Letter: OLF Coupeville was here before noise complainers

Editor,

I moved to Whidbey Island about four years ago. Though prices were attractive, due to the noise I purposely did not buy near or in the noise footprint of the Outlying Field Coupeville. And I love the sound and sight of jets.

Given the OLF Coupeville has been located where it currently resides and flying jets for the better part of 50 years, I suspect that most of those who now live close by and find the noise so hurtful that they call for the closure of the OLF, moved in after the OLF.

As for noise, arguing that one aircraft is louder than another is to argue how many magic fairies we can put on the head of a pin. Yes, some aircraft are quieter than others, but given the mission of the OLF Coupeville, to train aircrews to land aboard the boat, full throttle/military throttle is required as soon as the main mounts hit the tarmac, and remain at full thrust as their aircraft claws its way back into the air in order to “go around” and make another attempt at landing.

I would put forward that any tactical Navy jet now flying would be horrendously loud, and there’s not a darn thing the Navy or the air crews can do about it.

It’s all about the safety of the air crews. Period, full stop. Field Carrier Landing Practice is a required and often practiced evolution. Without FCLPs, more aircrews crash and burn trying to get aboard the boat.

There’s no way around it, landing aboard ship during the day and night is a very perishable skill that requires constant practice and full concentration. And it needs to be close to the Naval Air Station.

It needs to be in a flat or open areas with little or no light intrusion for night flying. OLF Coupeville is manned by NAS Whidbey crew, but only when in use. It’s so tight a pattern and close to the ground and the tower, that it can’t be done at the NAS Whidbey unless all other flight operations at the NAS were completely stopped.

There must be an OLF and it must be very close to the NAS Whidbey. There is no other choice.

Yes, I agree that it is very loud and the noise is intrusive, but the OLF is an absolute regiment to support naval aviation.

Why anyone chose to live under that activity is up to them, but to now come back and make up stories about louder aircraft or question the need for the OLF in the first place is not reasonable.

OLF Coupeville is 100 percent about safety of our aircrews and I have every reason to believe that the Navy works to mitigate the associated noise.

Its use is directly related to saving lives. Until technology develops quiet jet engines, any and all OLFs spread across the nation will continue to be loud.

Jim Innes

Oak Harbor

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