View Full Version : FAA warns Turkey Drop pilots

10th Oct 2011, 20:17
Just when you thought you'd seen everything....

Thanks to the FAA, there might be a little less hooting and hollering at Yellville, Arkansas's annual Turkey Trot celebrations on the long weekend. The FAA confirmed to The Associated Press that it was sending agents to the Ozark community of 1,300 to sanction any pilots who take part in the annual Turkey Drop. The event involves live wild turkeys being dropped from aircraft onto the town square and, contrary to the horror expressed by animal-rights groups, local officials insist the birds are perfectly capable of gliding to a safe landing on the square. The FAA is staying out of that aspect of the controversy and focusing on the FAR that prohibits dropping anything, winged or not, from an airplane that might harm something or someone below. Turkeys, gliding or not, apparently don't make the grade for that approval so the guys in the sunglasses and polo shirts on the town square are there to try to make sure no one is hurt. "Our concern is always with public safety," FAA spokesman Lynn Lunford told the AP. " We could be talking about turkeys or boxes of paper. It doesn't matter. If you throw something out of an aircraft it can cause damage to people or property on the ground." As for the turkeys, the greatest peril unquestionably awaits them after the drop.

In almost 70 years of Turkey Drops (before airplanes were available, the birds were launched from the roof of the town's courthouse) the object has been for those in the square to chase the turkeys down and make a meal out of them. It's not clear whether the absence of the drop part will make much difference to their final fate. Among other Turkey Trot festivities are a beauty pageant and a turkey-calling contest. The event was parodied in a WKRP in Cincinnati episode in which the radio station mistakenly dropped flightless domestic turkeys onto a mall parking lot as a promotion.

10th Oct 2011, 20:53
With troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and US banks in free fall this is THE hot button issue that we should give a rats a**e about.

11th Oct 2011, 05:26
In Oz yonks ago one could partake in a streamer-cutting comp.
Very popular at small aero clubs OCTA.

This involved each competitor to chucking out a dunny roll at
1500ft, let it fully unroll, and then count how many times he
could cut it to bits with the prop. Doing some aeros helped a
lot (to the pissedoffness of the boring straight-and-levellers),
so it was necessary to divide the comp into two categories.

The official lower limit was 500ft AGL, where all shredding of
the dunny roll must cease, but for some obscure reason a lot
of us seemed to've had accidently miss-set altimeters.... :\

Dunno if anyone can do it nowadays anymore with that CASA
mob ruling and regulating against everything enjoyable, but
it used to be a hell of a lot of fun in the Decathlon!

11th Oct 2011, 05:33
We used to be able to that here back in the day, ribbon cutting was what we called it.

We also did balloon busting. Fly along and shove a balloon out of a window and then turn and try to find the damn thing and hit it with the prop supposedly. Usually you never saw the blasted thing again.

I flew a T-34 back then and did pretty good with the ribbon cutting, but with the balloon, hell I think I only saw it once after the guy in the back seat let it go.

Then one year a guy showed up in a Grumman Ag-wagon and put us all of us to shame. He won the spot landing contests as well.

The FAA finally put an end to all of it except the spot landing contests.

11th Oct 2011, 09:16
Anyone else thinking WKRP in regards to the turkeys?

11th Oct 2011, 09:23
It'd be more fun to drop the turkey then try to get it with the prop. ;)

11th Oct 2011, 11:29
At the aeroclub (http://www.rvac.com.au/) (in which I was an instructor for three years) the balloons were released from the ground - fair sized (like three feet across) helium balloons. The competitors would circle the field at 1000' and turn in from the circle to cross the centre in an effort to pop the balloon. I used to circle above them at 2000' and pop the ones they missed (as an instructor, I wasn't allowed to compete!) :ok:

Ribbon cutting, flour bombing (paper bags of flour onto a target), a mini Nav exercise, spot landing and balloon bursting were all part of the yearly competition run throughout the Summer - with a trophy awarded at the end of year formal dinner. :)

I would think it still goes on?

Edit: Yep - here it is! Royal Victorian Aero Club Photo Gallery (http://www.rvac.com.au/club/club-flying-competitions.html)

11th Oct 2011, 12:19
Thread drift...

Before my time, a club around here used to have a "Poker Run" where you had to land at five local airports, collect an envelope containing one playing card from each, then reconvene to see who had the best hand.

There was an entry fee, and the proceeds went to charity.

Da-20 monkey
11th Oct 2011, 12:29
local officials insist the birds are perfectly capable of gliding to a safe landing on the square

A safe landing in a square with turkey- chasing people with pitchforks. :ooh:

Buster Hyman
11th Oct 2011, 14:04