Aviation safety information

September 2011

United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congressional Requesters
Aviation Safety Status of FAA’s Actions to Oversee the Safety of Composite Airplanes

On the basis of expert interviews and a review of literature, GAO identified four key safety-related concerns with the repair and maintenance of composites in commercial airplanes—(1) limited information on the behavior of airplane composite structures, (2) technical issues related to the unique properties of composite materials, (3) standardization of repair materials and techniques, and (4) training and awareness.


Appeal of Judge Crawford’s Ruling on NEPA lawsuit

Date: September 26, 2016


Civil Action No. 5:14-cv-132


Igor Zbitnoff, Eileen Andreoli, Jeffrey Frost, Richard Joseph, Juliet Beth Buck, Ray Gonda, And Stop the F-35 Coalition, Plaintiffs



City of Winooski,            Intervenor Plaintiff




Deborah Lee James, Secretary of the Air Force, Defendant



Notice is hereby given that Igor Zbitnoff, Eileen Andreoli, Jeffrey Frost, Richard Joseph, Juliet Beth Buck, Ray Gonda and Stop the F-35 Coalition, Plaintiffs in the above-named case, hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from the final judgment entered in this action on August 10, 2016.



James A. Dumont, Esq.

Law Office of James A. Dumont, Esq., PC

Bristol VT


Laura Hill-Eubanks, Esq.

Greenfield Legal Services LLC

Northfield VT

This Map Shows Why The F-35 Has Turned Into A Trillion-Dollar Fiasco

By Jeremy Bender, Armin Rosen and Skye Gould
August 20, 2014



Federal Judge Ruling on NEPA Lawsuit

DECISION on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment denying 42 Motion for Summary Judgment or MOTION for Judgment on the Administrative Record on Counts 1-6, 9 and 10; denying 45 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; granting 54 Motion for Summary Judgment

The court has determined that the EIS meets the requirements of NEPA. When it is read in conjunction with the supporting documentation, it is clear that Defendant took a “hard look” at the environmental consequences of the basing decision, including the specific areas about which Plaintiffs complain. It is also clear that the EIS process served its second purpose of generating public interest and examination of the agency’s decision-making process. The record demonstrates that a large number of Vermont residents turned out for meetings or sent in comments about the process. Finally, the court is satisfied that the decision to locate the F-35 at YANG meets the requirements that the agency action not be arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law. The EIS documents the adverse environmental changes that basing the F-35 aircraft at YANG will bring to the surrounding community. These changes received thoughtful and detailed consideration.


F-35 Specifications

Conventional Takeoff and Landing

small wing
full canopy
aerial refueling receptacle dorsal
gun blister on upper port side
no STOVL panel lines or markings


F-16 Information

Under the Alternative Fighter Engine (AFE) program, the USAF decided to adopt an alternative engine for the F-16, splitting engine orders between Pratt & Whitney and General Electric. As originally planned, with each new fiscal year, a new set of engine orders would be issued. Competition between these two companies would, it was hoped, keep prices down, and having a second source would help to ensure a steady supply of engines.


High Court Won’t Hear Vt. Airport Noise Challenge

By Bryan Koenig
November 9, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Courtturned down the chance Monday to weigh in on challenge by landowners to a Vermont high court finding that any local effort to curb U.S. Air Force jet noise at a local airport is barred regardless of whether those mitigation efforts actually impact flight operations.

As is customary, no explanation was given for denying appeal to a group of landowners challenging the Vermont Supreme Court’s refusal to force the city of Burlington, Vermont, to enact noise-mitigation protections against Air Force F-35A jets the Pentagon plans on housing near Burlington International Airport.


Air Force Shirked Duty on F-35 Basing Environmental Process

By Jacob Fischler
December 15, 2015

A Vermont city and a group of citizens asked a federal judge Monday to undo a U.S. Air Force determination to base a fleet of fighter jets at Burlington’s airport, saying the military failed to properly consider the effects of jet noise.

The Air Force shirked its duty under the National Environmental Policy Act to provide a detailed evaluation of direct and indirect effects of basing a fleet of F-35A aircraft at the Burlington International Airport, the city of Winooski and a coalition of local residents said in two separate motions for summary judgment Monday.


F-16’s rough landing damages antenna

Associated Press
April 27, 2005

South Burlington – Last week’s rough landing of a Vermont Air National Guard fighter jet damaged an antenna at Burlington International Airport, making landing more difficult for any pilot arriving at the airfield.

The severed antenna emitted a signal that told pilots where they were in relation to the runway. Without the signal, pilots and air-traffic controllers are using other methods that are older, slower and less precise, airport officials said Monday.


F-16 landing gear collapsed at Burlington International Airport, Vermont

By Lieven Dewitte
April 21, 2005

The F-16 (#83-1159) was resting on its wing after the accident, Vt. Air National Guard Lt. Col. Lloyd Goodrow said. They planned to remove the plane and any debris from the runway Wednesday night.

The pilot, Col. Douglas Fick was not injured. The cause of the accident is yet unknown but most likely, Col. Fick became disoriented due to the heavy rainfall right as he tried to land his F-16. A board of officers will be appointed to investigate the cause.


Bases becoming vulnerable, expert says

By Phillip Swarts
October 19, 2015

American air bases could easily come under attack in future conflicts, and the Air Force must look at ways to better defend them, a military expert told Air Force Times.

Long-range ballistic and cruise missiles developed by other nations are challenging former U.S. notions of security, according to a report written by Alan Vick, a senior political scientist at Rand.

“Air power has been central to joint warfighting concepts, certainly for the U.S., since World War II,” Vick told Air Force Times. “[Airbases have] always been worth attacking and, as the report tried to show, have been attacked.”


Old City Council Content

Stop the F-35 Basing

The Law is on Our Side

Let’s Make History on the 28th!


WHAT:          Burlington City Council Public Hearing and Vote on Prohibiting the   F-35 Basing

WHEN:          Monday, October 28. Come early for the “People  and the Planet Before Planes” rally at 5:15 pm

                            Public hearing begins at 6:00 pm

WHERE:        Burlington City Hall, corner of Church and Main

WHY:            This is one of the most significant local decisions of a generation


On Monday, October 28, the Burlington City Council will vote on a binding resolution (amended and strengthened based on the recent City Attorney’s legal opinion) to bar the basing of the F-35.

See Resolution to Bar Basing Approved by City Attorney

This is our best chance to stop the basing.

