MCKINNEY, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The crash landing of a small plane on a McKinney homeowner’s property has him accusing the city of putting his family’s safety at risk.
John Powell says the nearby airport is making their home unmarketable and almost uninhabitable.
Radio transmissions recorded the pilot of a small plane moments before he was forced to make an emergency landing just south of McKinney National Airport on Saturday. “Mayday, mayday, mayday, 73 Romero, lost engine power,” the pilot said over radio.
The pilot was able to walk away. But days later, the plane still sits on Powell’s property as a lingering reminder of the danger he says he constantly faces.
“It wouldn’t be reasonable for a sane person to live right where we are,” Powell told CBS 11 News.
The 81-year-old and his wife have lived on Old Mill Road since 1966, years before McKinney built an airport with a runway that extends only a few miles from their home across the street.
“We kind of pray for bad weather every once in a while so we don’t hear airplanes,” Powell said.
The Powells have documented the ever-present engine noise and the low-flying aircraft in their effort to get the city of McKinney to buy their 75 acres for the same price they say the city paid for other surrounding property.
“They seem to be driving a real hard bargain with the Powells,” the family’s attorney, T.J. Lane, said.
Lane claims the city is lowballing the family, knowing that the property won’t sell to anyone who would want to live on it.
“They are offering us a fourth of what they are paying other people for property around the airport,” Powell said.
With a new terminal under construction and the promise of commercial passenger flights coming soon, the growth of McKinney’s airport is only expected to add to the Powells’ misery.
No one with the city responded to CBS 11 News’ questions about the family’s concerns.
The couple hopes last weekend’s close call will prompt the city to act and let them spend their golden years in peace.
“A quiet, rural neighborhood somewhere… that’s our goal we think we are going to head to the hill country. We want to watch the bluebonnets grow,” Powell said.