I am a twenty year Ayer resident and property owner. My wife and I, along with our three young children, live in our home that we hand-built in 1996 upon my wife’s working farm (Top O’ The Hill Farm) that has been in her family for six generations, since 1943.
I am forwarding a document to you that I have recently obtained through the Hanscom Field MassPort Office in Bedford, Massachusetts. It is a PowerPoint chart document that is being circulated by a privately owned flight school named ‘East Coast Aero Club’ which is based at Hanscom Field in Bedford, twenty miles away from our towns. Among the Bedford based flight school community, the charted area is also advertised as “Hanscom’s Standard Training Area.”
The owner of ‘ECAC,’ Mark Holzwarth, who has recently moved from Framingham to Lincoln, MA., specifically advertises our towns and two specific land marks within our town’s boundaries, as “Their training area.” Mr. Holzwarth conducts his daily flight training business within the area shown in the attached PowerPoint attachment. I have filmed, documented and identified each of Mr. Holzwarth’s thirty general aviation planes, aerobatic aircraft and two helicopters making lengthy, low, disturbing and condensed maneuvering sessions over Groton and Ayer. These sessions continue to be a nuisance that do last up to fifty minutes each, multiple times per day. These continued general aviation (GA) flight operations take place over the residents, schools, public buildings of Groton and Ayer, including over the Deaconess Nashoba Valley Medical Center and Apple Valley Nursing home. In addition, not one of Mr. Holzwarth’s twenty two employed flight instructors, who conduct these flights, reside in Groton or Ayer. These private flight sessions do not produce any economic or civil benefit to our towns, whatsoever.
As a mocking gesture aimed at the reasonable and noble, yet unsuccessful efforts of the Groton based grass roots citizens group, Plane Sense of Groton, Mr. Holzwarth personally re-registered all of his thirty aircraft under the corporation name ‘Plane Nonsense Inc’. I have also attached an article that explains some of the efforts and challenges that Groton’s dissolved organization had endured from the few Hanscom based flight schools. I am aware of two residents from Ayer and Groton that have moved from their homes on account of their frustration from the extremely disruptive, unreasonable, and sometimes dangerous flight activity.
Since the declassification of the restricted Class E airspace over Devens, Ayer, and Groton in February 1996, I have obtained relevant FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) documents through the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that indicate East Coast Aero Club is conducting these nuisance type flight training maneuvers solely within this unsanctioned training box that has been established over our towns. I have also learned that Mr. Holzwarth was not issued a business permit to conduct his private business here in Ayer or Groton. It has become clear to me that Mr. Holzwarth continues to abuse our towns’ historical peaceful commodity while conducting his own business here. It is also evident that he relies substantially upon our towns to subsidize his lucrative private company.
Below, I have also copied a recent link to an article for which I was recently interviewed regarding this historical issue.
See the story
In an effort to obtain assistance from the Boards of Selectmen and other town residents, I would appreciate an opportunity to speak with the Ayer and Groton Boards of Selectmen to discuss the concerns regarding the PowerPoint document and what it means for our two towns.
In addition, I will be speaking at my second public meeting with the Hanscom Field Advisory Commission on March 17 at 7 p.m. at Hanscom Civil Air Terminal, Massport Office if there are any Ayer or Groton Selectmen or residents interested in joining me.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
187 Groton Rd.
Ayer, MA 01432