OGDEN -- Kim Shimer choked up Tuesday as she told the Ogden City Council about the trauma the latest plane crash in her Roy neighborhood caused her five children.
"When they hear a plane, they jump under the trampoline for cover," she said through tears.
A small plane was coming in for a landing at Ogden-Hinckley Airport in dense fog when it crashed into her neighborhood Dec. 5. It was the fourth such crash in 11 years.
Shimer and 15 other neighbors used the Ogden City Council meeting as an opportunity to vent their anger and frustration to the mayor and council members about the airport they live -- and hope they do not die -- by.
Shimer's children are not alone. Paul Genovesi, who lives next door, says his children are too afraid to sleep in their rooms.
The residents' main point of concern is a runway that the airport expanded.
When construction finished, it was closer to their homes, prompting planes to depart and land at lower altitudes above their roofs.
No one was talking about closing the runway or the airport. "For commerce and all," said neighbor Jeff Roe.
But the neighborhood residents want the mayor and city council to fix the problem.
They have the other neighborhood children on their minds as well. Shimer and Genovesi both pointed out that had the plane gone down a few dozen yards further south, it would have crashed into North Park Elementary School.
Mayor Matthew Godfrey apologized to the residents for all the stress and loss they have suffered. But he also took the opportunity to tell them what he and the council can and cannot do.
For one, the Federal Aviation Administration, not the city, controls the airport. The current administration also did not control the zoning in Roy, Godfrey said.
He also lamented that they do not control how the media represents Ed Rich, the airport manager. Several residents took offense to Rich's comments in media interviews that the airport has a good track record and that the residents knew the risk they took moving into the neighborhood.
"I saw Mr. Rich sit there in his comfortable office and smugly say that a couple of crashes isn't a big problem," said Darrel Gamble, who lost a third of his own house in the latest crash. "It may not be a Christian thought, but I looked at him and wondered if a plane had crashed into his home, how much of a problem he would have thought it was." Gamble says he owes them an apology.
Rich's commments may have been misconstrued, Godfrey said.
Godfrey said they can talk to the FAA about the possibility of rerouting smaller aircraft to approach the runway from a different direction, so it does not pose a threat to the neighborhood.
That is exactly what Roe would like to see.
"They used to approach from the northeast," he said. "It worked then, why can't it work now?"
Godfrey also addressed concerns that the city sides with the airport because it turns a profit. "Every dime goes to the FAA," he said.
The fight is not over. Most of the neighbors are looking forward to attending a Roy town hall meeting about the crash. That meeting date is still to be determined.
Marne Bowden, assuming a leader position among the neighbors, said she is conducting a one-woman investigation into whether the runway should have been expanded at all. According to her research, there may have been a permanent injunction that, had it been followed, would have prohibited expanding the runway.
She plans to present her findings at the meeting in Roy.