Mystery Aircraft's Practice Routine Is Exhilarating To Watch, But Has Some In Shirley Wishing It Would Occupy The Sky Elsewhere


SHIRLEY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Suffolk County stunt pilot’s practice routine is making some people that live below it uncomfortable.

They say the dips and flips are getting too close to their homes, CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reported Monday.

Andrea Bustamante said in the last few weeks a stunt pilot has been practicing dangerous moves over her neighborhood in Shirley, and it’s making her nervous.

“It is noisy and it does very much concern me,” Bustamante said. “One slight cut of the engine or problem or malfunction with the engine and he could end up in one of our yards.”

A mysterious stunt plane has some Suffolk County residents wishing the pilot would fly elsewhere. (Photo: CBS2)

Her neighbors took a video from their front steps of the stunt plane doing tricks, like flipping and free falling. One mother of three said the kids love to watch, but she worries about what could go wrong.

“It’s awesome to look at, just not over my house,” Jaclyn Hartman said. “He’s going straight up. He’s cutting his engine. He’s nose-diving houses. He’s doing loops. My husband went to school for aviation and I know when he was in flight school, he was told to practice over water.”

That’s where Hartman said she wants the pilot’s practice zone to be — over the ocean.

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People in the community have called Brookhaven Airport to complain, but officials there told CBS2 its considered an “uncontrolled airport” and their job is to advise pilots on takeoffs and landings. But what happens in between is up to the Federal Aviation Administration.

So CBS2’s Duddridge reached put to the FAA. Officials told her they’re still investigating whether or not the pilot was operating within a boundary called an “aerobatic box.” That box is a block of air a certain distance long and wide that a stunt pilot has to stay within for safety reasons.

CBS2 tried to contact the pilot, but wasn’t able to get in touch. The community hopes its protests have been heard and the plane takes to a new section of the sky.