A large attendance of people opposed to the F-35 basing from Burlington, Chittenden County, and beyond is essential and will make a difference. We expect a close vote. Bring friends, neighbors, and anyone else you can to stand up for priorities that put people before boondoggle warplanes.

Contact Burlington City Councilors now – Ask the City Council to vote for the resolution to bar the basing and oppose sacrificing over 8,000 residents in airport neighborhoods.

Please go to www.stopthef35.com for more information.


Call Burlington City Councilors to ask them to stop the basing.

Contact Information for Burlington City Councilors

Many members of the City Council have been seriously considering the many harms the basing presents and have  favorably responded to our call to bar the basing. The public’s response has been similar.

The resolution to bar the basing is the best chance for us to stop this disastrous plan.

Call Burlington City Councilors now to ask them to do the right thing and take a stand against sacrificing over 8,000 residents in airport neighborhoods to this plane and to stand against the backwards priorities the F-35 basing supports.

See  Calling Guide for Burlington City Councilors

Government watchdog group wants delay in Vermont F-35 basing decision

An independent government watchdog group in Washington D.C. has asked the Air Force to put off a decision to base a squadron of F-35s in Vermont because of ongoing safety concerns regard about the fledgling fighter jet.

“It is irresponsible for you to rush to beddown this immature aircraft in a residential zone,” Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, wrote in a Nov. 6 letter to the acting Air Force secretary and chief of staff. “If you believe there is indeed some urgency, then you should not endanger the local population and should follow past precedent and place the F-35A in a less dangerous location,” Brian said in the letter. One of the group’s founding advisers is Pierre Sprey, a former designer of military aircraft who has made two appearances in Burlington on behalf of foes of the F-35. The Air Force has designated the Vermont Air National Guard facility at Burlington International Airport in South Burlington as the preferred Air Guard site over Guard bases in South Carolina and Florida. A final basing decision by the Air Force is expected shortly.

Brian’s letter said her organization obtained information from an Air Force official indicating the F-35 will have logged only 300,000 hours of training and operational flight time by 2020, when the basing in Vermont would begin. Vermont Air National Guard officials have said they believe the plane will have flown 750,000 hours by 2020. “We strongly urge you to delay selecting a location for the F-35A’s operational beddown until the aircraft has logged a significant number of flying hours and until its safety record has been demonstrated,” Brian wrote.

Full article: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20131125/NEWS02/311250033/Government-watchdog-group-wants-delay-in-Vt-F-35-basing

“Mayor” Weinberger–F-35 Booster and CEO for the military-industrial-real estate complex

“He’s a politician, but he’s grounded in business — and in the end you need an economic base to have a successful community,” says Pomerleau, who contributed at the host level. Pomerleau, whose family has long dominated the Chittenden County real estate scene, backed Weinberger’s Republican opponent, Kurt Wright, in the 2012 election. But he says he’s been impressed by the Democratic mayor’s efforts to boost Burlington International Airport, reimagine the Moran Plant, build the Champlain Parkway and help the Vermont Air National Guard acquire a squadron of F-35 fighter jets.  Last year, Pomerleau flew Weinberger and other Vermont politicians to Florida to hear the jets firsthand. And he helped bankroll a campaign to support Weinberger’s so-called “fiscal stability bond,” which voters approved last November.  “He is the mayor,” Pomerleau says. “I didn’t support him in the beginning, but I’ve come to appreciate his efforts and his challenges. Therefore, when he asked me to contribute for a get-together, it was as much a thank-you for what he’s doing.”

A “Fresh Start”: Sixteen Months Before Election Day, Weinberger Courts Big Burlington Donors
Fair Game

By Paul Heintz [11.20.13] He won’t face the voters again until March 2015, but Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger is already collecting cash for a potential reelection bid. Last Wednesday, roughly 100 supporters packed the Bluebird Tavern for Weinberger’s first campaign fundraiser since he was elected in March 2012. Tickets to the schmooze fest started at $250 per person. Sponsors paid $500. And members of the event’s host committee, which included several top real estate developers with business before the city, ponied up $1000.

Read full article: http://www.7dvt.com/2013fresh-start-sixteen-months-election-day-weinberger-courts-big-burlington-donors

Progressive’s Solution to F-35 Dilemma is Perfect

Absolutely unbelievable!  The business community’s latest scare tactic is to claim that setting “noise and safety standards” for the operation of the Burlington International Airport is “reckless, risky and unnecessary.”  One of government’s primary responsibilities is to protect its citizens.  How can it be reckless, risky and unnecessary to establish basic standards related to noise and safety?

A resolution before the Burlington City Council on Monday evening calls for the creation of standards as follows:  “1) except for grandfathered uses, no commercial or government airplane using the airport shall have noise impacts from its routine use as measured by the federally recognized DNL noise impact  measurement method that significantly exceed present noise levels at the  airport, including any significant expansion of the land area or number of residences within the 65 db or 75 db DNL day-night averages, and 2) no commercial or government airplane that regularly uses the airport  shall have a cumulative fleet accident rate significantly greater than that of the cumulative fleet  accident rate of the government’s F-16 fighter jet as measured by the Class A mishap rate or comparable method.”   The resolution goes on to also call for Burlington to “oppose the basing of F-35 jets at its airport during the first basing round.”

For several months the proponents of bringing the F-35 to BTV have repeatedly stated:  1) Any added noise of the F-35 can be mitigated so that it will be no louder than the F-16.  2) The safety record of the F-35, by the time it arrives at BTV, will as good as the F-16s.  Did they misspeak, all these months?

The idea of skipping the first round of basing-decisions so that considerable more data is available to make a decision is exactly the position taken by the Winooski City Council.  Winooski did not say, no way, never.  It said, we don’t know enough data at this point to make a good decision.  This allows the proponents to spend the time between the first and second basing-decisions to gather the information needed to make a truly informed decision.  Why are they afraid of this deliberate process?  Why are they so ready to be reckless and risky?

This whole process could have been very simple, open and transparent.  For some reason the proponents, including the congressional delegation, have refused to take that route.  Instead they have stonewalled, refused to participate in civil discussion and debate, and generally attempted to basically drive their agenda through regardless of the consequences.  What might an open, transparent and repeatable process have looked like?

