Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oregon Air Guard F-15 Eagles focus of patriotism, controversy

Oregon's F-15 jets have been in the news quite a bit lately.

In late September, the Oregon Air National Guard said goodbye to the last F-15-A model in the U.S. Air Force inventory. The final flight was made by Lt. Col. Steve Beauchamp to the Air Force's boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona. Read our Facebook post on that story here.

On Oct. 6, I published a blog post about some complaints surrounding F-15 flyovers at local college football games. The comments ranged from criticism "killing machines" to supportive praise "Sound of Freedom".

On Monday, Steve Johnson from the Port of Portland issued a press release regarding their review of the PDX Citizen Noise Advisory Committee recommendation issued to the Port last month. They reviewed the CNAC's list of proposed restrictions:

- Military flights restricted to weekdays only.
- Flights only between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- May only use South runway.
- Weather ceiling at 5,000 feet.
- Minimum of five-mile visibility.
- Only two jets in each formation.
- Submit status reports to committee every six months.

The committee and the Port conducted a test of these procedures from Oct. 2008 to March 2009. The CNAC again observed a test on Aug. 1, 2009, and at their Aug. 13 meeting, discussed their findings, and reviewed noise data and community feedback.

The Port says final coordination is underway between the Federal Aviation Administration and the Oregon Air National Guard.

One thing to consider is the training which Oregon Air Guard pilots must undergo to retain their proficiency and flight status. Flying these aircraft is demanding, to say the least, and if a pilot were to only fly once a month, their skills would be adversely affected.

The Oregon Air Guard continues to support the Air Sovereignty Alert mission, which is vital to protecting the skies over the Pacific Northwest. This airspace extends from Northern California across Washington to the Canadian border. These pilots risk their lives every day to ensure the security of the skies over our home state.

Every member of the Oregon Air National Guard is a proud member of their local community, and they take great pride in representing the best military organization in the world. All of our personnel--in particular our pilots--try very hard to work with the surrounding communities.

The goal is to lessen the impact on residents who live near the airport and our training sites by following FAA guidelines, while at the same time keeping all Oregonians safe by completing a critical security mission.

Posted by Tech. Sgt. Nick Choy,
Oregon Military Department Social Media Manager


Joshua said...

I work at the airport in general avaition side. I have a hard time understanding the controversy sometimes. I run for a better view of the F-15s evertime I hear them. That sound make me feel safe. I truely feel lucky to live here and commonly see and hear their presence. Thanks for the hard work guys please keep it up and if I had it my way I would like to see more of the vertical climbs out of PDX. Question: Why the vertical climbs anyway? Is it training or is it a maintenance run? Lucky dogs you have the best jobs in the world.
Feeling safe,

Anonymous said...

Reading the article again I kinda get the feeling that the restrictions listed seemed put a the air guard on a kind of short leash. Pilots need to train at night for one. And also need to perform tactical approaches and as well as perform as group not a pair. Like stated in the article these fine pilots need to be proficient at their jobs. And to be honest working at PDX I really have never seen the air gaurd truely go off the handle during thier flights. So I am against the restrictions. I think as a proud citizen I think we should be a little more flexible.
Feeling safe

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the bad grammar. I only have a couple of minutes to type my thoughts during break time at work.
feeling safe

Angela Gilbert said...

What is more logical? To have a peaceful night to watch Project Runway or favourite sports game...desperate housewives, keeping up with the Kardashians....or possibly to support the men and women who are committed to protecting our air-space. It's a big job, and to show a little appreciation at the least would be more intelligent since they are the ones out there protecting us. So what if you have a few minutes of noise. Put your head in the freezer and chill out while they are breifly over your sacred quiet zone, that is not even your personal space, but everyone's. Noise is a small price to pay, much smaller than the committment these men and women sacrfice to protect us. In the words of Charlie Brown..."Good Grief!!"

Angela Gilbert
NE Portland- Center neighborhood where frequent flying is frequently heard and ignored effectively.