New F-15 Flight Pattern Strikes a Nerve

The Oregon Air National Guard’s test of a new flight pattern that takes the F-15s of the 142nd Fighter Wing at Portland International Airport over residential areas northeast of Portland as a means to cut fuel cost and save flying hours has raised the ire of some residents, reports The Oregonian. The F-15s had been flying to other bases for training. “It’s much more efficient for us to practice this overhead pattern in Portland,” the 142nd FW’s Jeff Silver told the newspaper. The Oregonian notes that one of the residents complaining, Ervin Bergman, who was an environmental noise data specialist, joined with other citizens of the Cully Association of Neighbors to start a petition for a formal complaint. However, the newspaper also reports that Jason Schwartz, the noise-management manager for the Port of Portland with jurisdiction over the airport, likened the F-15 noise as “equivalent to the sound of a car driving by.” His office measured the noise levels in the surrounding and found the noise “was minimal.” The ANG’s trial period ends in March 2009, at which point Schwartz said the noise advisory committee would review the data and public reaction.