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The Right Way To Complain About Low-level Flying


Guest Darren Masters
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Guest Darren Masters

To: Hubbard, Mark A CAPT CSFWP Commodore

 

Cc: White, Michael S RDML(S) NPC, Pers-4

 

Subject: Noise Complaint

 

Captain Hubbard,

 

I am having an issue with noise that is generated by aircraft based at NAS Lemoore (and elsewhere), specifically, with their use of a low level military training route that your command is the controlling authority for. Rather than deal with mere underlings, I thought it best to go directly to the source of "where the buck stops." That would be you.

 

My home is located in a rural area of California's Sacramento Valley. I was unaware that when I purchased this home 21 years ago, it was located directly under the centerline of VR-201 (or VR-202, I can't remember which one it is), at GPS coordinates N39.38.610 W121.48.710, 210' MSL (according to the GPS in my car). Over the last 21 years, I have been subjected to the repeated injustices, insults to my eardrums, and affronts to my sensibilities as an American Taxpayer, that your jets have been responsible for. In the early 90's the use of this low level training route was frequent, but I tolerated it nonetheless. From about 1995 until early this year, use of this route was only occasional and sporadic, so I could generally overlook the issue. However, in the last three weeks, there has been a noticeable increase it its use. Specifically, I have observed the following,

 

1. August 30th, 1135 AM PDT - A single F-18

 

2. September 18th, 1430 PM PDT - A single EA-6B

 

3. September 19th, 1120 AM PDT - A single F-18

 

4. September 19th, 1145 AM PDT - A single F-18

 

Here is my specific complaint.....

 

1. None of these overflights were low enough...

 

2. None of these overflights were loud enough......

 

3. And, none of these overflights were fast enough!!!

 

As an American Taxpayer, I pay good, hard earned money, to provide your young Naval Aviators the best training possible. For that money, I EXPECT to get something for it. If my house is not shaken to its foundation, if the windows do not rattle in their frames, I judge this display of airmanship as incredibly weak. All of these jets listed above, were so high, that I could not tell if the Hornets were Super Hornets or Legacy Hornets (the Electic-6 was unmistakable). These jets were so high, that after one of them flew by, my wife looked at me and said, "That fly-by is so wimpy, you should call it a "Whisperjet".

 

The ultimate goal is to earn a five-star rating, as viewed by me. To earn a five-star rating, your jets should create enough noise to break at least one window in the house. Not since '92-'93 has that happened. At the time, a flight of eight jets in a combat spread formation passed over my house at about 200' AGL, approximately 500+ knots. This flight consisted of four Hornets, two Intruders and two Turkeys. The thundering noise was awesome! Not only did I have to replace a few windows, but several of my neighbors did as well!! That was a fly-by truly worthy of Naval Aviators.

 

As a former naval Aviator (back in the day, we flew Lot V Hornets with planning link failures and collapsed landing gear), I am hugely embarrassed for my younger brethren. You and your young naval Aviators should be ashamed, for you have subjected me and my family to the indignity of these transgressions. My son, who is a KC-135 pilot in the Air Force has observed some these so-called "fly-bys", and has said that even his jet makes more noise when it is at 5,000' at cruise power settings.

 

As you know, to fly the American flag upside down is a sign of distress. Perhaps you should bring in the young Naval Aviators responsible for these affronts to our dignity, and instruct them to wear their Wings of Gold upside down on their flight suits the next time they visit the O'Club, as a sign of their humility and penance for committing these transgressions.

 

Very respectfully,

 

Carl A. Raabe VFA-113 (circa '87-'90)

 

 

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