The proponents could have agreed that the opponents raised legitimate questions that were worthy of discussion and debate.  They could have agreed to find a compromise that would work for everyone.  Such a plan might have been as simple as the Winooski Plan – bypass the first round of basing-decisions and establish a plan for the second round.  If the plane is as good as the proponents say, if the noise can be mitigated and the safety record documented, it might be suitable for a residentially-sited airport.  But no, the proponents wanted it all now, no wait, our way or the highway.

So here we are.  The schism will last for years.  The battle will continue for decades.  The business community’s (proponents) adoption of the Washingtonian decision-making process is unfortunate and unbecoming of the wonderful men and women who make that community so successful in Vermont.  It could have been different.

Ray Gonda, S. Burlington

Let’s Make History on the 28th! All Out For the City Council Meeting to Stop the F-35

Stop the F-35 Basing

The Law is on Our Side

Let’s Make History on the 28th!


WHAT:          Burlington City Council Public Hearing and Vote on Prohibiting the   F-35 Basing

WHEN:          Monday, October 28. Come early for the “People Before Planes” rally at 5:15. 

                            Public hearing begins at 6:00.

WHERE:        Burlington City Hall, corner of Church and Main

WHY:            This is one of the most significant local decisions of a generation


On Monday, October 28, the Burlington City Council will vote on a binding resolution (amended and strengthened based on the recent City Attorney’s legal opinion) to bar the basing of the F-35.

See Resolution to Bar Basing Approved by City Attorney

This is our best chance to stop the basing.

The Stop the F-35 Coalition will hold a rally for People and the Planet Before Planes at 5:15 pm

The public hearing on the resolution begins at 6:00 pm at Burlington City Hall.

A large attendance of people opposed to the F-35 basing from Burlington, Chittenden County, and beyond is essential and will make a difference. We expect a close vote. Bring friends, neighbors, and anyone else you can to stand up for priorities that put people before boondoggle warplanes.

Contact Burlington City Councilors now Ask the City Council to vote for the resolution to bar the basing and oppose sacrificing over 8,000 residents in airport neighborhoods.

Please go to www.stopthef35.com for more information.

New Tactic To Restrict F-35 Gets City Attorney Approval

After reviewing the language, Blackwood said “I don’t see any legal impediment for them to pass that.”
VPR News
Wed October 23, 2013

New Tactic To Restrict F-35 Gets City Attorney Approval



A new proposal by Progressives on Burlington’s city council could effectively block the F-35, opponents say.

The resolution, crafted by Councilor Vince Brennan with input from F-35 opposition attorney Jim Dumont and City Attorney Eileen Blackwood, calls on Burlington International Airport director Gene Richards to develop noise and safety standards for the airport.

The resolution (seen here with Blackwood’s markups, which Brennan said he had no problems with) says the new standards must establish that “except for grandfathered uses, no commercial or government airplane using the airport shall have noise impacts from its routine use as measured by the federally recognized DNL noise impact measurement method that significantly exceed present noise levels at the airport. Including any significant expansion of the land area or number of residences within the 65 db or 75 db DNL day-night averages.”

Full article:  http://digital.vpr.net/post/new-tactic-restrict-f-35-gets-city-attorney-approval


Former Pentagon Jet Designer Warns of Risks of Basing F-35s at Burlington Airport


Pierre Sprey


Pierre Sprey, a defense analyst and co-designer of some of the military’s toughest and most reliable warplanes, was in Burlington Tuesday warning of the potential dangers of basing the F-35 attack jets at Burlington International Airport.

Sprey charged that it would be both “dangerous” and “irresponsible” for the Air Force to base these new and sophisticated jets in a highly populated area such as South Burlington before they’ve logged enough flight time to work out all the bugs.

Sprey further warned that an F-35 crash in or around Chittenden County would produce dangerous levels of highly toxic gases and fibers, due to the burning of all its plastic components and stealth coating materials. He suggested that such a crash would be “a catastrophe of major proportions” that could “potentially blanket blocks and blocks” of residential neighborhoods in deadly gases for days, likening the effects to a “chemical warfare attack” in Syria.

Sprey also challenged claims by the Vermont Air National Guard that they’d be adequately prepared to deal with such an accident, noting that the video of a catastrophic crash and explosion of a B-2 bomber in 2008 “scared the pee out of every fire chief who looked at it.”

The 76-year-old Sprey speaks from experience. In 1967 he was brought to work at the Pentagon by then-defense secretary Robert McNamara. While there, he helped design the F-16 fighter jet, the A-10 “Warthog” ground attack jet, as well as tanks and anti-tank weapons. He left the Pentagon in 1971 but remained an active consultant on military systems through the late 1970s and has served as a defense analyst ever since.

On Tuesday, Sprey offered a room full of mostly F-35 opponents a blunt assessment of the new jet — and the politics of the generals pushing its development.

When compared to the F-16, Sprey described the F-35 as slower, less maneuverable and more difficult to fly due to its “frightening” cockpit visibility for pilots. Sprey also challenged the plane’s ultimate usefulness to national defense, charging that its long-delayed development — now the most expensive weapons system in U.S. history — is driven more by political reasons than by military ones.

“The truth of the matter is, the engineering in the F-35 is appalling,” Sprey said, adding that the attack jet’s “main mission is to send money to Lockheed [Martin].”

Sprey’s final conclusion of the F-35s’ usefulness: “This is no way to defend a country.”

Of concern to many of the people in attendance — Sprey’s visit was sponsored by opponents of basing the F-35s at BTV — were the conclusions he outlined in a six-page report. Among his chief arguments:

1. All new fighters have high accident rates, he explained, which are higher than mature fighter planes and much higher than scheduled commerical airliners. And, because the F-35s are being produced so slowly — the Air Force is taking delivery on only 19 F-35As per year through 2017 — Sprey predicts the planes will not have more than 100,000 “fleet hours” before they’re pressed into service at BTV.

2. Basing a new fighter with significantly less than 1 million fleet hours of safety experience in an urban area exposes Chittenden County residents to accident probabilities that he calls “irresponsibly high.”

3. Sprey attacked the Vermont Air National Guard’s estimate that the F-35A will have 750,000 cumulative fleet flight hours upon its arrival at BTV. According to his own calculations, he estimates that the F-35A is unlikely to have much more than 100,000 flight hours by 2020, which he called “grossly inadequate for judging its safety.”

4. As a result, Sprey called the elevated accident risk that occurs between 100,000 flight hours and a million flight hours “substantial.”

