In Loudoun County, Virginia, the local pilot's union has filed an official complaint with the court in Leesburg against local Air Traffic Control authorities, citing negligence and failure to properly staff their control tower in rural Purcellville.
"It was a mismanaged decision to keep flights grounded for 48 hours," one pilot remarked, on condition of anonymity. "The decision was made by a temp employee who had no meteorological training whatsoever."
Indeed, sources from within the local Air Traffic Control staff have confirmed that the temporary employee had no training from the FAA or NWS in determining which flights should be grounded and when conditions are 'too windy' for flight.
"It's all spite," was the temp's response. "Conditions are too cold and snowy for flights today so the union is pointing fingers at past decisions to cover their current limitations. This is so much twenty-twenty hindsight on their part. We did the best we could with the information available from the NWS website."
It will be up to the courts to decide whether the decision to ground flights was made to cover up an inadequacy in the airfield's fencing or out of genuine concern for the safety of the aircraft. While the airfield is officially open today, there is no doubt that all flights have been grounded voluntarily by the pilots. When last seen, most of them were headed for the bar to warm up and enjoy some refreshments.
In other news this morning, eight sections of a cow fence were taken out by a car at approximately 6 am this morning on Rte. 690, just a half mile from the airstrip. According to State troopers, the driver 'fell asleep at the wheel' and drifted off the road and through the fence. She is currently hospitalized with a serious gash after several boards were reported to have crashed through her windshield, narrowly missing her head. "She's lucky to be alive," one trooper is reported as saying.
Air Traffic Control has expressed sympathy for the injured driver and for their neighbor's fence, which will cost several thousand dollars to replace. The farm's cows and bulls were still in their sheds and asleep at the time of the accident. The resident canadian geese are maintaining a cautious distance from the crash site. Fencing is not covered by the farm's insurance. Any recovered cost will come from the driver's insurance. Locals have expressed concern in the past that Rte. 690 has a posted speed limit of 50mph, though few have voluntarily reduced how fast they travel on it.
Luckily, the local air strip and air traffic control tower have no road frontage. Damage to the air strip and fencing is generally the result of high winds and deer.