I am a two-war veteran, have worked on board a carrier with the EA-18 Growler, understand its mission, flight profile and greatly appreciate the skills involved in piloting it.
However, I will corroborate they generate excessive noise, fly much lower than 1,200 feet over our national parks, beaches, the Hoh rain forest, and the city of Forks. Residents of the Hoh have stated, time and again, of tree-top skimming flights where they were able to see the pilot’s face.
I have witnessed a flight up Ruby Beach at less than 300 feet, and over Forks so low, the aircraft was below the hills on the east side of town (under 800 feet), and periods on the Bogachiel, and in town, where conversations ceased because one could not hear the person seated next to you.
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At times, these flights begin before dawn and continue until the next dawn.
The other man-made sounds, combined, lack the decibels created by the EA-18s. Federal rules dictate noise levels by commercial aircraft; no such rules exist for the thunderous blasts of the EA-18.
Times have changed since the area was granted status as a low-level military area, decades ago. It is time to realize that these flights, and an increase of them from more aircraft, is detrimental to the area, the residents and the West End’s reputation of unspoiled, natural beauty and silence.
A sample: tinyurl.com/navynoise
David Youngber, Forks