Low flying plane captures attention of Lehigh Acres neighborhood

Published: May 23, 2022 3:12 PM EDT
Updated: May 23, 2022 5:45 PM EDT

A low-flying plane rattles people in one Southwest Florida neighborhood. It turns out that the plane belongs to Lee County Mosquito Control and was doing pest control testing.

When Wilberson Vilsaint shot the video of the plane flying low, he said he worried that the plane was flying too close to the ground.

“Just a normal day taking my kid to the bus stop, and next thing you know, I turn around and this big loud noise airplanes coming towards me. I didn’t know what was going on, so I was like, you know what, let me get this on camera,” said Vilsaint.

(Credit: Wilberson Vilsaint)

Lee County Mosquito Control said there’s nothing to fear. The district’s planes must fly low to do their job properly because who wants to be in Southwest Florida without mosquito control?

(Credit: Lee County Mosquito Control District)

“And these stands that you see here are holding slides that are spinning, and then as the plane flies over, it collects the droplets, and we can take those samples. And we’re flying very low as you see right here, and that’s to make sure that we get them on the slides,” said Eric Jackson, with Lee County Mosquito Control District.

This former military DC-3 plane usually flies night missions, but mosquito control was testing the plane’s calibration when the aircraft was spotted low during the day.

That testing required the plane to fly just 50 feet above the ground over the Buckingham Airfield in order to test the insecticide.

“It’s an old iconic airplane, and as it flies over, it’s an impressive sight, so I think it’s a pretty cool thing. I’d be surprised if somebody saw this and wouldn’t take their phone out,” said Jackson.

You can tell it’s a mosquito control plane when they go in a line and come back almost as if they’re mowing the lawn.

They don’t have scheduled runs. They look at their traps and see how many mosquitos are out and when they need to drop more insecticide.