Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

War training brings
jet noise over Kaneohe

Question: Are there any regulations regarding fighter jets practicing over residential areas? Or, is there a good-neighbor agreement in force with Marine Corps Base Kaneohe? Fighter jets have been screaming overhead for some time now, disrupting the quiet of my normally peaceful neighborhood and frightening animals as well. This is a relatively new activity. We are accustomed to the periodic flights of large tanker planes into the Marine base, but the jet noise is truly disruptive and irritating. There's plenty of ocean out there -- can't they practice out at sea and quiet down as they approach land?

Answer: There are regulations regarding the flights of military planes, as there are for all other aircraft.

But it has been noisier than usual at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe because "we do have more air activity than normal," a spokeswoman said.

"We apologize for the noise, but they (pilots) do follow strict guidelines in terms of their distance over residential areas," she said. Part of the problem is that with the Koolau Mountains nearby, "the sound just resonates off the bay."

Windward Oahu residents might not be used to the jet noise because there are no fighter jets permanently based in Kaneohe, she said.

However, with the war in Iraq, the din of fighter jets could be something you'll have to put up with for a while.

The recent noise was attributed to the Blue Angels, which put on aerobatic shows, including practice sessions, earlier this month, as well as a squadron from North Carolina that was conducting training on the Big Island.

Although both groups have since left the islands, other squadrons and aircraft will be coming into town in the next month or so because of training requirements, the spokeswoman said. There are also units that pass through Hawaii on their way to or from the mainland and other countries.

As it is, most of the flying is done over the ocean between Oahu and the Big Island, where most of the training is done.

"We need to train with jets for air support because that's what they're doing a lot overseas," the spokeswoman said. "Next month, we're going to have quite a few visiting planes."

In the meantime, although most of the training is over water, when the planes land here, "they have to go over (Kaneohe) Bay, and it's quite impossible to quiet down," she said.

Also, part of the training is "to hone their navigation and communication (skills), so they do have to go over land," she said.

If you have further complaints or would like to discuss the situation further, call the public affairs office at the Kaneohe Marine base, at 257-8840.

Stickers, be gone

Regarding the Oct. 24 "Kokua Line" asking for suggestions on removing safety stickers from car bumpers, a reader suggested: "Just use a hair dryer to loosen it up. Pull it off, then use a little bit of rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball or soft cloth, and it cleans it right up. It works every time."


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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