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Did anyone hear an airplane buzzing Palo Alto Mon. night / Tue. morning?

Original post made by CrescentParkAnon., Crescent Park, on Aug 19, 2014

Last night I was up working and all of a sudden it sounded like the blitz, three was a noise like a plane was strafing my house in Crescent Park ... very low to the ground. The ground was shaking and my windows were rattling. Most of the time in summer my windows are open ... and this was really loud.

It went on for a while, then went away. Then not too long later the plane came by for a second run.

It sounded to me like it was a local propellor plane very close to the ground in Palo Alto over at least the Crescent Park area. Did anyone else notice this? I cannot see how this would not have woken up a lot of people because of how loud it was.

Comments (160)

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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:09 pm

CrescentParkAnon,

Aircraft noise has been really bad for the last 24 hours. You could try to use Webtrak to identify the culprit. Webtrak has a "wayback" feature. In the lower left hand corner of the webpage there is a place where you can enter a date/time, and Webtrak will begin to display the tracks of aircraft from that time onward. If you place your cursor on an aircraft, a popup will display the flight number, tail number, etc.

Webtrak website: Web Link

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by The Shadow knows........
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:15 pm

"strafing"? Seriously? Do you even understand what the term implies? It means attacking a target on the ground with lethal weapons, usually machine guns or cannon fire, but also sometimes rockets.

I can understand you concern over low flying aircraft, but please, let's not make this topic any more incendiary (pun intended) than it already is........


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Yeah, I know what "strafing" means ... do you know what "overreacting" means?

I assume you could glean I used the term to impress that the noise and accompanying vibration was of such intensity that I thought the plane might crash into the neighborhood. Whoever was up there was a real jerk in my book, and they know they are not supposed to be low-flying over Palo Alto in the late-nite, early morning hours ... and really should not be low-flying over Palo Alto at all.

It's the equivalent of joy-riding and driving up on people's lawns or honking the horn late at night. There is no control of what is more and more of a common problem.


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Posted by Chris Zaharias
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Chris Zaharias is a registered user.

Yup, I heard it to, and I'm glad I did 'cause it got me out of bed to start another glorious day!


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 19, 2014 at 2:43 pm

HI = provide the date and time of day - we can check it out on flight tracker. We can file a complaint with the airport it is flying out of.
With the sale of the airport to Palo Alto there has to be some ground rules of what is acceptable. With the FAA having an office on the PAO airport property we can further the complaint.

One problem noted with the more current FAA ideas on flight routes we need a noise monitor located at PAO. We also need to start approaching these type problems not as a noise complaint but as a security complaint.

SFO and SJX planes flying at less than 4,000 feet is a security issue.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Jetman ... the pdf of air traffic looks like Palo Alto is the intersection of the sky ... lots and lots of straight lines going in and out of just this particular area.

I like to garden and when I am in my backyard now it is almost as bad as when I walk out at the Baylands, though mostly it is big jets not little planes. But the little planes can be just as loud when they are lower to the ground, purposefully.


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Posted by send in a complaint
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Crescent Park Anon,

"Did anyone hear an airplane buzzing Palo Alto Mon. night / Tue. morning?

Yes I did.

From other threads, it appears that SFO is not receiving any complaints from Palo Alto.

If anyone reading this is hearing the noise, it should be reported.

Report your complaints:

Web Link

Suggestions:

1) At the bottom of the form click for a copy, it reads

"Please check this box if you would like to receive a copy
of the noise complaint email that will be sent to the Noise Office"

2) The form is not user friendly (maybe on purpose), so don't let it prevent you from filing a complaint.

3) Request that SFO send you the names of the airlines which are flying so low.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

Its also important to file separate complaints.

Web Link

If we get the news that nobody has complained from Palo Alto we could maybe forward the copy of all our complaint receipts.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

You can also file a complaint at any time.

Just put the approximate time of the noise, even if it is from yesterday's noise. Keep a record

Web Link


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Posted by anonymous
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 19, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I have noticed much increased noise and low flying aircraft including 747s apparently coming in from Asia to SFO. I know I did not see those in prior years (although this may have started say one year ago ). I am certain flight routes were altered to now fly over our neighborhood, sometimes in very quick succession and it is time to get serious and start complaining. We had NO such problem with being in our backyard (or sometimes in the house) with large plane noise until relatively recently.

In addition, I wondered if I was seeing a small commercial aircraft - either the small airline that flies out of San Carlos and is noisy (uses noisy aircraft according to prior threads on this topic) or the one I heard advertised on the radio - advertises as flying out of Palo Alto Airport, sorry I don't remember the name of this small airline. Kind of like an oversized single prop airplane?!


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Reply to "Anonymous" and others........
When I look at the airlines having nighttime arrivals at SFO, I don't see a preponderance of Asian airlines at all. Landings are all on the web.

Many flights arriving at night are originating from Canada. Also several flights are from New Zealand, Australia, South America, South Africa, Europe (Netherlands, France, Belgium, Ireland, England, Portugal, Scandinavia, Poland), & Russia. A lot are from the Middle East. Only a very few arrive at night from Asia (China, Singapore, Korea).

I suspect the SFO landing patterns are no different now than they were in months/recent years -- and that they are not flying lower than before. Patterns and altitudes are tightly regulated.

However--
(1) Weather/wind conditions can amplify sound. Residents of San Mateo and San Bruno really suffer.
(2) There are rogue private pilots from Silicon Valley who routinely ignore FAA landing regulations when landing their small planes.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:14 pm

neighbor,

"When I look at the airlines having nighttime arrivals at SFO, I don't see a preponderance of Asian airlines at all. Landings are all on the web."

I track one - a regular Korean Airlines freight flight over Palo Alto around midnight and 1 AM.

Flies about 4000 feet over our neighborhood.

Anyone who hears the low flying planes should file the complaint.

Web Link

Per SFO

"Specific date and time of the aircraft noise disturbance is very useful in our efforts to mitigate noise."

Anyone filing a complaint, keep a record and request the name of the airline.


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Posted by iconoclast
a resident of University South
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:43 pm

""strafing"? Seriously? Do you even understand what the term implies? It means attacking a target on the ground with lethal weapons, usually machine guns or cannon fire, but also sometimes rockets."

Yeah, that's its WWII meaning. But the original usage goes back to the WWI German slogan "Gott strafe England (God punish England)." .CPAnon had it right; PA residents were being punished by PAO pilots.

Anyone want to organize a 24/7 saturation quadcopter patrol between FL 0.5 and 1.0? Just keep them lingering up there, and the PAO cowboys will do the rest.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 19, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Jet noise is increasing over Palo Alto... here's why:

SFO is transitioning to a new air traffic control system known as "NextGen". The FAA kicked-off the three-year roll-out of "NextGen" at SFO in January 2013. Under "NextGen", aircraft "coast" down from altitude at high speed along several precisely navigated narrow approach routes.

The precision navigation used in the "Nextgen" system channels air traffic into several narrow flight corridors on their way to SFO, and allows air traffic control to use much tighter aircraft-to-aircraft spacing. While the "Nextgen" approach may slightly reduce the noise emitted by an aircraft's engines, residents living under a "Nextgen" approach route will experience a dramatic increase in noise at ground level, due to the greater number of aircraft passing overhead, the lower altitudes flown by "NextGen" approach profiles, and the higher approach speeds, which produce more airframe noise.

The FAA has called the "NextGen" air traffic system "highways in the sky". Under the prevailing westerly wind pattern, there are five highways into SFO, and three of these highways pass over Palo Alto. The three highways passing over Palo Alto handle half of all SFO's inbound traffic.

Since the year 2000 air traffic over Palo Alto has nearly tripled, while total SFO traffic has seen only a single digit increase in that same time period. Palo Alto now plays host to more aircraft-miles of air traffic than any other city in the SFBA Metroplex.

"FAA Plan Seeks More Direct Air Routes in Bay Area"
SF Gate ~ Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Web Link

"New Technology Promises Less Noise from Jet Engines, but to Whose Ears?"
The Almanac ~ August 29, 2012 Web Link

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:48 am

@iconoclast -- "between FL 0.5 and 1.0?" ? ?


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Posted by kerry55
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 5:47 am

Did anybody hear the loud airplane noise this morning around 4:35 am, Aug. 20th? There was a strong vibration too. It woke me up....hard to go back to sleep. Are any City Council or staff working on getting some relief for this increased airplane noise? I did the online complaint form......any other way to organize??


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 6:43 am

I did hear one helicopter of some sort fly over around that timeframe.
Probably to or from Stanford Medical.
Seems to have been quiet last night regarding the commercial big iron.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

Oh, there went one, 6:48am, 737 or Airbus (two-engine on wings).
Followed 3 minutes later by a what looks like a Southwest 737.
And there goes a smaller looks like Regional Jet (2-engine at tail).
And now 6:55 an impressive low fly-by northbound up Middlefield by a late-model Southwest 737.
I'll have to look up that one's altitude, but first it's time for breakfast at Hobee's.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:54 am

The trans-pacific flights from the Hawaiian islands come over on a regular basis - about two per day per island via United, and others going to Oakland - Alaska, and Hawaiian. These are code share flights which have a number of airlines sharing the seating so show up as a number of airline numbers. Most Asian flights refuel in Hawaii. Many from Seattle and Portland come to SFO to refuel before launching across the Pacific.

You also have smaller commuter flights from Portland / Oregon who come down to put people on the Pacific flights.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:00 am

Side note - a presentation was made at the PACC concerning the air traffic. It resulted in a letter to the FAA with our mayor - Nancy Shepherd - as the PA-POC for this issue. We are suppose to get a seat on the SFO board where these issues are discussed. There has been no follow-up on this story since the PACC meeting. Can the Weekly please do a follow-up? I suspect that the PAO airport transition plays into this issue to complicate it.
It is also complicated in that the SFO airport was in a major overhaul which is now complete. So what you see today is possibly the norm for SFO.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:08 am

Other side note - the theory that all planes are at the 4,000 foot level over PA has some holes in it. The Wall Street Journal did an extensive write-up on the air travel routes as a result of the Ukraine shoot-downs. Turns out that the commercial systems using the air traffic tracking fill the gaps where their equipment has black holes. I can assume that the area as they come over the coast line - over the mountains and down the valley has holes that are filled in with the required data to produce a finished product within specifications. Clearly some of these planes are under 4.000 feet.
The SJX tracker has shown the flights in a reverse arrival over Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View with a rotation in PA to arrive at SJX as under 4,000 feet.