5. Since the F-35 is a new and far more sophisticated aircraft than either of its predecessors, the F-16 or the F-22, Sprey claims the Air Force cannot accurately gauge its potential accident rate. He notes that the F-22 has two engines, whereas the F-35 has just one. And, because the F-35 flight computer runs five times as many lines of computer code, Sprey says, “One may reasonably anticipate that the accident rate of the F-35 will be significantly higher than the F-22.”

Much of the audience in Contois Auditorium seemed supportive of Sprey’s conclusions. Although two F-16 pilots who serve with the Vermont Air National Guard were in the room to observe, they declined to comment on Sprey’s assessments of the F-35 and said a statement would be issued later Tuesday from VTANG’s public information officer. None had been released as of this posting.

The Rev. Peter Cook, senior pastor at the First Congregational Church in Burlington, who was among the two dozen spectators in the audience, said that one of his chief concerns is that there be a “balanced conversation” on this issue. He complained that each side in the F-35 debate keeps coming in with “wheelbarrows of facts” that “get dumped at the feet of the opposition and then they walk away.” Cook said the lack of engagement between the two sides makes it very adifficult for the average citizen to weigh and interpret those facts and then decide which ones they find valid.

For his part, Sprey said he’s happy to “sit down with a calculator and numbers” with anyone from VTANG or the Air Force who challenges his assessments. Sprey went on to critcize the statistical analyses provided by VTANG in its assessment of the F-35s’ safety risk to the Burlington area, including one claim that the F-16 is safer than commercial airliners.

“That’s so ludicrous I can hardly deal with it,” Sprey said, calling the calculations in VTANG’s spreadsheets “the most childish, kindergarten mistakes in statistics you can imagine. It’s really a sad piece of work.”

Sprey also leveled criticism at those who contend the F-16 is no longer a viable fighter jet. Noting that there are still DC-3s from the 1930s in the air today, he argued that the decision to permanently ground the F-16 “is a political decision, not a technical decision.”

“There’s zero truth to the statement that if you get rid of the F-16s, then the Vermont Air National Guard would be out of business,” he charged, adding that if Sen. Patrick Leahy “put as much effort into keeping the F-16s as he has in getting rid of them, they could fly until 2050.”

Resolution to Bar F-35 Approved by City Attorney–Vote on Oct. 28

After reviewing the language, Blackwood said “I don’t see any legal impediment for them to pass that.”
VPR News
Wed October 23, 2013

New Tactic To Restrict F-35 Gets City Attorney Approval



A new proposal by Progressives on Burlington’s city council could effectively block the F-35, opponents say.

The resolution, crafted by Councilor Vince Brennan with input from F-35 opposition attorney Jim Dumont and City Attorney Eileen Blackwood, calls on Burlington International Airport director Gene Richards to develop noise and safety standards for the airport.

The resolution (seen here with Blackwood’s markups, which Brennan said he had no problems with) says the new standards must establish that “except for grandfathered uses, no commercial or government airplane using the airport shall have noise impacts from its routine use as measured by the federally recognized DNL noise impact measurement method that significantly exceed present noise levels at the airport. Including any significant expansion of the land area or number of residences within the 65 db or 75 db DNL day-night averages.”

In a report last week, City Attorney Eileen Blackwood said the city is bound by agreements that say it cannot form policies that discriminate against any single type of aircraft.

The opposition’s answer was to take aim not at the F-35, but at its attributes. The Air Force has acknowledged that the stealth fighter jet is significantly louder than the F-16s currently operating at the airport. So the resolution doesn’t ban the F-35, but it does ban the sound levels the jet produces.

‘We’re not discriminating,” Brennan said. “That’s the big difference: We’re not discriminating against one particular plane in our resolution. We’re actually looking at the health and safety aspects of all planes now, and I think that’s the big difference from last week to this week.”

Brennan said the new resolution addresses the real problems opponents have had with the F-35 all along – crash rate and noise – even without naming the jet.

“What we’re asking for now is to have any plane that’s coming to the Burlington airport have a [crash] rate that’s comparable to the F-16s when they actually came here,” Brennan said.

Blackwood, Burlington’s city attorney, is staying out of the politics of the F-35 debate. She said her job is to make sure the city is acting within legal boundaries.

“I’m really looking at whether or not their resolution is appropriate from a legal standpoint,” Blackwood said. “In other words, is the city taking some kind of position that it can or can’t take or that has some kind of legal significance that harms the airport? So I don’t know the details about the F-35 and whether it would or it would not be blocked.”

After reviewing the language, Blackwood said “I don’t see any legal impediment for them to pass that.”

Brennan and other opposition figures are sure the standards that would emerge from the resolution would block the jet.

Gene Richards, director of aviation for Burlington International Airport, was hesitant to comment on actions airport administrators would take because the final version of the resolution hasn’t been approved by city council yet. He did say the airport will do “exactly what we’re told” to do by the city council.

Pierre Sprey report–Facts about the safety of F-35 Basing in Burlington


Pierre Sprey is an internationally recognized expert on military aircraft and critic of the F-35. He was in Burlington on October 22, 2013.

                                                                                                Pierre Sprey   

Download full report here:  Pierre Sprey report–Facts about the safety of F-35 Basing in Burlington-1


  1. 1.    All new fighters have high accident rates, much higher than mature fighters and much, much higher than scheduled airliners.
  2. 2.    Basing a new fighter with significantly less than 1 million fleet hours of safety experience in an urban area is likely to expose the residents to accident probabilities that are irresponsibly high.




The F-16 at 100,000 fleet hours had a cumulative major accident rate (i.e., officially termed Class A Mishap Rate) of 17 per 100,000 hours. By 1 million hours (almost exactly the point when F-16s started operating from Burlington) its cumulative rate was down to 7 and the current cumulative rate at 12,000,000 fleet hours is 3.55. (Note that the current F-16 fleet major accident rate, that is, the non-cumulative rate, is actually running about 1.59, as averaged over the last 5 years).


Statistically speaking, there is not much point in looking at the accident rates of fighters with less than 100,000 fleet hours, simply because with such small accident sample sizes, the estimated rates bounce around too much, rendering the estimates too uncertain to be useful.


Thus, with only 4500 cumulative fleet hours for the F-35A (10,000 hours for all three variants), no useful direct estimate of the F-35A accident rate can be projected. Note that only F-35A fleet hours are germane to estimating the accident probabilities for Burlington; the accident experience of the F-35B and C is irrelevant because they only have 20{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} commonality with the F-35A. The fact that, so far, the F-35A has had zero Class A Mishaps is certainly commendable but uninformative. And the zero major accident score is certainly offset by having more early fleet-wide groundings to cure safety problems than any other fighter of the last 50 years.



