Whidbey Examiner


Letter: Petitioners need to stop with jet noise grumbling

December 13, 2012 · 11:44 AM

Try as I may, I can no longer remain silent on the issue of the Naval Outlying Field Coupeville petition. Ken Pickard made one comment I concur with — "That is it. It's over." However, he was remiss in not adding it is the grumbling that should be over.

Unless you purchased your home before OLF was activated in the spring of 1968, as we did, you knew what you were getting into and shouldn't be signing any petition.

Am I happy about the noise? Definitely not and I did my fair share of complaining until one day I got a call that the father of one of my first grade students was killed when his plane failed to catch the hook off an aircraft carrier.

I'm ashamed to say I still occasionally whine about the noise then chastise myself for my selfishness. Could those lives have been spared with more practice? I don't know but the guilt of complaining still plagues me.

Jim Slick annoyingly points out the need for OLF to save our economy. OLF is not about saving the island's economy but saving lives. OLF was chosen because flying conditions are favorable for flying. How arrogant and selfish of us to insist the training field be moved so that others are inflicted with this noise when they didn't ask for it. Most of you knew what you were getting into.

As to increased noise level. I don't know about that but I do know the resonance of the new planes is different. During Vietnam the flight from the older planes would actually rattle the windows. Needless to say on those days our young daughters didn't get any nap time. My advice is to either tolerate the noise or move.

Ken, I do feel your frustration as you and your family have lived here before OLF was activated, but I can't agree with your stand on this issue.

Marilyn Engel



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