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Posted by 100 feet off the ground
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:16 am

"Most Asian flights refuel in Hawaii. Many from Seattle and Portland come to SFO to refuel before launching across the Pacific."

Looks like we are starting with the misinformation again:
Web Link
From SFO, many airlines run non stops to asia (Singapore, Air China, Asiana, Cathay Pacific, Eva, delta etc). Non stop in Hawaii for refueling.
I am sure that once again we will a steady stream of stories about planes buzzing palo alto and almost crashing into buildings.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:23 am

Kerry,

UAL396 from HNL flies over Palo Alto around 4:30am. Last night it crossed Palo Alto on a track that was pretty much parallel to, and above Oregon Expressway, and was in Palo Alto airspace from 4:35 to 4:36am.

There are several loud flights throughout the night. Korean Airlines flies a loud 747 freighter (KAL213) from LAX to SFO 4-5 nights a week on a regular schedule. It passes over Palo Alto around 1:30am

The FAA does not allow airports that receive FAA Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds to impose any limit on the time which airlines are allowed to operate. SFO just completed a $214 runway construction project that was federally required and funded. Just another way the FAA uses your federal tax dollar to subsidize the airport/airline industry.

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 8:55 am

Many planes going to Asia do not originate in SFO - they originate in eastern cities. The size of the plane determines the fuel load - bigger plane carries more fuel - smaller plane recharge before launching out.
It all revolves around what type airplane is being used and where it originates from.

When you are coming back from Hawaii the plane is not always ending its flight in SFO - it is going on to other cities. It drops off people, gets more people, fuels up, and goes to where its final destination is - Seattle, east coast.


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Posted by 100 feet off the ground
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:15 am

AS i said the misinformation has started
Very few airlines, if any, run flights from the east coast to asia via SFO. The ones that do involve a change of aircraft--smaller one in the US bigger one onwards to asia. Many airlines run flights that will connect you with a flight to asia from SFO. And if you return from asia, you will definitely carry on in a smaller plane, since you would do customs and immigration at SFO--maybe the same flight number, but smaller plane.

When you are coming back from Hawaii, only a US based airline can pick up passengers in the US international airlines are forbidden from picking up passengers in SFO and flying them to another city in the US. Also, most of these flights involve a change in aircraft.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:20 am

resident 1

"Can the Weekly please do a follow-up?"

The Weekly could be the the missing link to get the FAA to appear from behind the scenes on this story.

Getting the FAA on the record would be extremely helpful to the community.




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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 9:36 am

Weekly,

In case there are concerns about how this impacts the real estate market, the issues of airplane noise in Palo Alto are not really news.

I and many residents who hear the noise will have to disclose airplane noise when selling our homes. Many homes in Atherton apparently feature these disclosures, though they have less activity than Palo Alto.

Even if you did not disclose the fact that SFO airplanes are flying low at midnight when selling your home, the next person buying may hear the noise and would not be very happy.

There is also public record of a City Hall meeting addressing the concerns, so it is easily found.

Is this the reason people may be hesitating to report noise? Well, I don't think hiding this is better than asking why planes cannot fly higher.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:25 am


SFO is a hub for United Airline and its foreign partners. Many foreign airlines code share on the United flight from Hawaii to SFO. American has a hub in LAX - American and its partners do a lot of transition in LAX. The major carriers and their partners balance the flight schedules based on demand, available aircraft, and scheduling. Its a business - it is not a static situation.
I don't pretend to be an expert on this topic - I just know what I have experienced during holiday travel - high useage, and bad weather travel. I also have friends who are working those airports and see both freight and passenger flights which all are moving on a continual basis.


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Posted by Devon
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:32 am

IMHO, whenever I've felt buzzing or vibrating from aircraft at my house it has been from helicopter traffic rather than either commercial airlines or small airplanes. The airplanes can be noisy, but not loud & shaky like the helicopters.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

You live in a metro area with 3 international airports, many general aviation airports, trains, medical helicopters, police and fire sirens, etc. it is urban life. Life will get louder here -- it is a growing metro area.

The plane noise is MUCH worse in Foster City, Burlingame, & South San Francisco.

But if urban noise is bugging you there are other things you can do. SMALL: You can close the windows or wear earpugs. BIG: You can move to a rural area (your PA house profits will make you the richest folks in town).

I think that the much more worrisome thing in Palo Alto -- which is one of the nicest communities in the U.S. -- is the constant (and very insular) complaining about absolutely everything.

Life is actually pretty good around here, and so much of the world is SO screwed up.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:56 am

Devon,

Helicopter traffic is something I wonder about because I notice that it's not just the Stanford hospital's helicopters.

If the Weekly would write a story (perhaps a 3 part investigative feature given the many questions and disagreements about what is fact or fiction). I would want to see a report in list form of the numbers of flights going over Palo Alto (broken down by airport, type of aircraft and airlines), lowest altitudes being hit and the names of the airlines which have regularly scheduled flights at altitudes below 5000 feet during the night.

This accounting would be helpful to at least publicly track the increase of activity over time. I would think real estate prices would be more impacted if there is an outward disregard to noise and air pollution by the community.

Anyone speaking out about transparency should have no problem with that.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

Aha. Found it, this morning's impressively low Southwest 737, flight 1085, LAX to SJC, position at 6:54AM was 37.4333N, 122.1167W, course 322 deg (northwest-bound), altitude 2100 feet. That's directly over Loma Verde and Louis. Unusual reversed-runway arrival pattern. Doing 189 knots it was actually pretty quiet and graceful. By now everyone here knows I enjoy airshows. 2100 feet, wow.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:06 am

musical,

"Aha. Found it, this morning's impressively low Southwest 737, "

Oh Southwest airlines. The airline who hired the former the FAA bigshot arrested for drunk driving?

Jerome Randolph "Randy" Babbitt,
Web Link

"He was later hired in October of 2012 as Southwest Airlines' Vice President of Labor Relations to help reduce employee costs."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:07 am

"I think that the much more worrisome thing in Palo Alto -- which is one of the nicest communities in the U.S. -- is the constant (and very insular) complaining about absolutely everything."

Used to be a nice community, it isn't anymore. Overdevelopment turned it into a polluted, traffic chocked, extremely noisy, full of rude drivers and rude, impatient people always in a hurry. It is now just as messed up as other places, just wealthier.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:18 am

Musical,

Yesterday (8/19) I tracked two flights between 10:15 and 10:45 inbound to SJC from the south, that did a u-turn over Palo Alto in order to make a final approach to SJC from the northeast.

RSP773 entered Palo Alto airspace at 2,900', and exited at 2,100'. SKW6499 entered and exited Palo Alto airspace at 2,900'


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:19 am

... that starts with P, and that rhymes with T, and that stands for Trouble!

Nothing seems to be hurting property values. Can't imagine how expensive it would be here if all were perfect.

Like neighbor alluded to above, most of the world would happily trade places with us.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:22 am

Musical,

Whoops... should have said "to make a final approach to SJC from the northwest"


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Posted by Economist
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

"Used to be a nice community, it isn't anymore. Overdevelopment turned it into a polluted, traffic chocked, extremely noisy, full of rude drivers and rude, impatient people always in a hurry. It is now just as messed up as other places, just wealthier."

And as someone else pointed out--the over exaggerations have begun. Yes, boscoli, this place is so terrible that property values are falling by the day. Oh, wait..
Claims about being choked by traffic are a myth. Claims that is extremely noisy is a myth. Claims that the people are rude and impatient are a myth.
But never let the facts get in the way of a good argument, as my DIL likes to say


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

@Jetman, got it. Your observations were smaller aircraft. How low have we seen a 777 or 747 or A340 over Palo Alto? I'd assume 99% of them stay above 4000, especially in the wee hours. They can be window rattlers if your house has the wrong resonant frequencies. Stlll not as obnoxious as low-flying helicopters.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42 am

Musical,

The communities north of the San Mateo County border did trade planes with us... that is why Palo Alto has so many!

The near three-fold increase in air traffic over Palo Alto since the year 2000, cannot be attributed to the single digit increase in SFO traffic since 2000. Three of the five approach routes into SFO intersect over Palo Alto.

Palo Alto has become a dumping ground for air traffic, because it has not been able to effectively push back.

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by howlong
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:43 am

wheeeeee lots of interesting things to read here

but then the debunking begins

not likely this thread or whatever it's called will be shut down anytime soon (what do you think, neighbor?)

but East Palo Alto one is shut, portions removed, posts removed

how predictable

how different are the posters here?

different enough to keep on trucking?


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Posted by Freqently-Bothered-By-Airplanes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 11:58 am

I hear low-flying planes over my home quite frequently. Particularly noisy are the helicopters that seem to be going towards Stanford. Occasionally I can hear the commercial jets when I am outside, but they generally are high enough that I can't hear them.

Wish there was some way to begin to record the noise levels, times and altitudes of the offending planes/choppers.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:14 pm

musical

"I'd assume 99% of them stay above 4000, especially in the wee hours."

The 1% that doesn't could be disrupting any number of issues in homes in Palo Alto.

Weekly,

If you would ever write a story, it would be incomplete without the FAA being on the record, and elected officials in Washington who are responsible for assuring FAA fair balance between the interests of airlines and the interests of residential communities.

There is too much obfuscation with the FAA goals of looking out for airspace management which ends up serving commercial airlines and not balancing resident concerns.

I would doubt that the Korean Airlines cargo flights in the middle of the night or Southwest flying at 2000 feet near Palo Alto schools are matters of national security.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Turn on the news for about 5 minutes, and maybe you'll feel thankful you live here. No one is bombing you, you have beautiful homes, all the food and water you need. Once in a while you hear an airplane, but it's not bombing you.


