The City of Linden and Dudley have filed suit to bar Tom from doing any maintenance on the field and to evict him from LDJ. A complaint has been filed in Superior Court, Union County, and a hearing for a temporary restraining order against Tom is scheduled for tomorrow morning.
This is as clear a case of retaliation against a whistleblower as I can imagine. I hope the judge sees it the same way. Tom will need legal help from a NJ attorney to fight this. If anyone is in a position to help, please reach out.
By now many of you have received an email from LDJ management with a letter dated December 1st explaining all the wonderful happenings at LDJ.
In my personal opinion, the letter is full of half-truths and plain old fake news.
On 17 November 2019 Tom, Roger and Matt flew a two-ship formation from LDJ to N05 (Hacketstown NJ), a privately-owned airfield with a 2000 x 50 runway. After chatting with one of the airport owners, we were met by an investigative reporter who maintains the website EthicsWatchNJ.com.
Tom, Roger and Matt were interviewed for some 30 minutes about conditions at LDJ. We spoke about the damage to Roger's plane (nicked aft prop blade, projectile damage to starboard tail boom) that was caused by debris - or something - on the field at Linden.
We learned that some retaliation against Tom may be in the works by the city, in an effort to silence him and to squash any other prospective whistleblowers.
Linden City Council member John Roman was interviewed as well. He has much to say about his own efforts to uncover the truth about LDJ and the wider alleged corruption that permeates the city administration.
We believe that the more public scrutiny is focused on our airport, its poor management and the city's complicity in all that is wrong on the field, the greater the chance that some positive change will happen.
You can see the entire interview at EthicsWatchNJ.com or on YouTube.
I spoke to the City of Linden's outside aviation attorney, Justin Marchetta, this morning. I called him last week, and he returned my call today. Here is a summary of what I learned:
That's all folks. Not all bad.
The following incident was just reported by one of our members.
I wanted to make you aware of an incident that occurred yesterday at
Linden Airport while my co-owner and I were flying.
We arrived at the airport in the afternoon and taxied to the approach end of runway 9 at approximately 5:53pm. At the overrun area we discovered a sealant truck filling the cracks on the runway in the overrun area. There was no NOTAM
posted for this work.
We took off without issue and arrived back in the vicinity at around 6:44pm.
As we continued our approach we noticed that there was something moving
down the centerline of the runway. We made numerous radio calls in an
attempt to determine what was on the runway. A helicopter pilot
radioed that they thought it was the sealant truck on the runway.
The truck stopped on the side of the runway, and we aborted our takeoff
and went around. We landed without incident on the second attempt, as
the truck had vacated the runway.
As mentioned, there was no NOTAM published for this work despite a truck carrying a fuel of some sort (used to light the torch for melting the sealant) being in the vicinity of - and on - the runway.
The "sealing" of the ramp area has resulted in an incredible amount of debris being scattered around the airport. It has been weeks since the sealing took place, and there are still chunks of concrete all around the airport that will do
immense damage to an airplane if it were to come in contact with a
The continued lack of safety procedures at Linden Airport is completely
unacceptable. The lack of NOTAMs is not an isolated incident. The sealant truck should also have been using a radio and acknowledged our calls. The truck parking on the side of the runway leads me to believe they were waiting for us to land -- which I could see being potentially disastrous if e.g. we got a flat during landing and veered off the runway into the truck.
At the August public meeting of the Linden City Council, our town decided to put in place a "moratorium" on future FAA grants for the airport.
The council members were split on the issue. The vote was 5 to 5. Mayor Derek Armstead broke the tie with another vote to suspend further grants. With the Mayor's vote, the measure passed. This means no more grants for LDJ, unless and until the Council takes another vote and reverses the August decision.
None of the council member who voted against grants - or the mayor - adequately explained why they were taking this action. All we got was incoherent political gibberish in response.
Some members of the public - not pilots - asked the council to explain. You can see and hear the exchange for yourself. All Linden Council meetings are posted to YouTube. Here is a link to the video of the meeting. Fast forward to 1 hour and 12 minutes into the meeting and you'll start to see people asking about this issue and expressing interest in the fate of the airport - and how a thriving airport can help boost business in Linden.
Here's what we think are the important takeaways:
Use this link for the Council meeting YouTube page.