The Air Force’s EIS agrees that the F-35 accident rate can’t be directly estimated because of the fighter’s newness.  Reasoning by analogy, the USAF does go on to say that the F-35 major accident rate may be similar to that of the F-22 because the size and technology are roughly comparable. This reasoning overlooks two relevant facts, both of which would increase the likely accident rate relative to the F-22. First, the F-35 has only one engine while the F-22 has two. Second, the F-35 flight computer, weapons system, cockpit/helmet display, control system, and cooling system are significantly more complex than the F-22 (for instance, 9 million lines of computer code versus 1.7 million for the F-22).


The F-22 cumulative accident rate, whether germane or not, is now running at about 7.34 major accidents per 100,000 hours with a fleet total of about 130,000 hours. At 16 years since first flight, these fleet total hours are remarkably low (at 16 years after first flight, the F-16 had 4 million hours). The F-35A will have similarly low total hours by 2020 for similar reasons: first, because both airplanes are so complex, they spend so much time in maintenance that they fly less than 12 hours per month; secondly, both are so expensive that the DoD budget can only afford to produce them at a slow rate (20 per year maximum for the F-22 at 11 years after first flight and only19 F-35As per year for the USAF out through at least 2014, with probably no production increase for 3 years longer under sequestration).


From the point of view of Burlington area residents, the real issue is the probability of a major accident in any given year. That, of course, depends on the fighter’s actual accident rate and how often it flies per year.


The current VtANG F-16s fly 2550 sorties per year (same as 5100 flight operations/yr) from Burlington at 1.3 hours per sortie and have a current (not cumulative) major fleetwide accident rate of 1.59 per 100,00 hours over the last 5 years. That yields a .051 probability of at least one major accident per year (Poisson probability calculation)—or roughly 1 accident every 20 years.


Just as an illustrative comparison, a guesstimate for the F-35A accident rate could assign it the same major accident rate as the F-16, since the F-16 is the single engine fighter that is closest in size and performance to the F-35.  When it came to Burlington in early1986 with 1 million hours of worldwide fleet flight time, the F-16 non-cumulative rate was about 7 per 100,000 hours, based on accidents experienced during the next million worldwide flight hours.  Assuming this rate for the F-35A and with the F-35A flying 2250 sorties per year (according to the USAF’s EIS Scenario 1) and about 1.54 hours per sortie (current average), the probability of at least one major accident per year would be .215—or nearly one accident every 4 years.


For scheduled airliners (no smaller than 10 passengers), the official NTSB Major + Serious accident rate (the rough equivalent of the military Class A Mishap) is .1217 accidents per 1 million hours over the last 5 years reported (2007 to 2011), about 132 times less than the F-16 hourly rate. These scheduled airliners flew 5681 flights (landing + departure) out of Burlington in 2012, averaging 1.53 hours per flight. That yields a .0011 probability of a major accident in a year—or roughly 1 accident every 945 years.


There are, of course, large numbers of flights out of Burlington by much smaller airplanes: air taxis (most of them well under 9 seats) flew 8862 flights (landing + takeoff) and private airplanes (most under 4 seats) flew 18522 flights in 2012, according to Sky Vector. These smaller planes need to be considered separately because their major accidents represent far less of an urban area disaster potential than the much larger scheduled airliners or fighters. Just to give a rough indication of accident likelihood for these smaller aircraft, the air taxi accident rate per flying hour is about 8 times that of scheduled airliners, so air taxis would still have a considerably lower major accident probability than F-16 fighters. Small private airplanes, however, have an accident rate about 40 times greater than scheduled airliners and fly 8 times as many flights out of Burlington, so their accident probability would significantly exceed that of the F-16s.




3. The VtANG claims that by 2020 the F-35 fleet will have accumulated 750,000 hours of safety experience and that will be adequate maturity to a) provide a good estimate of the fighter’s accident rate and b) ensure acceptably safe accident probabilities for basing in Burlington. Statistically speaking, 750,000 fleet hours is marginally adequate for purpose a). Purpose b) would be served if and only if the F-35A fleet demonstrated less than 10 Class A Mishaps in the interval between 250,000 and 750,000 hours.  


4. The arithmetic that led to the claim of 750,000 F-35 fleet hours by 2020 is wildly in error. In truth, a decision to base F-35As in Burlington in 2020 would be exposing the Burlington area to a fighter with only about 90,000 to 110,000 fleet hours of safety experience.






Given that current F-16 operations in Burlington are exposing the area to a Class A Mishap risk of about 1 every 20 years, it would be hard to argue that it is acceptable for a new F-35 fighter to significantly increase that risk, say by a factor of 2 or 3 or more—most particularly if that new fighter also adds the risk of a major toxicity disaster to any crash in a residential area (as will be discussed below).  The success of the F-16 basing in Burlington—arriving with 1 million hours of fleet experience and demonstrating steady and satisfying accident rate reductions thereafter—sets a convincing precedent for a conservative approach to the fleet hours needed to estimate and mitigate the risk to area residents. Thus, 750,000 hours of fleet experience is marginally acceptable.


To keep the risk of the new F-35A fighter close to the 1.59 accident rate of the currently flying F-16s means that the new fighter needs to demonstrate less than 2 Class A Mishaps per 100,000 hours during an adequately long period before the date the F-35 is to be based in Burlington. From a statistical viewpoint, a sample of 10 accidents is barely acceptable for forming an adequately accurate estimate of the true accident rate. Thus, to ensure with adequate confidence an accident rate of no more than 2 per 100,000, it is essential to set a threshold of no more than 10 F-35A accidents in the 500,000 hours before the decision date for basing in Burlington.