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Posted by Emily Renzel
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:33 pm

My home is directly under the 052 landing pattern for SFO. This is near the island on Forest Avenue between Lincoln and Boyce. This is also where the overseas flights bank toward SFO after they come in over Woodside. There are some times when you can see the flights lined up coming one after the other on 052. It seems like whatever was heard as part of this original article may have been a rogue general aviation pilot , although some of the banking overseas aircraft cause vibration in my house and a distinct sense of uneasiness about someone about to crash.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:39 pm

To anyone who may know people at Samsung.

If you know any of the top executives at this company, could you please see if they have contacts with Korean Airlines management?

Just north of a Samsung office in Palo Alto, a Korean Airlines cargo flight is being very unfriendly to residents during the middle of the night, during the week, including children who need their sleep.

Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:44 pm

The message and request is to PLEASE fly at higher altitudes during the night.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 12:56 pm

Musical,

The FAA makes no distinction between daytime and nighttime operations, so your "especially in the wee hours." is not correct.

The only thing the FAA is held to is 65db CNEL (Community Noise Equivalent Level). To get the CNEL noise level, the FAA first throws out the low frequency sound, that they consider to be below the threshold of human perception, (this is the sound that causes structural vibration). Then they take the remaining sound within the typical range of human hearing and average it over a 24 hour period (including all of the 55 minute long periods of quiet at night. There is NO limit on "one time" events, even at night.

Oh, and the FAA doesn't actually MEASURE the sound for the CNEL... they generate it with a computer model!


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Posted by Frequently-Bothered-By-Airplanes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:03 pm

> FAA doesn't actually MEASURE the sound for the CNEL... they generate
> it with a computer model!

Interesting. Any idea if the FAA correlate their model with actual noise measurements, from time-to-time?


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:05 pm

I checked the SJX Mineta web tracker this morning - they were funneling incoming planes down the Cupertino / Sunnyvale corridor with a rotation in Palo Alto for arrival at SJX. It was not windy and it was clear. ALL UNDER 4,000 feet.
Wall Street journal today - Marketplace - Technology Helps Pilots Land in Fog. Rockwell Collins and Honeywell are developing tools so that pilots can land without seeing the runway. This trend still has to get final approval from the FAA. The point is to stop the aborted landings and go-arounds at the last moments because the pilots cannot see the runway.

Thank you to the big newspapers that keep up with what is happening out there - lots of problems still being addressed.

It has been foggy at night so pilots can't see. Especially pilots that are not familiar with the SFO location.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Hey Neighbor - Usually this thread gets shut down when the city is asked to DO SOMETHING - INTERRACT with SFO and the FAA. Since this is a political season then those have are tasked with the job are trying to back peddle.


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Posted by Exhausted by this
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

I fail to see why there is a comments section on PAO any longer. It seems to be a place for only venomous, vindictive individuals who have nothing constructive to say. Please forgive me, the few who add useful comments, you are in the minority.

I thought Palo Alto was an educated, neighborly, caring place - boy has that changed since I was a kid here. How about being constructive in your comments rather than destructive? How about finding the solution rather than adding more problems? How about being nice for a change?

No wonder the world is falling to pieces if a place like Palo Alto can't even be civilized.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Exhausted,

I share your pain. The exhaustion is particularly difficult when sleep is disrupted.

Those with questions about noise and air pollution may be inconvenient to those who don't see a problem. Over the years on TS the threads have not always been sweet an perfect.

It's a choice to not click on a thread which is unappealing to you. Simply judging others is not really a way to contribute to the conversation/debate.


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Posted by exhausted
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:13 pm

complaint form...thank you for your note. I am sorry for the lack of sleep...completely understand, me too!

Your note is appreciated...I understand what you're saying about not following a thread if it's not "appealing". I find the original subject interesting and want to hear what people have to say about a subject often, but when it's continually vicious day after day it becomes tiring and unhelpful to the original question/comment/article.

I like hearing ideas and solutions not attack upon attack.

Your note, however, is very well received and greatly appreciated. Thank you for being a true TS individual and hope you get a good nights rest soon!



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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Frequently-Bothered-By-Airplanes,

"Interesting. Any idea if the FAA correlate their model with actual noise measurements, from time-to-time?"

The FAA does not correlate their model with actual measurements. But even if there was a disturbance in the middle of the night, the measure of noise is an average.

Portola Valley has challenged the FAA models with actual measurements but even if the noise would add up to an acceptable disturbance level, the FAA only recognizes noise as an average of the day.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

exhausted,

"I like hearing ideas and solutions not attack upon attack. "

The solution is to seek fairer FAA practices to balance the leeway that airlines have to disrupt with noise in the middle of the night, and resident quality of life issues such as sleep. I happen think that low flying airplanes are not a good idea to have buzzing over schools either.

It's a little like the parking situation mixed with ABAG but with airspace.

What is wrong with at least asking for lower flying planes at night?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:30 pm

correction

HIGHER flying planes at night.:)!


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Dear Exhausted by This
Thank you for trying to inject some rationality into this "discussion" -- clearly it's futile, but I do appreciate your efforts.

What's happened in Palo Alto? So much self-centered complaining, so little sense or proportion or reality.

One commenter even wrote: "If you know any of the top executives at this company(SAMSUNG), could you please see if they have contacts with Korean Airlines management?" Why stop there? Why not write to the President of South Korea to complain about the sound of the engines on a particular KAL flight over Palo Alto?"

OMG....someone is going to think this is a good idea (if my post isn't erased by the editor)

PLEASE Palo Alto: Turn on the news and thank God that you live here.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:50 pm

neighbor,

I don't think your post should be erased.

There is a cargo flight flying low above homes. It happens to be between midnight and 1 AM.

If the airline was British Airways and a British conglomerate had a local office on University Ave, I would ask the same question - any connections to senior management at British Airways?

If the airline was Delta, I'd find out where they are based and if they had any local contacts in Palo Alto.

Airlines who are flying low at night over neighborhoods should become aware.

But the regular complaint channel is the SFO noise complaint form.

I would encourage anyone who hears the late night flights to track them, including airline name.

Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I think a lot of information is being provided here - it is technical in nature. We are analyzing a problem and providing a method to recognize the problem. Analyzing the problem - getting feed back and collectively adding information is how consensus is developed. Neighbor and Exhausted may not be technically curious so they should rest their heads and go back to sleep.
They can find another thread that they are curious about and add their point of view on a topic they are interested in.
I have got some good information out of this thread.


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Posted by Frequently-Bothered-By-Airplanes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Here is a City of Ontario (CA) noise contour map--

Web Link

Has anyone ever seen the City of Palo Alto provide a similar map for its residents?


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

During the July 4th weekend the planes were directed over under-populated areas where there would be no listed fireworks. Given that we have an ocean, bay, and a lot of open space then there is a place for airline traffic that is agreeable to all - there was little noise and the planes all landed on schedule with no problems They were also flying at a higher altitude. They were provided alternate routes for security reasons - not noise reasons. So the FAA and SFO recognize a way of optimizing everyone's concerns - it just needs to be reiterated that it is important and there is precedent.


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Posted by Steve
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

This is exactly what I would expect from someone who live in Crescent Park. I'm not sure if you know this, but you live in an area that is surrounded by 3 major airports and essentially the only landing route to SFO. Here's a suggestion. Deal with it.


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Posted by iconoclast
a resident of University South
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:23 pm

"@iconoclast -- "between FL 0.5 and 1.0?" ? ? "

Yes. Pilot-talk for 500-1000ft altitude. Aircraft are not supposed to fly lower than FL 1.0, so meandering quadcopters below that altitude would present no problem.

However...


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Posted by Rational
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 20, 2014 at 4:41 pm

As a pilot and a frequent international flier, I am wincing at most, but not all comments ... I recall I think it was "Catch me if you can" where a stewardess is interviewing .. She says "flying at 500 feet above ground at 34,000 mph ..." Jetman, I am sure you recall this :-)

I am hearing: We oppose this! What is this? I don't know but we oppose this! Not in my backyard!

Come on Palo Alto!

We should have the FAA move the MENLO intersection. But then how will my son run out to see Daddy's "huge lufthansa airplane" plane coming in from Munich at 7 pm?

// end sarcasm


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Posted by Boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Yes, Economist, life is easy when one chooses to be deaf and blind. Real estate prices keep going up for reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with peace and quite and quality of life. Manhattan, Tokyo or London real state prices aren't going through the roof because the air is good, traffic is light or because they provide peace and quite. Palo Alto is not Manhattan, Tokyo or London, but it's getting close. High real estate prices mean nothing when you are surrounded by endless construction, awful noise and people who get ruder by the day. Not everything in life should be about the equity on your house. Overdevelopment equals slow and very painful death.


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Posted by ResidentSince2005
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 20, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I've lived in EPA since 2005. I haven't noticed much change in the PA airport noise, but the number of SFO jets going overhead has increased a lot. And it is quite intrusive. One night, my ten year old daughter called out in fear because it sounded like one was going to crash into our house. Maybe that plane was lower than average, or maybe it was the atmospherics that night, but the fact is, there are loud jets every night and day now and the noise level is a huge change from a couple of years ago. By switching to 'highways in the sky', the residents who happen to live under the highways are now expected to bear most of the increased noise. I"m not sure why some people posting here think that's reasonable.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:04 pm

"@iconoclast -- "between FL 0.5 and 1.0?" ? ? " Yes, I did figure the meaning you intended, but was fishing for anyone here who might point out that flight levels are expressed in hundreds of feet, not thousands.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Residentsince2005,

"One night, my ten year old daughter called out in fear because it sounded like one was going to crash into our house. "

I'm sorry that happened, and yet your daughter was fortunately able to say something. Many children aren't able to say anything. They don't know why they sleep light, or wake up often. After disturbances at night, they are just not well rested during the day.

Rational, pilot, and frequent international traveler

"I am hearing: We oppose this! What is this? I don't know but we oppose this! Not in my backyard!"

I oppose the lack of boundaries of airlines flying low during the night. Fly higher. I am opposed to low flying planes over schools.

