite irritating.
In 2007, Mile-Hi Skydiving executed a new Specialty Based Operator airport lease agreement with the city. According to the lease terms, South Parcel 11SD, which covers 180,723 square feet, will accommodate a greatly expanded skydiving center. This 20-year lease is currently inactive and will become effective when Mile-Hi breaks ground on construction of the new facility.
It is important to understand that Mile-Hi Skydiving aims to be one of the biggest skydiving centers in the country. Currently, it operates several jump planes concurrently, including two very noisy de Havilland Twin Otters. When Mile-Hi expands, presumably after the economy recovers just a bit more, we can all look forward to hearing several more jump planes operating concurrently. This news should be alarming to anyone who cares about their quality of life and property values.
This weekend Mile-Hi Skydiving will be aiming to set a Colorado State record for a formation skydive linking 70+ skydivers together in the air at one time. Instead of the usual 3 aircraft in operation, they will be using 5.
I’m sure that Mile-Hi Skydiving and the participating skydivers feel that they are striving for a laudable and daring stunt. But for thousands of Boulder County residents who live in Longmont, Niwot, Gunbarrel and beyond, it promises to be another weekend filled with obnoxious, tormenting airplane noise. Sure, I realize that some folks may actually “like” the reverberating sound of the Mile-Hi Twin Otter – just like some people like the sound of incessantly barking dogs and leaf blowers. But for most of us, enjoying the great outdoors on the weekend in relative peace and quiet is a simple pleasure that we truly appreciate. For many of us, the rural character of Boulder County enticed us to live here.
So, when you’re outside this weekend, take a moment to listen. That loud plane circling continuously high above is Mile-Hi Skydiving. They do not give a hoot about the noise they are creating nor your quality of life. To learn more about our efforts to address this problem, please contact us at SayNoToSkydiving@yahoo.com.