With regards to correctly estimating the number of F-35 fleet hours accumulated by 2020, the arithmetic is quite simple. Our starting point is the 10,000 hours reported this October 13 by Lockheed for all three variants; the F-35A comprises 42{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the 63 F-35A/B/Cs flying in October and about 45{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the hours or 4500 hours. For those in-service 27 F-35As–plus for every newly produced F-35A delivered thereafter–we calculate that 10 hours per month (present fleet average) gets added to the 4500 hour starting point. The delivery schedule is fixed out to 2017 by the existing LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) contracts. LRIP-5 delivers 22 F-35As (includes export planes) by second quarter 2014, LRIP-6 delivers 23 by second quarter 2015, LRIP-7 delivers 24 by 2Q 2016 and LRIP-8 delivers 21 by 2Q 2017 (these deliveries may well get cut back by the exigencies of sequestration). For our arithmetic, we assume a slight increase to 25 F-35As per year for the following years, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (even this slight increase may not materialize due to continuing budget pressures and large competing programs in USAF procurement plans). The total F-35A fleet hours by second quarter 2020 therefore total 89,460 hours. Should the monthly F-35 hours improve to 12, the 2020 total would be 107,352 hours. Note that only a quarter of the factor of 8 error in the 750,000 hour calculation is due to the VtANG’s mistake of counting all three F-35 variants as providing relevant accident experience.




5.  All largely composite-based  (that is, laminated plastic and carbon fiber cloth) aircraft—whether new generation airliners or fighters—release large volumes of extremely toxic gases and fibers when the flammable plastic burns unextinguishably in a crash. These gases and fibers can blanket an entire neighborhood or can touch down in “hot spots” as far away as 10 to 50 miles, depending on atmospheric conditions.  




There is a large and growing body of research and technical papers on the fire dangers of composite airplanes, authored by engineers, toxicologists, chemists and combustion scientists. Based on both laboratory experiments plus the real world experience of the 2013 Dreamliner fire in London and the disastrous 2008 B-2 crash on Guam (which burned for two days despite massive fire fighting efforts), there is direct evidence of the flammability of composite fuselages and wings, and of the dangerous toxicity of the clouds of resulting combustion products.


The aircraft that pose this new crash danger are the latest generation airliners (Boeing 787 and Airbus A350) and military aircraft (F-22, F-35, B-2 and almost all current drones), all with 30{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} to 60{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} or more of composite structure. Many older planes (F-16, F-18) have small composite parts—wing and tail tips, fairings and housings–comprising 2{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} to 5{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the structure; these planes are not at issue here.


The composite fire problem is simple: the plastic adhesives that glue the carbon fiber cloth layers together (mostly related to epoxies or polyurethanes), unlike aluminum structure, can be ignited at well below the temperature of burning fuel. And once ignited, the inner layers continue to smolder (sometimes for 24 to 48 hours) even after firefighters have extinguished the external fires. Epoxies and polyurethanes and their solvents are high on OSHA’s list of dangerously toxic industrial chemicals, even at room temperature; after burning, the combustion products of these same chemicals can become significantly more toxic and corrosive to the lungs and other organs, as well as more carcinogenic. A further risk comes from the clouds of tiny carbon fibers, breathable like asbestosis fibers and laden with adsorbed toxic combustion products.


Viewing a video of any crashed airliner or military aircraft burning immediately establishes that there are towering clouds of smoke from the burning fuel that can easily blanket dozens or even hundreds of blocks of residential neighborhoods—particularly in still weather or, even worse, during an inversion. Then consider the effect of mixing in the toxic fumes of 12,300 pounds of burnt F-35 plastic composites (42{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67} of the 29,300 pound empty weight of the F-35 is composites). Just the prompt evacuation problem for residents downwind of such a crash is a nightmare, not to mention the subsequent disastrous load on local medical facilities.


Less obvious is the problem of  “hot spots”; these are touchdowns of the crash site’s smoke plume that create locally toxic concentrations many, many miles downwind. Such hot spots have been widely observed in situations as diverse as toxic releases from incinerators or smelters, radioactive plumes from Fukushima and toxic smoke from the Twin Towers of 9/11.


At this early point in the history of composite aircraft crashes, the health consequences for people exposed to these toxic gases and fibers are, needless to say, poorly understood or quantified. But the OSHA and toxicological literature do establish some rough safety thresholds for some of the toxins involved, with respect to effects such as pulmonary tissue damage, neurotoxicity and cognitive dysfunction, liver damage, asthmatic crises, kidney damage and/or carcinogenicity.




6. All stealth coatings are highly toxic during manufacture and even more so when they burn, much more so than the already dangerous toxicity of standard composite fires.





There is a long history, dating back to before 1988, of stealth production line workers sickened and sometimes permanently disabled after breathing the toxic fumes of assembly line stealth materials. Some of this history is documented in dozens of lawsuits brought by afflicted workers, most of them unsuccessful because the defendant companies and government agencies invoked national security classification to withhold evidence. The 1980s open pit burning of failed F-117 stealth coating panels at the then-secret Area 51 airbase in Nevada killed two of the pit workers and permanently disabled at least five more who were working at the pits or downwind. This turned into a high profile lawsuit that won a favorable federal court ruling, ultimately blocked by a secrecy directive issued by President Clinton.


After the disastrous F-117 experience, the USAF started taking somewhat more responsible health precautions for mechanics repairing B-2 and, subsequently, F-22 coatings. Stealth aircraft manufacturers, however, varied greatly in taking responsible precautions. According to whistleblowers working there, Lockheed was notably irresponsible in exposing F-22 workers, engineers and even office workers to alarmingly toxic fumes from stealth constituents.   As is to be expected, the exact toxic constituents are kept secret by high classification levels. However, it is known that di-isocyanates  and mercury at particularly dangerous levels were involved in the F-22 stealth coatings. Di-isocyanates are one of the most important OSHA listed toxins in the plastics and fiberglass industries, with known long term pulmonary, asthmatic and neurotoxic/cognitive function effects at concentrations so minute that their usually acrid odor can’t even be detected. The F-35 uses yet another generation of stealth coatings, different than the F-22 but known to be very toxic—even though, once again, the constituents are classified.


The classification/secrecy problem, in itself, considerably increases the already seriously elevated risks and health consequences of a crash involving the F-35’s stealth coatings. Doctors treating people exposed to known toxins from an unclassified aircraft crash can focus on therapies for specific chemical pathways, particularly as toxicological and medical research in this area continues to make progress. But when a classified aircraft crashes, the doctor is denied knowledge of the toxins released and thus can only treat victims with generic, all-purpose therapies.

October 28th Call to Action–Burlington Should Vote to Bar the F-35 Basing

Dear Fellow F-35 Opponents,

The urgent and growing struggle against the F-35 warplane basing in Vermont comes to a head on Monday, October 28th.  On this date the Burlington City Council will vote on a resolution to use its authority as owner of the Burlington Airport to bar the basing of the F-35. The decision is of local and national importance.

