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Leaving on a jet plane. Are you hearing this?!?

September 3rd, 2014 · 22 Comments

MV reader Leslie wonders:

I’m curious if anyone can comment on the loud jet noises lately.  About 10 minutes ago (4:45 pm Sat 8/30) there was a huge sounding jet that made several passes.  The other night my boyfriend woke up to jets at 4 am. I’ve heard them at 5 am and 6 am lately, once on a Saturday.  What IS this?  There are planes at varying times, but not usually this thunderous screeching sound. You’d think the blue angels were doing a flyby.

We’ve also noticed what seems like an increased amount of air traffic. What say you, Magnolia?

Tags: Uncategorized

  • Randy Berg

    I agree that there is just a whole lot more air trafffic over Magnolia. We live on the Ballard side and have long put up with the multitude of Kenmore Air flights up the cut. Now we have the little helicopters that are constant along with the new aircraft early in the morning. Wish there was an answer to bring back more quiet to Magnolia. Some of it I’m sure is having the vector point for approach in Discovery Park.

    • Leslie

      What do you mean about the vector point? Would love to know more to see if they are doing something they are not supposed to do.We found a tracking website that shows a number of Southwest and Delta flights coming in over the park on the way to SeaTac, and a large number (including the F-18s) going straight to BFI (Boeing Field). Wish I could figure out how to get permission to set up some skyward facing permanent laser memorial to something or other that would be unsafe to fly over, so they have to go back out over the bay where they are supposed to be. :-)

      • magpie

        What’s the website? Anything about Alaska and United? Those are the ones I’m on and occasionally get to see home sweet home from the sky as we land. Laser was in the news recently. They caught the guy living in a trailer park trying to set up his own “laser memorial”. Turns out it’s criminal thing to do.

        • pmerz

          try flightview.com. from there you can look at all flight to an airport, or by airline, etc.

        • Leslie

          Yes, you can’t use lasers. It’s dangerous and illegal and they can pinpoint you pretty easily. I was mostly kidding but thought if you did get a “laser memorial” approved, they’d have to go around it! :-)
          I will look for the site I used. It might have been flightview.com as pmerz below said. I found it in the comments of an older series of concerns. It was a cool tool.
          I saw mostly Delta, SWA and Alaska the day I looked. The Noise complaint line at BFI mentioned that the early morning ones are mostly DHL and FedEx.

      • anonymous322

        Aiming lasers at planes will just get you arrested. The airplane noise is worse during the summer when the windows are open. You’ve been here nine months. You’ll get used to it and not hear them if you just let it be. But if you obsess and try to solve the “problem”, you’ll just make yourself miserable.

        All in all, it’s a fairly low traffic airport, and even with the airplanes, Magnolia is one of the quietest places I’ve lived.

  • SeattleStudent

    I’ve never been woken up by one, but I have heard several I thought were extraordinarily loud. The first time I noticed, several months ago, I thought it was some kind of emergency and went home and checked the news. It is pretty obnoxious.

  • ForrestGrump

    I’ve been woken up by some pretty loud noises around 3 or 4am before. I thought they had some sort of “no fly” rules (at least in terms of how low they could fly) for going above neighborhoods?

    • Leslie

      based on the response I got, I think 2000 ft. might be the floor– we’ve definitely seen a number well below that as they pass overhead.

  • 1stWorldProbs

    Who wants to start collecting signatures? Oh, and be sure to notify Tim Eyman!

  • Jack of All Trades

    If you want quiet, move out of the city. SMH

    • Leslie

      If I wanted to be under a landing strip I would have saved the money and picked that. Cough up your address and we’ll ask them to fly over you. SMH

    • Randy Berg

      Jack of all trades..what is with you!? This was just a post to ask some questions and you come off like the all and mighty. You embarrass me, a native of Seattle and Magnolia, acting like such a fool. WHAT…do you think if you live in Magnolia you’re an idiot because you have a different view than you. WRONG mister. I would like to think that we are all a little more understanding and helpful. It has gotten more noisy, and I, a native, don’t like it either!

      • Leslie

        Thank you, Randy! I agree, what a crabby-ass crank this one is. Thankfully most other natives we’ve met have been lovely.

  • Leslie

    I called the noise hotline and got a very lengthy response that the Saturday jets were Canadian F-18s and that the FAA controls flight paths, and that the pilots have some kind of voluntary cooperation to fly over somewhere (her line cut out right then). The f-18s were 93db! We noticed yesterday (Tuesday) that there were planes running every 4-8 minutes overhead, low enough to be quite loud. Many are 80+ db. The strange thing is there have always been some planes in the last 9 months we’ve lived here, but not this incredible volume both in terms of decibels and numbers until the last few weeks. I wondered if anyone knows what has changed, or how this was stopped the last time it arose (archives of MV 2010, for instance, showed a similar complaint).

    • Jack of All Trades

      You’ve lived here 9 months? My heart bleeds for you. I’ve lived in Magnolia 19 years and Seattle proper 28. Complain about a little aviation noise, give me a break. Does it interrupt your martini time over on the Boulevard? Like I said, if you want quiet, move out of the city.

      • jane

        Idiot.

      • Leslie

        Hi Jackass of All Trades. I’m sorry I made you cry by asking a simple question. Not the most flattering selfie, however. If you don’t have anything constructive to add, go back to whatever scintillating life you must be leading that causes you to troll this blog so negatively. Too bad Seattle proper and Magnolia don’t seem to agree with you much. They seem like nice places to us so far except for you, but every place has its sketchy bits. Oops, martini time Gotta run. Cheers, crabbypants! May things get better for you soon so you don’t need to be like this for the next 19 years.

  • emmakaye

    First, the marker for Boeing Field is inside the fence at the top of the Magnolia Bridge. That’s what they hone in on for landing. I expect the early morning flights are ups and/or FedEx. Another complication is that the upper airspace is ‘owned’ by Seatac, so flights going into Boeing Field have a thin sandwich of airspace to maneuver in. There is an alternate route using the Sound and Elliott Bay, but of course it is less direct than flying over Magnolia.

    Airplane noise has been an on-again off-again issue for a long time. Also wind direction changes can mean more planes over Magnolia.

  • donjr

    There is some good and some bad being under the flight path for Boeing Field. I have lived in Magnolia for 53 years directly under the flight path. The bad is the noise. The military jets are the loudest, but that is the cost of Freedom (NAS Whidbey Island)! The good, seeing new Boeing Jets before the rest of the country. Also good, seeing Air force One flying directly over my head. I’m very proud of our local jets. Nobody does it better. This topic comes up every so often. Folks who have lived here for years and decades have seen the changes. We roll with it! Leslie, you’ll get used to it and learn to appreciate what we have here.

  • abzolut

    I agree that the noise has gotten worse over the past few months. I don’t think we should have to pause TV shows and conversations inside our homes — every 2-4 minutes — because the air traffic is so loud. I have noticed that the traffic is particularly bad in the dinnertime hours (4:30-6:30pm roughly) and it’s mostly UPS and DHL planes. I have made complaints to the noise hotline when there have been particularly loud planes, only to be told (quite politely) that the records show that all of the planes flying over at that time were above 2000 feet so there’s nothing to be done.

    What ever happened to the plan to route the planes over the Sound?

  • Swindy

    I never notice the plane noise, but I live across from the train tracks and they are quite loud at times. In 20 years I’ve grown used to the sound and now I hardly notice it. Hoping the same happens for those listening to the planes.