A larger-than-usual plane was seen circling over Elkin Tuesday afternoon, causing concern and numerous phone calls and visits to the Elkin Municipal Airport. But local airport officials said it was nothing to worry about.
The Elkin Municipal Airport was the recipient of federal funding to install a new runway lighting and approach system, which aids civilian aircraft in bad weather conditions, explained John Coulter, aircraft mechanic at the Elkin airport.
Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration have to test the system approaching at low altitudes on both ends of the runway to make sure it is working properly before it is approved for aircraft to utilize, Coulter said.
“We’ve had quite a few calls including the local police department, and the Elkin Police Department and 15 to 20 people have come by,” said Coulter. “They are not actually landing.
“It is unusual seeing an airplane that large not making that much noise come through here,” he said. “We didn’t even know they were going to do it today either.”
Coulter said airport staff noticed a plane fly by, but he said it’s not unusual for planes to practice an approach. When the airport started getting calls, they figured out what was going on.
“It generates some interest in the airport, so that’s good,” he said of the attention the plane drew to the local airport.
He said the airport has picnic tables and on the weekends a number of people come out to fly and have a good time.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.