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East Hampton Restricts Pilots From Special Treatment During Inclement Weather

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On Long Island, the East Hampton Airport Air Traffic Control Tower will ban helicopter and seaplane pilots from requesting special treatment in weather with poor visibility.

The practice is known as Special VFR and allows pilots to fly in bad weather if special permission is requested before arriving or leaving the airport — a standard procedure when the weather is overcast.

Jeff Bragman is the East Hampton Town Councilman. He said the town prohibited this practice to take target pilots who fly to and from the East Hampton Airport in an unsafe manner.

A pilot’s license was temporarily suspended last month after flying very low over homes. The community has complained for years about loud aircraft traffic coming from the airport.

The East Hampton Town Board and the town airport manager have also been against these flights at very low altitudes.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.