I feel I have a general idea of what the issues are. Boundaries for jets flying low at night are not considered by the FAA. Flying low near schools, not an issue either. They selectively decide which communities are going to have noise abatement by delegating the task to the airports. Guess which communities will be taken care of by San Francisco?
San Francisco which owns SFO is laughing all the way on this one. Actually they probably don't give it a second thought. See and hear nothing, you don't need to bother.


The airlines do not self-regulate, and an average citizen, like the 10 year old girl has no recourse. If this is going in the wrong direction please share. It's not just my bakyard where sleep disruption is an issue, it's any backyard.

Since you are a pilot and frequent traveler - can you justify cargo waking children up or scaring them at night? How low do you need to fly all the way from Palo Alto and East Palo Alto?

If you look at the Southwest Airlines citizenship page, they mention low cost and fuel efficiency an awful lot.

Are they keeping costs low by flying at 2000 feet near schools? Is low cost travel also at the expense of their sleep?

Web Link


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Posted by Neib
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 3:14 am

There is an app called Flightradar24 that identifies all commercial aircraft. You can identify the airplanes in the sky, which airline, where they came from and are going, their flight numbers, etc.


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Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 6:51 am

It is not that I do not think commercial airlines are a problem, I do, and I hear them all the time almost every day, flying above me - loud and low, but I made this post about what I am positive was a private flight from the local Palo Alto airport flying very low over Palo Alto in the very early hours of the morning. It was not a jet.


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Posted by shane
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 21, 2014 at 8:39 am

Simply put....Palo Alto has become a dumping ground for airline arrivals into SFO. It is so disproportionate compared to surrounding areas. I have watched the tracker for about 8 months now and Palo Alto, East Menlo, and East Palo Alto get the brunt of it. Atherton residents complained, and with the help of Anna Eschoo traffic moved down to Palo Alto. The more the residents here send in complaints the better. There is a monthly report that goes to the roundtable and they will see the rise in Palo Alto complaints and this is a good place to start. We also need a representative from Palo Alto to sit at the roundtable so that our city has a voice. We also don't have a noise monitoring system like many other cities. This is a real quality of life issue and it's only going to get worse as the "NextGen" roll out becomes solidified over the next few years.


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 8:50 am

The thing that people are not mentioning is that these planes have to fly somewhere and that means that they are going to fly over a built up urban area. Most of these posts above are saying that they want them to go somewhere else. So where?

Yes, I hear planes into SFO, I hear planes into PAO, I hear planes into Moffett, I hear helicopters going who knows where. I hear emergency vehicles all the time. I hear trains, all the time. I hear the bells from the grade crossings, all the time. I hear barking dogs, all the time. I hear back up beeps from vehicles all the time. I even hear the car burps as people lock their cars, all the time.

This is a busy urban town, I don't expect it to be quiet. I enjoy the fact that I live near enough to SFO and SJC to make air travel convenient. I enjoy the convenience of living in this area. I put up with the noise. It really isn't as bad as some of the commenters here make out.

Really people. Find something intolerable to complain about - can't think of anything? No, our life here is not so bad as others have it.

Unfortunately,


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

Sorry about that" unfortunately" at the bottom, I edited my post and it was stuck at the bottom and didn't notice it.

Still, it is not as bad as all the other hacking that has been going on in the past few hours. :)


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Posted by shane
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 21, 2014 at 9:11 am

Resident - I sent in a suggestion to SFO to have more of the planes that are coming from the south, like San Diego, LAX, Santa Ana to fly over the long stretch of the 85 freeway and then cross over the bay and begin their descent into SFO over the bay. Why fly over residential neighborhoods, when they can fly over the huge stretch of 85 freeway right to the bay?


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Posted by boscoli
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

The recognition of the noise as a serious health hazard as opposed to a nuisance is a recent development and the health effects of the hazardous noise exposure are now considered to be an increasingly important environmental health problem.

Problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, interference with communication, sleep loss, effects on performance and behavior, inability to enjoy one's property or leisure time, and a general reduction in the quality of life and opportunities for tranquility.

Hearing Impairment and Loss

For most people, a life time's continuous exposure to an environmental average noise level of 70 dB will not cause hearing impairment, but any continuous level above 70 dB will adversely affect one's hearing ability. An adult persons ear can tolerate an occasional noise level of up to 140 dB, but this is not recommended over a prolonged time period. Noise induced hearing impairment is the most common irreversible (and preventable) occupational hazard worldwide.

Interference with Communication

Noise can mask important sounds and disrupt communication between individuals in a variety of settings. This process can cause anything from a slight irritation to a serious safety hazard involving an accident or even a fatality because of the failure to hear the warning sounds of imminent danger. Noise can disrupt face-to-face conversation, the enjoyment of radio and television in the home. It can also disrupt effective communication between teachers and pupils in schools, and can cause vocal strain and fatigue in those who need to communicate in spite of the noise. Noise also disturbs relaxation time and masks speech, television and music.

Loss of Sleep

Noise is one of the most common forms of sleep disturbance, and sleep disturbance is a critical component of noise related annoyance. Noise can cause the sleeper to awaken repeatedly and to report poor sleep quality the next day, but noise can also produce reactions of which the individual is unaware. These reactions include changes from heavier to lighter stages of sleep, increases in body movements during the night, changes in heart rate, and mood changes and this all leads to a diminished work performance or productivity.

Effects on Performance and Behaviour

Impulsive or sudden loud sounds can produce a startle response that one does not completely grow accustomed to with repeated, predictable exposures. Simple tasks remain unaffected at noise levels as high as 115dB, while more complex tasks are interrupted at much lower noise levels. Frequency and tempo of noise also play a role. High frequency sound is more disruptive than low frequency sound, and intermittent noise can affect performance more adversely than continuous noise of similar energy. It seems that noise can have an even greater effect on the individual after than during exposure. The most common after effect appearing is the reduced tolerance for frustration and the reduction in willingness to persist in trying to solve complex problems.

Noise has a significant impact on the quality of life, and is a health problem in accordance with the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of health. WHO's definition of health includes total physical and mental well being, as well as the absence of disease. Therefore, noise must be recognized as a major threat to human well being. The effects of noise are seldom catastrophic, and are often only temporary, but adverse effects can be cumulative with prolonged exposure. There is also some evidence that it can adversely affect general health in the same manner as stress. More often than not, noise is a nuisance or an annoyance.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2014 at 10:27 am

Boscoli
Your "data"refers to specific decibels and exposure conditions that have NOTHING to do with Palo Alto's "exposure" to aircraft noise. (South San Francisco or Burlingame...perhaps).

*** The original complaint (by CrescentParkAnon) was about a single "LOCAL propellor plane very close to the ground" It was NOT about a commercial flight en route to SFO. Maybe a hotshot Silicon Valley entrepreneur ignoring FAA rules? IT'S BEEN AN ISSUE BEFORE (with that big company in Redwood Shores).

*** Nevertheless in this area we have 3 international airports + geographical + aircraft safety constraints that define their take-off and landing patterns.

Again: Close your window, get airplugs.

I've noted that you and several other writers have numerous intolerable issues with the quality of life here. In fact, almost everything about every topic on this site seems intolerable. It's become a really nasty complaint site for a small group of folks. Most folks, including me, think life is good here. Maybe that is why the residential, commercial, and research markets are so incredibly hot --- it's called demand, and in this country we like capitalism.

REGARDLESS -- Perhaps you should seriously consider moving if so many things bother you about living here. Urbanization here will be increasing in the near future.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:32 am

Neighbor - you are from "another community" - would that be Atherton?
Or some community that is not under the SFO traffic pattern?
The people on this site have specific interests as a result of the SFO traffic patterns. I suspect that the private plane had more to do with the Facebook or Google people then the Oracle people. But then the Atherton folks had to resolve the Oracle problem - his plane is based in San Jose. Also - his plane is bigger then the one described.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

Neighbor (of another community),

The taxpayers are spending a lot of money subsidizing the aviation industry. The taxpayers deserve to have a say in how it is run.

"NextGen" was originally forecast to cost $40 billion, split between government and industry, and to be completed by 2025, but an internal FAA report estimates it will cost three times that much and take 10 years longer to complete. The FAA has largely stopped talking about end dates and completion costs as the technologies that make up "NextGen" continue to evolve. The FAA currently spends about $800 million a year on the "NextGen" program.

"After a decade of work and billions spent, NextGen ATC is in trouble"
Assiciated Press ~ November 01, 2013 Web Link


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 21, 2014 at 12:05 pm

Sorry folks -- I'm not from Atherton (I wish I had that kind of $$). Actually, I live right under the flight pattern, just like you.

Not only do I have a specific interest in this Peninsula issue, but I previously lived in both the Westchester and Playa del Rey neighborhoods of LA. Those are the neighborhoods DIRECTLY adjacent to, & under, LAX.

I know airplane noise in a very direct way...and there is NO COMPARISON. Not even remotely close.

I believe this thread, like so many others initiated and fomented on this site, is just another local rant.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Neighbor - what you are essentially saying is "shut up and color".
I lived in west LA, Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach. Guess what - the LAX departure is out and directly over the ocean. Noise was not an issue.
Shut up and color is not an option.
Exhausted by this must be a teacher - such unruly children.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

Here's and interesting question...

The FAA is always saying its number one priority is safety. This implies the FAA has a list of priorities. If safety is the FAA's number one priority, what is number two?

Does anybody have an answer?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Resident

"Most of these posts above are saying that they want them to go somewhere else. So where? "

Where should the noise go?

The noise should go Higher, go up in altitude.

So "somewhere else" is UP. There are VERY good reasons why that is legitimate to ask. None the least being that SFO is ways way aways from SFO and you do not need to have CARGO flying low all the way from Palo Alto or East Palo Alto. At midnight.

Misleading to say people just want to send it to other communities. And most of these posts have presented other information about the issues surrounding this problem.

1) Failures in proper nose measurements and what constitutes disruption (especially night and early morning).
2) What the outlook is for the increase of airplane activity for Palo Alto (really bad).
3) The lack of noise abatement measures in Palo Alto which other communities do have.
4) How the FAA appears to be picking winners an losers by delegating the noise problem to the airports which have no incentive to help residents outside their area of interest.
5) The way airlines do take advantage of no boundaries, likely for cost reasons.

