May 31, 2013 — Hundreds of people packed the Burlington Unitarian Universalist Church last night to protest against the F-35, the new fighter plane that could be based at the Burlington Airport.
Last night’s event featured a rabbi, a grandmother and homeowner, a retired air force colonel and an ice cream maven who all oppose basing the F-35 in Burlington.
"I really believe that between all of you out there and these guys here, we can really do it. We can stop this plane," said Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben and Jerry's, to much applause.
But the biggest name on the ticket was Pierre Sprey. He designed the F-16, the plane that’s now flown by the Vermont Air National Guard.
Sprey says the F-35 isn’t safe or cost effective.
"So you’re putting in an airplane that does the missions worse, puts pilots much more in jeopardy because the thing is so badly designed its an explosion waiting to happen, it’s really vulnerable."
The Air Force is expected to release new environmental impact statement later today.