Jet noise in Coupeville stirs complaints
By NATHAN WHALEN
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
July 21, 2009 · 2:33 PM
Some Coupeville homeowners are noticing more low-flying Navy jets flying overhead and they aren’t happy about it.
The town of Coupeville and the Navy have both received complaints from residents as the Navy conducts training exercises at Outlying Field located southeast of town.
Coupeville resident Peggy Burton attended a recent Town Council meeting. She said she wanted to know what solution the town has for the screaming jets flying overhead.
Mayor Nancy Conard said she heard a similar complaint and questions have been raised about whether the flight path Navy planes use has changed. She is talking with Navy officials to better understand the parameters the Navy uses in conducting training at Outlying Field.
Navy spokesperson Kim Martin said flight operations at OLF are at the same level they have been in previous years. Pilots generally fly over the Coupeville area from the Oak Harbor base to Outlying Field, which they use for fleet carrier landing practice.
She noted that the Fleet Replacement Squadron and two other squadrons are training at Outlying Field. Also, the times pilots train varies. Because of the heavy use, the Navy receives a higher number of noise complaints during the summer. Long daylight hours also play a factor into the number of planes flying over Coupeville. Pilots often fly late into the evening before switching to a different flight pattern after dark.
Pilots generally fly above 3,000 feet over Coupeville. Martin added that personnel always check to see if pilots are flying in normal patterns.
“We recognize some people are annoyed by the noise and we attempt to minimize our noise impacts as much as possible on all the communities and citizens that surround the air station,” Martin said in an email.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Nathan Whalen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5058.