POLLOK, TX (KTRE) - An East Texas woman and her family say a pipeline patrol pilot and his low flying plane is to blame for killing one of their rare breed of cattle.
Tiffany Kirkland said she was mowing her pasture back in May when a Cessna 182 flew only a few hundred feet above her and her cattle. Kirkland said the plane dove down so close that it spooked the herd causing them to run into each other.
One of them was so badly injured that it had to be put down.
Tiffany said the cow she had to put down was a registered Red Brahman cow worth more than $14,000.
Kirkland said it's not out of the ordinary to see pipeline patrol planes flying over her families land in Pollok. She said she usually sees them once or twice a day but never as low and off path as this particular plane.
"I have never seen or experienced something like this before. It scared me to death," Kirkland said. "I literally thought he was crashing on top of me, and our cows thought that too. That's why they all tried to leave."
Brentco Ariel Patrol, the company hired to patrol this particular pipeline, said that their pilot was within the applicable flying limits, which according to the Federal Aviation Administration is no lower than 500 feet with a waiver.
It's not yet known if the pilot had a waiver, but the pilot's flight levels show he was in compliance.
However, Kirkland said she believes he was no more than a few hundred feet above her.
"This guy came out of nowhere. I felt like it was a direct attack on me," Kirkland said. "It was right on top of me. It was directed at the tractor, and it was as direct as you could possibly be."
Kirkland said at the end of the day, whether it was intentional or not, that pilot caused the death of her rare breed Brahman cow.
It was a financial and personal loss she will never be able to get back.
Sunoco Logistics, the company that owns the pipeline on Kirkland's property, released this statement in regards to the incident:
"We engage an independent contractor to conduct the flyover inspections. The contractor has advised us that they were within the applicable flying limits and Ms. (Tiffany) Kirkland claims that they were not. We sympathize with the Kirklands' loss, and we are in the process of investigating and discussing this incident with Mr. Kirkland and his daughter."
We tried to reach out to Brentco, but they have not responded to our request.