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Neighbors Ask to Fly Planes from Tobesofkee | News

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Neighbors Ask to Fly Planes from Tobesofkee

Head out to Lake Tobesofkee and you can expect to see ducks, boats and jet-skis cruising across the water, but if some neighbors have their way, you might add airplanes to that list.

Quinton Cotton loves to take his boat out for a spin on the lake, but for a pilot, gearing up a float plane would make it even better.

"It's just part of our make-up. It's part of our life, so why not bring the water and the airplanes together here," he said.

In a written proposal to the county, Cotton says pilots would land only in a set area, not including the heavily populated parks at the lake. He says they would restrict hours and not land or take off on weekends and holidays.

Cotton says he has close to 50 signatures on a petition to allow floatplanes at Tobesofkee.

Tobesofkee Director Doug Furney says he's looking into the proposal, like accidents involving the planes. He says he has not found any in Georgia so far.

"We're researching to make sure that the commissioners have all the information they need to make a decision," said Furney.

According to Furney, in the early 1990s property owners led a campaign to get float planes allowed to land on the lake that was rejected by commissioners. He's trying to stay neutral on the topic, but Bibb County Commissioner Joe Allen says he's dead set against the proposal.

"I intend as chairman of Lake Tobesofkee to fight against doing that. I don't think it's right," said Allen.

He says things like swimming, boating, camping and jet-skiing belong at Tobesofkee, not landing planes.

Allen says they might interfere with other activities, create noise and put lives at risk, but Arthur Grady, a pilot and flight instructor disagrees.

"They have no experience in being a pilot or flying an airplane, and to say this is a safety issue in my opinion is lack of knowledge," he said.

He and Cotton just hope that doesn't keep them grounded on Tobesofkee's shores.

Tuesday, Commissioners asked for the issue to be placed on the agenda for their next committee meeting that will come up again in two weeks.


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