Those interested posters from other communities who insist on what Palo Alto residents should be doing or not doing - do you have any reasons why it would not be possible to make jets go higher?

People who hear the noise in Palo Alto should take the time to at least report it.

Take the time, file the form, keep a copy for your records, get details of the airlines being disruptive.

Web Link

Original poster

Does PAO have a noise abatement service as well? If your concern are smaller buzzing planes, they should have outreach about that.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm

To whoever suggested moving the Menlo intersection,

In theory, Next Gen technology - a change to GPS would make that fine.

Randomization of flights would be doable with the new technology, but the FAA's use of the technology is to use that to concentrate airplanes on a few highways.

Air travel is not necessarily increasing as much as the FAA is concentrating all traffic it on a couple of highways, without any input from the residents under the highways.

Palo Alto is the 280 and 101 combined for SFO at this time, and will be worst later.



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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Complaint Form,

I have been watching Webtrak for a few months now, and I have tracked large aircraft fling as high as 6,500' over Palo Alto and still go on to land successfully at SFO, so there is room to go up.

The rule of thumb for aircraft noise is... noise doubles for every 1,000' of altitude, so this would also produce a significant reduction in noise.

SJC WebTrak: Web Link

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

jetman,

"I have tracked large aircraft fling as high as 6,500' over Palo Alto and still go on to land successfully at SFO, so there is room to go up."

I believe that if only because of the distance from PA and EPA to SFO, and having seen airplanes landing in islands with less room.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 2:24 pm

sorry landing ON islands with less room,

but cargo? it needs the luxury ride all the way from Palo Alto and EPA?

and what about the turns and twists that happen here? That increases noise and I would think air pollution


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Posted by Ufo223
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Didn't see the airplane but did see an unidentified flying object on the same night. Sometimes they mask their activity with earthbound aircraft.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 3:04 pm

Complaint Form,

I think you may be missing my point. Currently large SFO bound commercial passenger aircraft are typically crossing over Palo Alto at 4,000-4,500'. I occasionally have seen large SFO bound commercial passenger aircraft cross over Palo Alto as high as 6,500' and still land successfully at SFO, so we know they can fly at least 2,000-2,500' higher over Palo Alto.

As for planes flying freight, they can probably fly a much steeper glide slope, since they do not need to be concerned about the comfort of the passengers.

All of the aircraft flying over between midnight and 6:00am are not freighters. Some of them are "redeyes".


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

jetman,

Besides glide slope for belly comfort upon landing, what other reasons would there be for jets to fly low, starting as early as in PA/EPA to get to SFO?






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Posted by Frequently-Bothered-By-Airplanes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 4:53 pm

> FAA priorities .. what is #2?

Web Link

The link above might answer that question.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Complaint Form,

Everything about the shallower glide slope is cheaper for the airlines. It saves on tires, brakes, airframe maintenance, it is easier for the current crop of poorly trained pilots to fly, and it is supposed to save fuel.

From a marketing perspective, the airlines don't want their passengers to feel like they are actually flying. The airlines want the passengers to forget they are in the air, and think they are on a train.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 6:08 pm

Frequently,

I have seen the document connected to your web link. First, these are "strategic priorities", and may be the global priorities for the organization.

Second, the list on page two is not a (ranked) priority list unless we assume the the priority at the top of the chart is the top priority (one has to be very careful making assumptions with the FAA).

If we assume the top priority is at the top of the chart, it says:

"Make aviation safer and smarter"

Which is it, safer or smarter? And what does the FAA mean by smarter? I am OK with the FAA's top priority being safety, but it seems to me like there is a lot of "weasel room" in "safer AND smarter".

Third, I wonder where the health & welfare of the public on the ground, falls on the FAA's priority list? I don't see health & welfare listed among the four strategic priorities on the document. I wonder where the average taxpayer would rank health & welfare among these priorities:

Make aviation safer and smarter
Deliver benefits through technology and infrastructure
Enhance global leadership
Empower and innovate with the FAA's people


"FAA Strategic Initiatives"
FAA ~ date unknown Web Link


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 21, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Anyone who has an issue with jet planes flying above Palo Alto (as well as East PA and East Menlo Park) is invited to join our group. Contact

veroforyou@gmail.com


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Posted by Enough
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I am amazed that no one has mentioned the Surf Air flights that fly directly over the peninsula, heading for the San Carlos Airport. They are low-flying, really loud, and fly numerous flights per day, 7 days a week. I have grown to hate Surf Air.
The poster above who goes by the moniker "neighbor, a resident of another community" has stated above "I have a specific interest in this Peninsula issue...", implying the issue of aircraft noise over the Peninsula. There have been previous Town Forum discussions of the noise created by Surf Air on the online version of The Almanac (almanacnews,com) where a poster using the name "neighbor, a resident of another community" berated other posters who commented negatively about aircraft noise over the Peninsula. Same person?

Here is a link to one of those discussions:Web Link

For other Town Forum discussions about aircraft noise, search the Town Forum topics for "Surf Air" as well as "SurfAir" with no space - you will get different search results


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 21, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Yes - we know about Surf Air. And we know who Neighbor is. He has assumed the job of negotiating with Surf Air to carve out their territory. At one point Surf Air wanted to fly out of PAO but due to the transition of ownership Surf Air ended up in San Carlos. After the ownership of PAO is finished then this may change. Surf Air does not qualify as a "commercial" airline at this point in time - we will circle back to them when they get sorted out.

We need to engage the FAA on the topic of SAFETY. World conditions are pointing us in that direction. Also, after PAO get an independent status it will need a noise monitor to assist in documenting activity.
So a lot of change is going on - the world conditions can drive how we present our cases. At this point I think noise is secondary but most notable. The fact that planes are moving in the air space with under-qualified pilots is very scary - the lower they are the less wiggle room they have to correct their flight path - especially at night when it is cloudy.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 10:07 pm

resident 1,

"At this point I think noise is secondary"

Noise is not secondary. It is the buzzing, and thundering symptom of what appears to be a mess.

FAA objectives and priorities which have ONLY to do with the functioning of airlines, and "efficiency" which is code for money. Money for the airlines. Cargo interrupting sleep UNNECESSARILY is just plain wrong. And so is trying to support business models like Surf Air.

The missing connection with the health and well being of citizens, particularly children, is gross.

Catastrophes and accidents are a different thing, and the FAA will happily keep us in the zone of the safety conversation. There is no contradiction between abating noise and safety. Zero.

Noise should get fixed. The only ones saying it can't are people like "neighbor" or SFO. Neither are looking out for the best interests of the community.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:04 pm

Enough,

If you take a look at the link below, and scroll down to Monday to weed out most of the recreational flyers, you can clearly see an olive colored streak heading southeast from SQL. I would guess most of these are Surfair flights, and/or other commuter services.

If you look at the number of tracks, SQL is 12% of the SFO tracks transiting PA airspace, and 9.5% of all tracks transiting PA airspace. That is a pretty large percentage considering the difference in the size of the airports.

I day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 21, 2014 at 11:57 pm

jetman,

"I would guess most of these are Surfair flights, and/or other commuter services."

Do commuter planes or surfair planes have the ability to fly higher like regular jets? Can you tell what the average altitude is that they use?

It seems these services all cater to wealthy people so the FAA is making new space for these type services because of "safety"?



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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:34 am

If you go to the San Jose Airport flight tracker you can see all of the planes that are in the air. Click on the plane - it shows altitude, tail number, flight plan if listed, and type of plane.

Likewise SFO on their official airport site have a flight tracker that performs the same job. If you go the official SFO site it has a grid for Arrivals by time to show who has landed - and when incoming planes are expected. It also shows the type plane, flight number, and if code shared it also shows the international carriers that are also on the plane and their flight numbers. SFO is the hub for United so many flights are coordinated through this location.
Many incoming flights from Hawaii are code shared so multiple airlines will show up on one plane. The international carriers are partners with United.
American has a hub in LAX so many of their flights have to go through LAX before launching out over the ocean. Hawaiian is a partner of American so many Hawaiian flights can use the same miles for flight.


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Posted by Shane
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:47 am

Let's lobby for some of the air traffic to fly up the 85 freeway and over the bay for their descent into SFO! Why do they have to fly over residential when they can fly over the long stretch of the 85 freeway?


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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

I would imagine that the 85 corridor is the flight path to Moffett Airfield.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:03 am

San Jose Airport is in this mix. They use the path over 85 for incoming when weather conditions demand a reverse landing path. Moffett is not a commercial airfield - it is designated as military. It has limited air traffic.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:17 am

If you go to the San Jose Airport Tracker right now the arrival path goes over Campbell. West San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale - 3,000 ft, Mountain View - 2,500 ft, rotates over Moffett to head into San Jose. It would appear that San Jose has altered it's incoming flight path to this configuration. This is the hwy 85 path.
This is very strange since the flight track is now over the populated section with commercial business as well as the new stadium. It previously entered over under populated open space. Too many high rises in that path?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:57 am

To anyone who understand FAA safety criteria,

What is the logic of flying over the highest populated areas, and safety?

I get weather as a safety criteria, there are no real high rises to avoid even in Mt. VIew, and there is of course traffic in and of itself.

But all things being equal, why concentrate the traffic over the most populated areas, given the Surf Air phenomena of smaller buzzier aircraft shuttling rich people?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

By Surf Air phenomena I mean private smaller louder planes which are more frequent.



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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Complaint Form,

I don't know all of the Surfair details, but the Surfair aircraft are certainly capable of flying higher, however Surfair operates in a loophole where they are not technically a commercial airline (even thought they provide a commercial service) so Surfair operates in general aviation airspace below commercial aviation in the Bay Area Metroplex.

Over Palo Alto inbound SFO traffic usually maintains a floor of about 4,000'. Surfair is flying under the inbound SFO traffic with a ceiling of about 2,500' (I think). Maybe someone who knows Surfair's operations can provide some more detail.

