Mountain Musings


Liar, Liar


Supposedly, the FAA’s flight path over Lake Arrowhead was changed, as of Dec. 5, 2019. T’ain’t so, McGee. What’s that you say? “Outrageous!” Why, you took the words right out of my mouth – it is outrageous. How is it that I know this?


Well, here’s my story and I’m sticking to it – I happened to be attending an outdoor event at Lake Arrowhead Resort between 4 and 6 p.m. on Jan. 20, when, what do you know, a procession of half a dozen or more airliners and/or cargo jets came screeching overhead at, oh I guess about one to two thousand feet above the lake. Someone is not telling the truth, and it’s not me, so it must be the FAA, or perhaps it was a series of renegade pilots.


“Liar, liar, pants on fire, your nose is longer than a telephone wire… Make a little effort, try to be true, I’ll be happy, not so blue.” (“Liar, Liar” – The Castaways – 1965)


The controversial route over Lake Arrowhead had previously been over the less populated area over Heap’s Peak, several miles east of Lake Arrowhead. However, the FAA contended that the Heap’s Peak route was deemed unsafe for the airliners and cargo jets, for whatever reason. Thus, the FAA implemented the new route over the Lake Arrowhead communities back in April 2017, resulting in a series of community meetings at which annoyed and outraged community members sparred with FAA officials.


By the way, the FAA’s decision to return to the supposedly unsafe route over Heap’s Peak as of Dec. 5, 2019, strikes me as a bit curious because, if it wasn’t safe back in 2017, why would it be safe now? “Liar, liar, pants on fire, your nose is longer than a telephone wire…”


Also, by the way, when me and the missus were flying back from Miami back in November, our American Airlines Airbus 321 flew, you guessed it, right over Lake Arrowhead and Crestline at darn near treetop level on our way to LAX. Actually, the planes have been flying over the stately Motley Manor since day one, and that was over 40 years ago. In the summertime, we sit in the hot tub and watch the planes, most of which appear to be headed towards ONT. Every now and then, we see the space station zipping overhead, from west to east, at 17,500 mph, but we don’t mind that so much, since they aren’t at treetop level.


“I’m flyin’ low, I’m in high demand, fly 15 feet off the Rio Grande. I’ll blow the mesquite right up off the sand, seldom seen, especially when I land. I’m a treetop flyer, born survivor. People been asking me, ‘Where’d you learn to fly that way?’ Was over in Vietnam, chasin’ NVA. The government taught me, and they taught me right, stay under the treeline, and you might be alright. I’m a treetop flyer.” (“Treetop Flyer” – Stephen Stills – 1991)


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott