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Anyone Hear Low Flying Jet Engines at Full Power Tonight?

Original post made by Midtown Man on Sep 6, 2013

Just now: Thought a crash was imminent!

Lasted 30-45 seconds, very low and close. Lowest I have ever felt a Jet over my house. I ran outside. Time: 6:40 tonight (Friday). Area: Midtown. I thought we were all going to get one (a crash). I ran outside and could not see it, but I have never heard a jet so close! Scary. Didn't sound like a Moffett Field jet, more commercial and big and lumbering full blast to get aloft, to get some height.

Just an hour before, I was in the back yard, and two otherjets, one small and fast going to SF ybe a commuter from LA , and another,
big jumbo size, slowly turning towards SF over PA, both seemed to be at the same elevation or nearly so. I wondered if the air traffic
controllers started a weekend shift short handed. They didn't look well-placed. Just imagine.

Comments (7)

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Yes, saw one as I was outside Piazzas. It seemed quite high to me, but noisy. Looked like it was heading away from SFO towards Santa Cruz area, didn't appear to be head towards or away from Moffett so it did seem strange.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Ditto here. There was one that was very loud this week, too. Maybe it was yesterday? At first I thought it was a medical chopper - it may have been, but the sound was much smoother & it sounded more like the jet tonight. Very strange.


Posted by Urr, a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2013 at 8:58 pm

There was an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter that flew over, flying slowly but engine running quite loud, at around that time. It doesn't show up on FlightRadar24.com, but if you want to see the commercial traffic that's the place to go and look. You can use the "playback" feature to see historical data (time in UTC, we're currently -7h from UTC)


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 6, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Urr, do you mean the plane tonight, or the other night this week? Regardless, thanks for the info!


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 6, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Exciting to have so many aviation enthusiasts! We'll see how many show up at Palo Alto Airport Day later this month.

I saw that jet this evening climbing westward about 3000 feet directly over Zot's, apparently just out of Moffett. I wasn't positive on the ID but others in my group agreed it was an F-18. There was a time when kids would look up at that and dream of becoming a pilot. Such freedom and romance!


Posted by neighbor, a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

The late night/early morning, low flying private aircraft heading to our airport are additional noise-polluters.

It seems to be getting worse all the way around in terms of noisy planes. Was standing in my garage last night (all doors/windows closed) and couldn't believe the engine noise of a commercial craft overhead (around 10-11pm). Flight patterns clearly vary -- noise-free for hours and then a barrage of low-flying planes. When you look at the radar map, some drop to ~5000ft crossing over Palo Alto on their way to SFO. Seems they could wait until they are over the bay.


Posted by Jetman, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Nov 5, 2013 at 10:26 pm

If you think commercial aircraft noise over Palo Alto has increased in the last few months... you are correct. In August 2013 the South China Morning Post reported that the FAA, in response to the Asiana crash at SFO, had begun advising Foreign Airlines to stop using the 5,000' visual approach to SFO, and to only fly 3,000' GPS final approach routes. These overseas flights, which typically use larger four engined craft, are the jets rattling your windows, and vibrating your walls.

The smaller craft that emit a high pitched whistle are flying a new approach to SFO known as "NextGen" which the FAA began to roll-out at Bay Area airports in January 2013. Under "NextGen", aircraft "coast" down from altitude at high speed along several precisely navigated approaches. If you live under one of the "NextGen" approach routes, you better get used to it. The precision navigation used in the "Nextgen" system will channel air traffic into several narrow flight paths, and allow air traffic control to use much smaller aircraft-to-aircraft spacing.

Under the prevailing westerly winds, there are five basic approach routes to SFO. Three of the five routes fly directly over Palo Alto. "NextGen" approach routes typically overlay existing conventional approach routes.


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