There is a small shop in the Palo Alto Airport that has lots of inexpensive maps published by the FAA. The "San Francisco TAC - VFR Terminal Area Chart" shows the altitude requirements for the whole Bay Area. The maps usually show altitude in hundreds of feet (40 means 4,000'). San Carlos Airport has a pilot's shop as well.

"San Francisco TAC - VFR Terminal Area Chart" (slow download): Web Link

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm

WOW !!! OK I'll take the bait. I just saw all those crazy comments about my identity and my opinions. So I'll remind you of your "charges" and address each of them:

COMMENT: "Neighbor - what you are essentially saying is "shut up and color". I lived in west LA, Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach. Guess what - the LAX departure is out and directly over the ocean. Noise was not an issue."

ANSWER: My home in Westchester was 8 blocks from the LAX runway, in Playa del Rey I was 3 blocks from the runway. Having lived in many other West LA neighborhoods incl. the Marina, Culver City, Westwood, Palms, Santa Monica -- I agree that those areas have little LAX noise (some have other urban noise..e.g, freeway noise).

BUT living in Westchester & Playa del Rey is like living AT THE AIRPORT.


COMMENT: "We know about Surf Air. And we know who Neighbor is. He has assumed the job of negotiating with Surf Air to carve out their territory."

ANSWER: You have no idea who I am. As I've said before, I literally am your neighbor, and I do not have any connection to any airport, any airline, any Planning or government agency, or any organization. My opinions are my own, as a private citizen. (fyi: I'm a retired teacher and I'm disabled -- and as you've seen, I like living here).

Comments like yours show a disturbing intolerance toward someone who just disagrees with you.


[Portion removed.]


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 1:16 pm

jetman,

"Surfair operates in a loophole where they are not technically a commercial airline (even thought they provide a commercial service) so Surfair operates in general aviation airspace below commercial aviation in the Bay Area Metroplex.

Over Palo Alto inbound SFO traffic usually maintains a floor of about 4,000'. Surfair is flying under the inbound SFO traffic with a ceiling of about 2,500' (I think). Maybe someone who knows Surfair's operations can provide some more detail."

WOW, WOW, WOW - Apalling if this could be a the reason the FAA is "rationalizing" airspace management, to make room for wealthy travelers who need the convenience of LOW FLYING "club" private aircraft.

Why else is flying low eons away from the airport even necessary?

Is it just me, or does this sound like the airline industry is revolutionizing into loud flying cars?

Loud flying cars at all hours - we will be counting our blessings for the days of yore, of regular flying.



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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm

A contrast of sorts

Children during recess with Surfair buzzing in their ears, after also keeping them harangued with buzzing during the day,

and

someone's ode to Surf AIr - loud air traffic with a ceiling of 2500 feet?

Web Link
"- Save Time - If you pull off the highway exit at the airport 16 minutes before the flight departs, you will make your flight. That includes: parking, returning your rental car, passing security.
- No dumb rules, no useless security theater - you keep your shoes on, you don't put fluids in a quart bag, no X-Rays. None of those things actually make airlines safer anyway.
- You are treated with respect - Surf Air employees greet you by name with a smile BEFORE you show them an ID. The pilots chat with you between flights.
- Zero parking fees - you park your car for free at the private terminals. And I mean "by the front door", handicap parking isn't any closer to the airplane.
- No "nickle and dime" fees - Feel free to book your flight 3 minutes in advance of departure, it's FREE. Changing your flight is FREE. No fake "$50 to change this ticket" BS.
- Faster Rental Car - as you step off the plane a Surf Air employee presses the rental car key into your hand and you step into the rental car and zoom away.
- Fabulous Terminal Facilities - the bathrooms in the terminals are luxurious and clean, the WiFi is free in the terminal, there are outlet plugs by every chair, the chairs are comfortable
- First Class legroom - I'm 6'3" tall and I was extremely happy with the space. Flying coach on regular airlines is hard on me. (Once it almost killed me.)
- Free Guests - Take 1 guest along with you on every flight for free.
- "All You Can Eat Subscription" - You pay a monthly subscription (about $1,500/month) and you can fly as much as you want, although honestly this isn't why I like Surf Air, I would rather they charge for every flight.
- Did I mention it saves time?"


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

jetman,

Would you know if the FAA has something similar to this fact sheet from the federal railroad administration?

Web Link

I like they have drug testing prominently figured.

It seems to me that we are pushing for public transport to not be exclusive and private (cars) and moving towards educating people to take more public transportation. But the FAA is moving the other way, towards little planes buzzing around to cater to very individualized needs of wealthy travelers nonetheless.

The FAA fact sheets are all over the map, I can't find any.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Complaint Form,

I think you may be off the scent with the "FAA catering to the individualized needs of wealthy travelers" thing. The aviation industry wants to get into the business AT&T, Google, and Facebook are in... "big data"

The FAA's enormous drone problem
Sports Aviation ~ November 13, 2013 Web Link

Boeing buys company that equipped AT&T spy-room
Narus in Wikipedia: Web Link

NSA Leak Vindicates AT&T Whistleblower (Mark Klein)
Wired ~ June 27, 2013 Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2014 at 3:33 pm

jetman,

I'm not sure I follow the connection of airlines and data but I'll look a the articles.

So, if the FAA needs room for drones, to spy for data (data on us), I think that still means more billionaire traffic because somebody will be making money from the data. Clearly there is an air party going on, and imaginations seem to be running wild in general. Except when companies have imaginations it's called innovation.

No imagination to think about health though, which usually is the governments job.

Can drones be up high? or do they also need to enjoy an altitude "ceiling" like Surf Air to skate above our roofs.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm

@Jetman -- for a link to quicker FAA charts you might try Web Link

Minimum of advertising and it's pretty easy to zoom in or out and drag around.

My link should center at Palo Alto on the SF Terminal Area Chart (TAC). Buttons along the top of the map take you to the SF sectional, or larger-scale enroute or world charts. If you drag off the edge of a Sectional chart, a link comes up to the adjacent Sectional chart. There are also functions for overlaying temporary flight restrictions and some weather data, as well as a flight-planning function, though not very well documented.

New edition of the San Francisco charts became effective yesterday and this site already has them. I bought my now-current paper charts at the Palo Alto Airport shop this morning, $6.50 for the TAC (1:250,000 scale) and $9.50 for the Sectional (1:500,000 scale).


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:38 pm

If anyone does get bothered by airplane noise, take the time to file a complaint

Web Link

the complaint form is not user friendly but after you fill it out once or twice, it becomes easier

like FAA Math, which considers noise over an average of a day, not a single event (like waking you up at night), I heard that multiple complaints to SFO in one day, count as one day. Does anyone know how that works?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 6:40 pm

multiple complaints to SFO in one day, count as one, not sure

Does anyone know how that works?


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 22, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Neighbor - the city of Westchester was wiped out for adding runways to LAX. Likewise Playa Del Rey was wiped out for the same reason. That was the evolution of the LAX airport developing long with the growth in the city. So what - everyone had to move at that time. As you recall they also built Century City - a big change. The whole city was changing. That was AGES AGO.
We here are going to investigate and try to figure out what is going on here at this point in time. What is happening in LA is a different micro-climate and geography - no comparison. At least you didn't have to walk to school in the snow.
[Portion removed.]

Otherwise a lot of good information is being provided here. SJX changed their arrival path by noon to arrival via the south vs arrival via the north.
We need the Weekly to do a follow-up on the noise and SFO roundtable. Mayor Nancy Shephard is suppose to be the POC for that effort. How is she doing?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:42 pm

resident 1,

"what is going on here at this point in time."

I saw this in the first article jetman posted Web Link

"The FAA is really acting under orders from Congress which has told the FAA to figure out how drones can be put to work quickly because so many businesses and government agencies want to use them."

"so many businesses and government agencies want to use them."
Why am I not surprised that any average citizen concern would be nothing compared to the lobby and power of business and government.

then...
"Flying a drone over the prairie or some desolate border region is one thing, but many people are anxious to fly drones over the most densely populated parts of the country because that's where many observation opportunities are. That means drones will be flying over our biggest cities and near our busiest airline airports. To be useful drones must be allowed into airspace that is off limits to student pilots or sport pilots. How much risk to people and property on the ground is acceptable and equal to our current risk level? Nobody knows."

I think my theory of the airspace industry turning into a system of flying cars, be it drones, or fancy appliance type airplanes is not that far off base.

The plan is for more airspace traffic going lower. The opposite of less and higher.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

[Portion removed.]
Now, what about those Asian flights refueling in Hawaii and that almost crash that was hushed up in Salt Lake City? We know that united has a hub n SFO and American a hub at LAX, but nit sure how that relates to the air traffic in this area. Please explain


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Why a Korean Airlines cargo flight is descending on Palo Alto at 1 AM though is just a fuel savings story or who knowns maybe inexperienced pilots who can fly better lower. Like training wheels to land at SFO?

I may be able to sleep better just knowing all this.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm

"The flight crew (of Asiana accident at SFO) mismanaged the plane's descent being carried out without the help of navigational instruments, and one of the pilots unintentionally deactivated a system that automatically regulates airspeed, the board's final report said."

Web Link

Managing descent does seem to be a challenge, so PA and EPA must be a good place to get started.


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Posted by Midtowner
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:04 pm

To those who say that airplane noise is much worse in Foster City or San Bruno, or just blocks away from LAX than in Palo Alto, you are making a true statement, but you are offering us no reason to feel any better about airplane noise in Palo Alto.

All the towns you mention are MUCH closer to the airports (be it SFO or LAX). Anyone buying or renting a house in those places should expect loud airplane noise.

Not so in Palo Alto. Anyone who chooses to live as far away from SFO as Palo Alto is (20 miles) has reason to be surprised and shocked by the amount of noise we are getting from low flying SFO bound airplanes. They bank over Palo Alto at as little as 4000 foot.

Again, we get around 200 such airplanes a day above our heads here in Palo Alto. If you look at graphs of flight paths, you can see that SFO traffic is either lighter or at higher altitudes over towns such as Atherton or the western part of Menlo Park.

