Over the past 30 days the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Carter County, Tennessee, has been dealing with a major safety issue: golf balls all over the runway. The problem is worrying airport officials, reports WJHL News Channel 11.
Dan Cogan, the airport manager said, "Four different occasions we found golf balls out there and the total is well over 100 golf balls." The closest golf course is seven miles away but the balls are being found on the airport’s east end runway.
Carter County Sheriff Chris Mathes told the station that currently the act is not criminal. "Whether it's an oversight that someone didn't use good judgment of hitting a golf ball, that's why we have golf courses,” said Mathes. "We're not at a golf course. You’re in the middle of a community and inside of that community there is an airport where planes are landing and taking off."
There have been no injuries and the balls have hit no planes, but the Sheriff says there could be a case for “reckless endangerment, you’re putting people’s lives in danger.” Cogan is troubled by the serious possibilities. “An engine can suck a golf ball up into it causing engine failure or damage to the engine and can run into a lot of money right away. And then if it's a moving aircraft you could have a major incident causing up to loss of life.”
Authorities are asking for the public’s help in finding the golfer behind this act. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Carter County Sheriff’s Office at (423) 543-2211.
Video and more info: WJHL