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Dropping turkeys from planes triggers Arkansas festival flap

October 13, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Organizers of a northern Arkansas festival are hoping that a “phantom pilot” won’t pass over their small city this weekend and drop live turkeys, as has been done for decades.

Thousands of people have written to complain about the Yellville Turkey Trot. Although the festival sponsors no longer sanction the turkey drop, local pilots have flown over the community and dropped birds.

The Federal Aviation Administration says an inspector found that the birds do not pose a hazard to people or property, so the agency will not intervene. State police say any investigation by them likely wouldn’t occur until after a flight, and that they don’t have the authority to stop anyone from flying with a turkey aboard their plane.

Wild turkeys can fly, but typically only from tree top to tree top.

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