The F-35 will have a devastating impact on the lives of over 8,000 working class and modest income residents surrounding the airport whose homes will be designated “not suitable for residential use” due to the extreme noise. Other harms include health, cognitive development of children, crash risk, declining home values, and the dignity of thousands sacrificed for the benefit of commercial interests cheerleading the basing.

The priorities the F-35 warplane represents for our state, nationally, and for the planet are completely backwards.  The projected cost is $1.5 trillion, the largest military boondoggle in history.  With more austerity on the agenda from Washington, the F-35 is an obscene priority given the $1 trillion in student debt, the critical need for resources put to the task of addressing climate change, and the many more jobs that could be created with that same wasted money if spent on clean energy, health care, and education. The militarization of Vermont does not contribute to any of our progressive goals.

The movement to stop the F-35 basing needs your help. The involvement of thousands of ordinary people committed to equality, social justice, peace, workers rights, environmental and climate justice, and democracy have been the life-blood of our struggle.

We ask for your help now to protect our community from the harms of the basing—and to stand for people and the planet over unneeded warplanes.

We NEED a big turn out for the City Council meeting on Monday, October 28th. We know the F-35 boosters will do their best to turn out in force. Whether you live in Burlington, in other airport communities, or elsewhere, come tell the Council to bar the basing.

Here is the schedule for the 28th

5:15 pm: Rally for People before Planes

6:00 pm: Public Hearing and Council Meeting

Where: Burlington City Hall corner of Main and Church


We expect a close vote. You can make a difference

Before the 28th, you can call Burlington City Councilors to ask them to support barring the basing—click here for calling guide.

Please go to StoptheF35.com for more information on the F-35 basing and the resolutions.

We hope to see you on the 28th!

In Solidarity,


Stop the F-35 Coalition



Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 11.10.38 PM


See video:  http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/VideoNetwork/2728206744001/F-35-opponents-rally-at-Burlington-City-Hall&odyssey=mod{33979494efa9b9c28f844b5c37a1ddedf4bb90a2eb3dac7a83ede58b7eac2e67}7Cvideo

F-35 is destroying jobs

Ask a Keynesian: With U.S. Borrowing Capped, Won’t More Pentagon Spending Destroy Jobs?

Robert Naiman, Huffington Post

I claim that the following is a basic economic fact, which all Keynesian economists should readily acknowledge: in the current federal budget political context, in which federal borrowing is capped under the Budget Control Act, and repealing the BCA’s borrowing cap is not under serious consideration; and in which increased taxes on the super-rich, like a Wall Street speculation tax, are not considered politically viable in Washington, unnecessary Pentagon spending destroys American jobs.

Before explaining why we know this fact to be the case, let’s consider two related reasons why this fact matters a great deal right now: the Burlington F-35 basing fight and the apparent return of the proposed federal budget “Grand Bargain.”

In Burlington, Vermont, the city council, which owns Burlington International Airport, is considering a resolution to ban the basing of the noisy, dangerous, problem-plagued F-35 warplane at the city-owned airport.

Read rest of article at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/ask-a-keynesian-with-us-b_b_4059484.html?utm_hp_ref=tw


I have to say, I have grown weary of being on the other end of the “that jet noise is the sound of freedom” argument every time I express my concern over the basing of the F-35 here in Burlington.
It is not the sound of freedom. Freedom is a concept, an intellectual construct, and it has no sound. Saying that it is the sound of freedom is a way to make dissenters like myself look unpatriotic and as if we do not care about those who choose to serve in our armed forces. I love the United States and I have the highest respect for those who choose to put themselves on the firing line. I also don’t want the F-35 roaring over my community with any regularity.
The F-35 is louder than the F-16. The Air Force does not dispute this fact. This is from an article on VT Digger:
“The Green Ribbons postcards [in favor of basing the F-35 here] state that the F-35 will create noise levels similar to the current F-16, that there will be 2,613 fewer operations per year, and there will be no health effects on citizens.
The Air Force responded that while this comment will be noted in the decision-making process, the content is proven false by the EIS. The Air Force’s response states that the F-35s are projected to create more noise than the F-16s, and that there would be fewer operations only if 18 F-35 jets were based in Burlington.”
Anyone who says that the F-16’s don’t fly everyday, or thinks that it’s only noisy for 6 minutes a day clearly doesn’t spend enough time in the flight paths of these jets. I work in Williston, directly in flight path of the F-16 squadrons when they take-off and land. It is consistent; at least two jets, usually four, spaced about 30 seconds apart, and it happens about three or four times a day, during the work week. The sound is totally overwhelming. If you are having a conversation, even inside, you have to stop and wait until the jets are far enough way. It is frustrating and intrusive. Each squadron, coming and going, eats up about 5 minutes per take-off or landing. That is my experience.
The idea that this noise would get louder is hard to imagine. My co-worker jokes when the F-16’s go overhead, that “these are the quiet ones.” Sure, we also hear the commercial air traffic going overhead; however, the noise and disruption of the non-military aircraft produces is nowhere near that of the fighter jets. It’s comparable to the noise of being near a busy roadway.
So, let me say this: Stop with the sound of freedom nonsense. I support our troops. My father is an Air Force veteran. This is not about the quality of the job they do or making sure they have the best equipment. To imply that I don’t support our service men and women is inaccurate and mean spirited. This is about quality of life and whether or not this particular jet belongs in the heart of Vermont’s most populated and prosperous county. This is a highly populated area. It’s too loud for this area and has too unproven a safety record for this area. This jet does not have to be based here. It can be deployed in an area that is not as densely populated as Chittenden County.
There are other ways to support our troops and the VTANG without bringing in the F-35.
If we must assign a sound to freedom, I would like to see more sounds on the list than only those generated by combat vehicles.

F35: “Loads up like a bomb truck”

“It loads up like a bomb truck with the world’s deadliest air to ground weapons.”

As F-16 designer Pierre Sprey said in 2013, the F-35 will be used as a high altitude bomber.

Watch this 3 minute F-35 promotion video to learn more.

Huffington Post: This Week, Let’s Help Burlington Kill the $1.5 Trillion F-35 Taxpayer Ripoff

We have just a week left to help Burlington, Vermont kill the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the biggest taxpayer ripoff in human history. On Monday, October 7, the Burlington City Council will vote on a binding resolution that would block F-35 warplanes from being based at Burlington International Airport, which is owned by the city.