I am not surprised that people who live quite close to Palo Alto come here on TS to claim that PA does not have an airplane noise problem. Either they don't know, or they want to protect themselves and their towns that successfully shifted incoming SFO traffic down to turn above Palo Alto starting in the late 90s.

As to those who live in PA and also argue that there is no airplane noise problem in PA, if you don't have an issue with airplane noise here, good for you. It does not give you the right to denigrate the many people who are woken up by loud airplanes just about every single night in this town, where such a problem should not exist in the first place, at least not with the magnitude it has now reached.

We are a group of PA residents attempting to address the SFO airplane noise issue. If you are interested in joining our group, please e-mail us at

veroforyou@gmail.com


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:05 pm

Rupert,

Probably not necessary anymore, I'm noticing that my sleep interruptions may be of service to less experienced pilots.

They may need all the distance they can to land well at SFO. Or maybe they need some costs savings.

Whatever it is, I'm sure there is a very good safety reason.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:19 pm

"resident"
Yes -- the LA geography is different. More people, more airports, more planes, more noise.

By the way -- You are way off with your info for both of those LA neighborhoods where I lived next to LAX. They're not gone. You are thinking of the 1950s-60s.

Both my former Westchester home & my former Playa del Rey condo are still there. The Westchester house is valued at $900,000 today and the Playa del Rey condo is at $790,000 --- SOURCE: RealtyTrac (similar #s estimated by Zillow).

I drove by both homes on a trip to LA 7 months ago. Both neighborhoods looked pretty good (very yuppified)

Nope, I didn't walk to school in the snow. Walk in LA? Are you nuts? Drove my Volvo to school like everyone else.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 22, 2014 at 10:38 pm

neighbor,
neighbor,

"Yes -- the LA geography is different. More people, more airports, more planes, more noise. "

Decaying infrastructure.

But whose counting, it's development, business and housing prices that matter.

Nice detours you take the thread to neighbor, of another community - Westchester, snow, and your Volvo.

Back to the noise that matters to some of us. Not all, maybe start a new thread for those not complaining?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 8:30 am

This is this Saturday morning's airplane wake up call

7:35 AM
7:39 AM
746 AM
7:51 AM
7:56 AM
8:01 AM
8:07 AM
8:09 AM
8:10 AM
8:21 AM
8:23 AM

It could be SFO and Palo Alto airport combined.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 23, 2014 at 8:56 am

Anyone can look at the SFO official site - note Arrivals. At 8:16 Alaska Airlines arrived - a 737-800 from Palm Springs. Code shared on that flight were Korean Air 6098; KLM 9576; Delta 9097; American 7048. Go to the site - click on a line item - it will describe the statistics on the plane and the partners who were part of the flight. There is no misinformation - the data is just there if you take the time to access it and understand what the data is telling you.

Check Departures - it will tell you who code shared on the plane.

This is a business - they will combine as many flights as possible to fill the plane to reduce costs. They do not fly planes that are half filled.
On any day at any time of the year that is a shifting requirement based on demand.

Neighbor - the beach strand in LA is the most popular area where a lot of professional athletes live. LAX has nothing to do with it. It is the OCEAN, SURF, and FUN. That is not news to anyone.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 23, 2014 at 9:07 am

Resident 1-- not sure what all this code share information has to do with the topic-- which involves a non commercial flight. Anyway, these are not combind flights, they are a single flight operated by one airline-- the code share partners are allowed to have that flight n their system using their own designation.
Remember international carriers are nit allowed to transport passengers within the US.
But this is all irrelevant to the discussion at hand.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 9:21 am

resident 1, or jetman

I wondered if one of the ways that our neighbors to the North enjoy noise abatement is by bulking the more inconvenient flights on the runway at SFO that is dedicated to Palo Alto. When you complain you learn that among SFO's dedicated runways to Palo Alto are 28 A and B I think.

So, for example the more inexperienced pilots who need all the distance to descend would be landing on 28 because they need to fly low all the way from Palo Alto. Midnight cargo flights would also be landing on 28. Early Saturday morning flights would also be busy landing on 28.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

Complaint Form,

"I wonder if..."

I don't think that is the way it works, it is actually worse. When the winds are from the northwest (85% of the time) ALL aircraft aircraft use runway 28, and make an approach from the south, About half of the aircraft come from the east over Newark, and half approach from the north, west, and south, and approach through Palo Alto and then continue on over East Palo Alto, or eastern Menlo Park.

Try watching Webtrak, and you will clearly see this plan play out.

SFO Approach and Departure Plan Illustrated: Web Link

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link

SJC Webtrak: Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:01 am

That is a good thought to check. My take on this is that the flights from the east coast take-off and arrive on the east side runways of the airport because the are arriving and departing in that direction.
The flights that are specific to the pacific coast side of the airport take off and arrive on the west runways. However - the SFO runways have now been updated to add technical elements to stop airlines on the runway so they are not moving non-stop into buildings. possibly that is mentioned on the SFO site relative to their updated configuration.
My guess is that freight is on the back side of the airport because the passenger traffic is in the front of the airport. They need to embark and debark relative to baggage claim.
Possibly the SFO site explains that since there are companies that need to go in to pick up freight in a non-passenger area.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

Gee Rupert - I think what you just said is what I said. Are you person that was giving me grief last year about Air France non-stop to Paris out of Salt lake City? You can go to the Departures for the Salt Lake City Airport - there it is - Air France 3643 to Paris as code share on Delta Airlines 89. It is using an Air France plane.

When we started this thread we did not know who the culprit was - that was the result of digging through the available information. So now we are compiling useful information that can be used for other problems relative to rogue planes and noise.

If you have a vested interest in promoting noise - or protecting the right to make unnecessary noise let us know now. Some people have a financial interest in the status quo.

How about the real estate agent who is now promoting full page ads for him flying around to show off properties. He is SOO proud of that. We need to get his tail number to see if he is creating a noise problem.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

jetman,

"it is actually worse. When the winds are from the northwest (85% of the time) ALL aircraft aircraft use runway 28,"

Jaw drop for me. And though I get that I can track the planes online to verify - I already am tracking them by hearing them, looking up or sideways. We are on runway 28 here, on schedule.

How do the winds figure into the decision to route all SFO bound planes to go above Palo Alto?

To anyone who does hear the frequent, low and loud planes, take the time to complain.

You might not be bothered but those residents looking for noise abatement measures could use the information.

Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:38 am

Complaint Form,

Aircraft like to land into the wind. Landing into the wind effectively makes their airspeed higher than their ground speed, and provides more lift for a given ground speed.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:49 am

jetman,

"Aircraft like to land into the wind."

Could they fly higher and still enjoy the wind?

Aircraft like so many things. I wonder maybe we are not being friendly enough.



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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 11:54 am

jetman,

I'll rephrase my question - is the wind advantage better or more enjoyable for aircraft when they are closer to the ground? and would they make more or less noise with wind when they are closer to the ground?




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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm

I don't have much hope that anyone will write a story about this, we have asked before, nobody listens, but

Weekly, - if you ever wrote something

How did Palo Alto got so lucky to get runway 28.

The runway which hosts ALL SFO flights when the winds are from the north west.

Isn't that where most winds come from?

SFO probably spent millions to upgrade runway 28, just for us.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

How did Palo Alto "get" so lucky to get runway 28?

Is this something that maybe realtors would like to keep hidden?


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Resident1 -

Web Link
AF 3643 4:50 PM Salt Lake City, International Airport - 10:55 AM (+1 Day) Paris, Charles de GaulleDuration : 10h05
Operated by Delta
Non-stop flight
Aircraft : Airbus A330-200
Class : Economy


The delta flight from SLC code shares with air France, but as we see from the air trance website, it is a delta operated flight

I do not have a vested interest in promoting noise.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 23, 2014 at 12:58 pm

If you look at the SFO flight tracker the planes coming from the east coast come over Fremont, cross the bay, then go into the arrival que. They typically do not come over Palo Alto. The planes that come over Palo Alto are the LAX to SFO, trans Pacific flights. They are the planes that are going up and down California.
Given the number of planes arriving from the east coast there is no way they can all come over Palo Alto.
You need to go to the SFO official site and look at the flight tracker - it showing the planes as they enter into the area and land.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 1:55 pm

resident 1

"If you look at the SFO flight tracker the planes coming from the east coast come over Fremont, cross the bay, then go into the arrival que"

Principle is the same, most but sometimes all the planes that cross the south bay to SFO are over Palo Alto.

While it's nice to know that the east coast planes are crossing Freemont to SFO, that doesn't change that most if not all flights that enjoy the wind ride to runway 28 do so with Palo Alto on it's tail.

What I am interested in knowing is why so low?

Fly over Palo Alto, but fly higher. For example, I wonder when those East Coast flights start flying just above 2 story ceilings before they get to SFO.

And really, there is also no reason why ALL flights should be only above PA. No rational one.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 23, 2014 at 7:38 pm

CF and Jetman - you are doing a great job and raising good questions. You are also providing useful information. [Portion removed.] Keep up the good work.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 23, 2014 at 8:12 pm

resident 1,

I can't recall from this thread who the expert flight trackers are, maybe you can help me.

My understanding is that there is an SFO and a San Jose flight tracker and when I looked for a Palo Alto airport flight tracker it turned up the SJ one. But, on neither SFO or SJ were 3 airplanes making noise during dinner.

Maybe one was on a radar with a bunch of numbers and letters, which don't mean anything. Not like a regular airline. Looking up, I noticed it's a usual type which is always making noise here.

In your face, fancy, white, with red things on them. The closest image I saw was on this site

Web Link

they are apparently private jets. Flying very low. So how does one get the activity for Palo Alto airport? And how can one track the these private jets?

Is there a place to track all the flights over my neighborhood instead of trying to figure out which tracker to use?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 8:10 am

[Portion removed.]
I appreciate any information.

That leaves a few possibilities (and I write this with the morning wake up call of low flying airplanes, which woke me up just before 7:30 AM, this Sunday morning - and this after goodnight from a flight past midnight).

a) There are private jets flying low over Palo Alto to land in SFO?
b) Private jets flying low in Palo Alto to land in another local airport like San Carlos
c) Surf Air airplanes look like the picture i provided? The press says they have Pilatus PC-12 NG, and the airplanes I see appear to be Gulfstreams.

