Cyclist, 81, sues airport after being blown off his bicycle by a gust from a jet’s engine

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An 81-year-old cyclist is suing an airport in California after being blown off his bicycle by a blast from a jet that was about to take off.

Ross Pepper was riding his recumbent bike near San Luis Obispo Regional Airport with a group of 14 other cyclists when he was sent flying by the gust from a jet engine in June last year.

According to a complaint filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court Friday the group were ‘struck forcefully by the blast from an aircraft preparing to depart from the southeastern corner of the runway apron of the SLO Airport.’  

While they were passing the airport the riders were said to have been ‘knocked to the ground and into the road in the way oncoming traffic by the jet engine blast’. 

Pepper, who was riding a recumbent bike, was smashed to the ground and ‘spun 180 degrees onto the pavement of Highway 227 and into the southbound lane of traffic – causing him severe injuries and damaging his bike and property’.    

The legal action reportedly lists both the airport and the county as defendants and argues each are liable because Mr Pepper’s injuries were caused on a public road.  

Mr Pepper is seeking an unspecified amount in general and economic damages as well as legal fees.   

A case management conference has been scheduled for October.

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