If the Council votes to block the planes from being based in Burlington, that won’t kill the $1.5 trillion F-35 taxpayer ripoff by itself. But it will set a crucial precedent. It will prove that the F-35 is politically vulnerable. It will mark a historic defeat of pork-barrel military Keynesianism by citizen engagement. It would help change the national posture of Democrats on unnecessary military spending. It would help abolish the dogma that Democrats have to support unnecessary military spending when it takes place in their districts.

Read Full Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/this-week-lets-help-burli_b_4018161.htm


I was floored by Vermont Air National Guard spokesman Capt. Chris Gookin ‘s remark on Vermont Public Radio on Sept. 26: “The takeaway,” Gookin said, “is that we remain confident in the decision-making process because the decision-making process – it’s repeatable, it’s defendable and it’s transparent.” If only it was so. Capt. Gookin’s statement defending the decision-making process actually highlights its illegitimacy.

Full article:  http://vtdigger.org/2013/09/29/leas-f-35-decision-making-process-repeatable-defendable-transparent/

Weapons of Mass Destruction Wanted? Democratic “Leaders” Push For “National Scandal” to Come to Vermont

With Vermont’s highest elected officials still deep in Defense Dept. denial over the disaster that is the Air Force’s F-35 strike fighter, a local city council threatens to bring some military sanity to Vermont (but nowhere else) by exercising its landlord right to reject as a tenant a weapon of mass destruction that will wreak havoc on the local neighborhood.

This initiative comes from four members of Vermont’s Progressive Party on the Burlington City Council, who plan to introduce a resolution on October 7 effectively barring the F-35 from being based in the middle of Vermont’s most populated area. In contrast, Vermont’s official “leadership,” almost all Democrats, still thinks basing nuclear-capable warplanes in a Vermont community is a dandy idea.



Greco: A Letter to Vermont’s Congressional Delegation on the F-35

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Rosanne Greco, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel who is now a member of the South Burlington City Council.

Dear Sen. Leahy, Sen. Sanders, and Rep. Welch,

For years, people have been asking you to meet with those who will live in the noise zone of the F-35A, and who have grave concerns about its impact on their lives. Most of us are trying to understand why such caring, social justice-minded men, such as yourselves, are acting so out of character by supporting the basing of the F-35A in our neighborhoods; and why you refuse to meet with us. It is baffling to many to think that you would choose the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned us about, over the health and financial well-being of thousands of average Vermonters.

People are guessing at reasons for your position. Here are some of them:

Assumption 1: You don’t know the facts, since your statements contradict what the Air Force has stated unequivocally.

Read full article

July 13th Rally and March



No F-35 !  

People before Planes

  • NO to Basing the F-35 Warplane in Burlington!
  • Protect our children’s health!
  • YES to affordable housing and livable neighborhoods, no to a boondoggle warplane
  • Vermont’s Congressional Delegation should represent their constituents-not the military-industrial-commercial real estate complex

Rally and March

Burlington City Hall

2 pm, Saturday July 13th

Corner of Church and Main Streets

****Permitted and family friendly****

The Stop the F-35 Coalition
www.stopthef35.com     email: stopthef35vt@gmail.com
Download Rally Flyer

Co-sponsored by Save Our Skies VT, Vermont Workers Center, Vermont Peace and Justice Center, Veterans for Peace, Fed Up Vermont, Intl. Socialist Organization, CODEPINK, Taiko Drummers, and more (list in formation-email to add your group’s support)


Help Get Ready:  Join Us for Poster Making
Friday, July 12 at 6:00pm.  Peace and Justice Center, 60 Lake Street, Burlington. Refreshments and materials provided.

BFP: Political Leaders Respond To Question on the F-35 Warplanes

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Burlington VT

The Burlington Free Press “asked the Vermont political leaders who have supported the plane to explain the economic benefits, the source of their information about the importance of the new plane to the Vermont Air National Guard and to speak about their understanding of the capabilities of the plane. They were asked to respond individually.”

Click here for the complete article.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Way To Go BFP: Asks Tough Questions of Vermont Delegation, Governor and Burlington’s Mayor on F-35


Tuesday June 4th, 2013

Burlington, VT

Journalist, John Briggs reports that the Burlington Free Press has sent numerous detailed and specific questions to Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernard Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, and Burlington Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger emanating from a meeting with aviation designer Pierre Sprey, USAF Col. Rosanne Greco (ret.) and Chris Hurd and from Friday’s revised Air Force Environmental Impact Statement. The Free Press has specifically asked for individual responses from Vermont’s top political leadership rather than their unified joint comments with a June 12th deadline for responses.

We wholeheartedly applaud the journalists and leadership at the Burlington Free Press. This is a shining star example of the important role a FREE press plays in our democracy!

Click here to read the entire list of questions the Burlington Free Press sent to Vermont’s Political Elite Leadership all steadfast supporters for bringing the F-35’s to Vermont.

Please call me (Chris Hurd) at 802.238.5256 so I can get your name, email address and phone number so we can be in two way communication immediately. We need you to become involved right now!

Major Turnout For “The F-35: A Citizens’ Hearing” Last Thursday Night


Saturday, June 1st, 2013

With our political, business and military leaders having COMPLETELY IGNORED opposition force’s repeated requests for open, transparent public engagement and dialogue around the basing of F-35  warplanes capable of carrying nuclear weapons, we were forced to take matters into our own hands.

Before a packed house at the Unitarian Universalist Church atop Church Street in Burlington Vermont, citizens heard first hand accounts from a resident severely impacted by their neighborhoods being devastated and turned into what she calls “Little Detroit”. Citizens heard about the morality and serious community consequences of such recklessness from longtime Rabbi Joshua Chasan Rabbi of Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington.

Please read the article that appeared the next day in the Burlington Free Press.

USAF Colonel Rosanne Greco spoke to veterans about the erosion of benefits and choices of hardware over people. She urged that we PUT PEOPLE  FIRST. PEOPLE BEFORE PLANES.

The keynote speaker, Pierre Sprey, is a co-designer of the F-16 warplane that is currently flying at the Burlington Airport. In addition, he co-designed the A-10 Warthog as well. Both of these planes are currently in the USAF arsenals. The F-16 widely regarded as a superior design, a pilot’s plane.

If you have questions or concerns or want to get involved go to our HOW CAN I HELP? section at this top of this page!! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WE WANT YOU TO GET INVOLVED RIGHT NOW! WE NEED YOU!


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