I would not be able to decipher any of this because I am not exactly having an easy time using the flight trackers, and musical I think you are knowledgeable about this, please help

1) The flight trackers only appear to track a specific flight, airline and its schedule. What if I don't have all the details of a flight (airline, schedule, or operator) and I just want to know what flew over my head - past tense.

2) The flight trackers are available for the flights associated with the two major airports but not the smaller ones. Where do the flights to/from San Carlos; to/from Palo Alto and all airports appear?

This concert of not easily identifiable low flying cargo flights, private jet flights, and regular passenger flights seems to be happening in a way which leaves nobody looking out for the impact on Palo Alto. And a regular citizen can't tell what's over their heads either.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 8:27 am

Web Link

"Stratos Jet Charters specializes in arranging Private jet charter flights and air charter service at PALO ALTO ARPT OF SANTA CLARA CO Airport. Stratos Jet Charters has access to over 5,000 aircraft that meet the most rigorous standards of safety. This allows Stratos Jet Charters to guarantee availability on a private jet with as little as four hours notice while offering the highest degree of aircraft flexibility in the industry."

Jet Charter Prices at PALO ALTO ARPT OF SANTA CLARA CO
Hourly rates for private jets in PALO ALTO ARPT OF SANTA CLARA CO

Turbo-Props: 1500 - 1900/hr
Light Jets: 2000 - 2750/hr
Mid-size Jets: 2800 - 3750/hr
Heavy Jets: Call for Pricing
Airliners: Call for pricing

musical, you were pulling my leg?

Who is a non-connoiseur to trust?


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

If you go to the official San Jose Airport site there is a flight tracker - it is noted on their home page. That flight tracker requires JAVA to operate. It is Apple friendly. It shows all of the traffic in the area. You click on the plane / helicopter - it shows all of the data on the plane - flight plan - if any, tail number, and if commercial then airline data - you can see the plane flying and note the altitude. You can also look at the Arrivals and Departures pages - it shows airline, code shares, type plane, and commercial airline data, and status of arrival and departure.

The SFO flight tracker is also available from their official site page. People with Apple products have trouble with the SFO site. These are commercial products - not the same program that is used by the flight controllers so they do have some holes in them. They are not perfect.

If you go to the SFO site and bring up their flight tracker you can also go to other airports all over the world and see their Arrivals and Departures.

The plane used by Surf Air - there is one at Palo Alto Airport available for charter. It is a private owner - it sites outside the PA office so is visible if you drive over there.

Both SFO and San Jose have a section for private jets. It is noted on their official web sites. PAO and San Carlos have shorter runways which limit what type of aircraft can use the airport. They have home pages which describe the services available at each of those airports. You can go to Wikipedia and research airports in general which classifies the airports as to type and location - all over the world.

If you are into planes / airports then the data is provided on official sites. If you are looking as to what is happening in the air then the Wall Street Journal likes to note irregularities and current technology upgrades that are occurring. Airports are a business, planes are a business so there is much published information as to what is occurring out there.
The Asiana flight at SFO and the Malaysia flights over the Ukraine of commercial jets - also military jets have brought people up to date on what current technology is being used in the industry.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2014 at 8:51 am

There are companies that operate overnight auto-parts services into SFO. They use very old, and very loud learjets. These are some of the loudest jets you are going to hear over Palo Alto. They emit a loud high pitched whistle.

These overnight auto-parts companies operate in some sort of a loophole that allows them to operate as general aviation, even though they are flying commercial cargo.

Learjet in Wikipedia: Web Link

What is General Aviation: Web Link


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:20 am

Turboprop planes use a jet engine to to turn a propeller. Surfair operates turboprop aircraft, and they sound like a conventional propeller driven aircraft when they are overhead, but sound more like a jet as they move off into the distance.

Single engine turboprop planes have distinctive long noses (to accommodate the large jet engine), and a jet exhaust nozzle just behind the propeller. Surfair's planes also painted distinctive dark blue on underside.

Surfair turboprop image: Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

resident 1,

"If you are looking as to what is happening in the air then the Wall Street Journal likes to note irregularities and current technology upgrades that are occurring."

Maybe the Wall Street Journal is the place to report on what's happening in the tech capital of the world as regards FAA management then. I have a headline "Sleepless in Palo Alto."

The interest in this story is that the FAA does not consider noise impacts (health impacts) for citizens, and is running airspace traffic almost like a concessions stand. The litter pack flying closest to the ground is the fastest growing segment. That would be private jets which - compared to the health and well being of a population - is nonsense. We're besides ourselves for people to bike, and to get out of SUVs, but please go fly solo on a jet!

The other side to this story is how the government charged to look out for the well being of citizens is absent and an average person has to go on treasure hunts to find out why this or why that. They contribute to the obfuscation.

Then you have people making fun of the 10 year old girl who told her mom she got scared from an airplane flying so low. This from East Palo Alto, miles and miles from a major airport. The same place where she is getting the leaded fuel from the small airport in her area that belongs to the rich town across the freeway. If an SUV is offensive, why is the growing business of private jets which use leaded fuel so cool. It's really not.

And then there are the rogue operators who use loopholes to fly in outdated aircraft, loud and low at night?

I'll continue to be sleuth to the low flying plane business going up above our houses, but whatever I find will be something that the insiders probably already knew about. Not gonna lie, fantasy if the WSJ journal could take it an interest, especially since they probably have a lot of airspace information, I'll take a look at which reporters might be a fit.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

jetman,

thanks for the picture of Surfair - it's not the white and red accessorized learjets that often make noise here.

So how are the private jets identified on flight tracker? It' not an airline name, and it's hard to tell what airport they are going in and out of.

musical,

unlike garbage trucks, these are daily, and at all times of the day and night.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

I just went to the PAO airport home page and San Carlos homepage - they both indicate the transition they are looking for to upgrade their services.
They provide current info. An extension of the runway is needed at both if accommodation of larger planes is desired. San Carlos and PAO both have the problem of noise control which the public uses to limit growth. Both are on baylands which also limits growth = they are in flood control areas.
I do not provide web pages or open web pages - I have had trouble with my computer so always go to official web sites which should be user friendly - usually they tell you what is required to open their programs. They are commercial services so should be easy to use. Using other people's web pages may be a problem because you have no info on what their operating systems are on their computers which may not work on your computer.
Hopefully you are able to access the SFO flight Tracker from their official site, as well as the San Jose Mineta official site - those are different commercial programs which require different upgrades on your computer. The San Jose tracker also tracks the PAO and San Carlos activity.

The Wall Street Journal is tracking airline sales and bargaining for both commercial and military jets, etc. Northrup Grumman is now competing with the Boeing/Lockheed team for the next stealth bomber. Lots of money here.
Other associated data is reported which should influence shareholder info.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

Complaint Form,

Remember when using Webtrak, it has a 10-12 minute delay. When you hear a loud plane go over, note down the time, then watch the clock on Webtrak for the the noted time, to identify aircraft in your area at the noted time.

You can also drag the pointer at the bottom of the window to make Webtrak go backwards to an earlier time.

SJC Webtrak: Web Link


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 11:17 am

jetman,

thank you!

Would you know if the SFO complaint form is of any use when the aircraft bothering me is not an SFO flight?

How does one complain to all nearby airports?


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

jetman,

What info do you get for the aircraft that was over the corner of Dana and Central just a tad after 11:30 AM? Meaning flight altitude and airport it is going to.

Similar to the lear jet I always see, but with blue accessories.

and how would you characterize the type of sound that plane makes, and would you know what fuel type it uses - leaded or unleaded?


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

In a typical 24 hour period we have about 250 aircraft passing through Palo Alto airspace. Of the 250 aircraft per day, about 240 transit Palo Alto Airspace between 6:00am and midnight (18 hours).

1 day of air traffic over Palo Alto: Web Link


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 24, 2014 at 12:37 pm

CF - each airport has a POC for noise complaints. Did you go to their home pages and look at what the procedure is for complaints for that airport? It is on their home pages. I email my complaints to SFO and SJX on their official home page systems.

CF - have you accessed the formal flight tracker system for San Jose which shows the planes on a map - where they are going - if commercial then their specific data? If you familiarize yourself with the data that is there then you should be able to research that yourself. It shows where the smaller planes are located - where they are going.

You have to get your technology basics down before you launch out with complaints. They will ask what your source of data is. It is an official system that the airport has paid for that it needs to stand behind to resolve the complaint.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

I'll retract my latest quibble if anyone has ever seen a pure jet (turboprops aside) at Palo Alto Airport.
I can't say it never happened in all of history, but 2443 feet of runway is inadequate.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 24, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Airplane stories are a blood sport for some people - I have said all I have to. If you look at the history of streams on airplane noise that goes back forever they all end up this way. They are a political hotwire. If anyone attends any meetings on this topic they will recognize the faces that go with the responses.

BUT - the important facts have been provided so people have a method of determining what is going on above. The tools are there for anyone's use. And they are fun to use.

The more people that know how to use the tools the better off we are.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

I'll disagree with Rupert that airplane noise is a "price we pay for living here." Planes are noisy because they are flying so low. The FAA is giving a growing segment of airplanes ceilings apparently. Apparently, so they don't crash with the commercial traffic higher up - the terminal 28 traffic (the worst traffic from SFO dedicated to Palo Alto). But even the higher ups come down when they can, like the cargo flights at 1AM.

The crafty more vintage type hobby planes are not a bother to me, it's the big lear jets which are a growing segmentI. They are commuters and I find this completely inconsistent with the push for having us walk and bike more, and to get rid of car traffic. So much for regional transportation planning. Creating less pollution apparently doesn't apply to flying SUV's - noisy flying private cars.

So, until the thread is shut down, I will come back to see if any of my questions are answered.

I am still trying to see what planes are flying low, how low, and why.


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Posted by complaint form
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 24, 2014 at 3:16 pm

If anyone would have an estimate, what would be the average passenger number in these learjets?

From the movies, it seems like they have a few people and the rest is decor, a bar, etc.




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