You’re watching Channel 3 News in Madison! News you can use!
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Michelle Lindquist: In local news, a Madison man–apparently angry about the noise generated by the frequent daily training and practice take offs of the National Guard’s F-16 squadron at the Dane County Regional Airport, which is within the city limits and just five hundred yards from Packers Avenue residences, has shot one of the planes down. Steven Schnabel is accused of having fired at one of the planes, causing it to crash. The pilot of the plane, Lieutenant Brian Wenstler was able to eject from the plane and parachute unhurt. For more on this we go to Dan Fleming who’s at the Dane County airport. Dan?
Dan: Michelle, I’m standing near the end of the Dane County airport about a hundred yards from the runway where not only 747’s come and go but also the high powered National Guard F-16 fighter jets, one of which was shot down by resident Steven Schnabel. Schnabel was quick to come to the attention of authorities as he has been an outspoken critic of the routine F-16 flights. Here’s a video clip of a Madison town meeting that took place just last month.
(cut to town meeting)
Steven Schnabel: This is a residential neighborhood. These fighter jets have no business doing practice runs here within the city limits. I’m trying to sell my house, and whenever I have somebody looking at it, the damn planes fly over and the buyers just leave. These things are incredibly loud. They’re bringing property values down. Someone has to put a stop to these flights. It’s actually painful being exposed to the amount of noise they put out.
Leroy Manion: That noise is the sound of your freedom, son.
Schnabel: That’s stupid, Leroy.
Manion: Is freedom stupid?
Schnabel: That’s also stupid.
Manion: You should be damned happy that those brave men and their jets are there to protect your freedom as an American!
Schnabel: Protect me from what–in case the Taliban come down the Yahara river in a rowboat? My freedom isn’t being protected, it’s being eliminated. If they need to practice flying their damned airplanes they should do it in Nevada. That’s what Nevada’s for.
(cut to Dan)
Dan: Michelle, at the moment Steven Schnabel has only been charged with discharging a weapon within the city limits, as opposed to the bigger charge of destroying a really expensive thing owned by the government, which could lead to a twenty-year jail term. The reason why is because Schnabel claims it was an accident.
(cut to video of Dan interviewing Schnabel earlier)
Dan: Mr. Schnabel, you have admitted to downing the National Guard F-16, however, you claim it was an accident.
Schnabel: Absolutely. See, I was shooting at a crow that was up on a telephone pole, and the crow ducked–
Schnabel: Yes, and the projectile continued forward. Unfortunately the F-16 was traversing the projectile’s flight path and I accidentally caught the F-16 in the tail.
Dan: So…you were shooting at a crow.
Schnabel: That’s right.
Dan: With a surface to air missile.
Schnabel: Hey, I’m an ethical hunter and I believe in a clean and humane kill. If you or anybody else has a problem with that, I’m sorry.
Dan: Can I ask where you got a surface to air missile launcher?
Schnabel: My wife gave it to me for Christmas. I think she got it at a gun show in Missouri.
(cut back live to Dan at airport)
Dan: So it remains uncertain if this was a deliberate act or not…and…holy moly you probably can’t hear me right now because the rest of the F-16 trainer group is taking off behind me and geez Louise! This is incredibly loud. Wow, this is really obnoxious and highly unpleasant. I had no idea. No wonder people are pissed off with this noise.
Michelle: You know, Dan, some people might say that “noise”, as you call it, is the sound of your freedom.
Dan: That’s stupid, Michelle. Why don’t you come stand here and find out how stupid that is.
Michelle: I’m sorry, Dan, I can’t hear you, the jets are taking off behind you. (to camera) That’s the news. Join us tonight at ten as we’ll be having a special segment with guests Bishop Robert Morlino and Reverend Franklin Graham as we discuss the possibility that we’re nearing the Rapture now that the Cubs have won the World Series. See you then. Have a pleasant evening.