What was that?

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Something extremely loud just flew over the middle of Chapel Hill, presumably very low to the ground. So close that it left a bunch of honking car alarms in it's wake. We couldn't see it, but it was so loud I was expecting to hear an explosion next. In fact, I was actually seriously scared!

Anyone have any idea what that was? And how it could possibly be legal?

issue: 

Total votes: 0

16 Comments

Well I guess I don't "love

Well I guess I don't "love air shows and jet flybys as much as anyone" like Will does. Especially in a time of war, it seems incredibly inappropriate and an absurd use of military resources.

It literally scared the hell out of me! And setting off the neighborhood car alarms is a clear indication this this was overboard. What were they thinking?

I didn't hear it but having

I didn't hear it but having lived in Norfolk VA I remember the sound all too well. That's why I give full support to the residents of Albemarle Co who are fighting against the Navy's Outlying Landing Field. Albemarle is both beautiful and rich in wildlife. But they are poor and need all the support they can get. For more info, see:

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/nc/olf/

They flew over Franklin St.

They flew over Franklin St. low enough that the sound reverberated several times between Granville Towers and where I work.

I like the Chapel Hill News quote
"Teague said the university had been wanting to organize a flyby in conjunction with a football game but hadn't been able to line one up. Then one day Allen called and offered to coordinate and perform it. Just like that, right out of the blue."

I love air shows and jet flybys as much as anyone, but considering that our soon to retired president can't seem to coble up sufficient funds for protecting our soldiers in Iraq, wouldn't it have been a nice if UNC had politely refused this year and asked for a raincheck?

From what I found on the 'net it seems like each of these cost jets costs between $1800-$2200 per hour of operation. Sure, these guys probably need the training hours, and maybe they covered them by doing the UNC stunt, but maybe not.

So, for the couple hours of yesterday's and today's operation, the UNC flyby (which probably lasted less than 10 seconds from what I could tell standing at VIsArt in Carrboro) cost maybe as much as $25,000.

With the new Humvee armor so desperately needed (@ $90-120k) per vehicle, maybe with a fewer flybys (and a a lot less Haliburton graft) we can get our women and men some decent protection and drastically reduce their death (1064 - 809 hostile action - so far) and injury rate (7,780 serious so far). Or maybe we could put off the current administrations VA
cutbacks
.

Yeah, I'm sure there's some alumnus that dropped $25k at their tailgate party today ;-), and maybe someone will whip out their checkbook and offer to cover the cost, but that's not the point.

It's a problem of poor judgment - poor judgement that starts with the White House and trickles down to our force leadership. And while this innocent flyby isn't on par with the yoked decision making of Rumsfield, Sanchez and the sadists of Abu Gharib, you got to wonder "Is this a consequence of the profligate grandstanding performed by our 'Mission Accomplished', 'more of the same', Governor Death?"

So, maybe next time guys, you know, while we're at war, maybe you could ask for a raincheck?

Let me suggest that we can

Let me suggest that we can all share our toughts on this with UNC Athletic Director Dick Baddour. You can email him at:

dbaddour@uncaa.unc.edu

For my part, I thought it was obnoxious and I can think of many better ways to celebrate UNC playing NCSU that do not involve being so offensive.

And the Armed Services could not have made a more compelling case against the OLF being established in Albemarle County.

I'm a staunch proponent of

I'm a staunch proponent of habitat and species preservation, even expansion. I've been writing about invasive species, environmental degradation, synthetic chemicals, for more than a year straight now.

But, having trained in Okinawa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and some of the more remote areas of the American desert Southwest, I know that if they don't get their test range here in the states, they're going to foist it onto some other, probably foreign, community. They're going to have their training range someplace, you can bet on that. I firmly believe that if more Americans had to share the immediate, in-your-back-yard burden of having a military as large as ours, people would take the time to educate themselves about our military and our weapons systems. I'm not sure what this education would make people think, but I know this for sure: we are bombing and shelling the hell out of test ranges in foreign lands -- I participated in that a lot as an arty officer -- and it always embarassed me. American _ought_ to be sharing that pain.

I realize that the Outlying Landing Field is not a bombing range, but I think the principle still applies.

If the solution to this pain is to reduce the size of the military, that's a separate fight, and also the only morally tenable position. Until you're ready to make that argument (which of course, is the opposite of both the positions of Bush and Kerry), I have a real problem with shoving the day-to-day burden of supporting a large military onto other countries. And that's exactly what will happen to landing fields and bombing ranges.

OK, I suppose we could destroy even more of the Chocolate Mountains in Arizona and not many people would notice, or the most isolated training regions of MCB Twenty-Nine Palms out near Amboy, but just because people aren't likely to notice doesn't mean the ecological damage won't be devastating.

That said, I hate that folks in Washington amd Beaufort Counties are going to be the North Carolinians who are going to bear this burden, as if they don't have enough problems already.

That's why I advocate the location of the landing field in either Chapel Hill or Durham, and a new bombing range in North Raleigh. I'm very serious about that. (Mecklenburg County should get its share, too.)

I was at the game, and it

I was at the game, and it was a tremendous source of pride felt by fans from both sides of the field with the fly-by. I'm also sure that many, many members of the public felt the same. The event represented a valuable source of community spirit, and when the flyers were introduced on the field at halftime, they were visible moved by the SHOW OF SUPPORT they received from the public for what they did that day, and do everyday. Small price to pay for what this country has to offer to its citizens and the world.

Duncan--I agree that

Duncan--I agree that warriors need to practice and that they should practice in our country. But in the case of the OLF, it is moving from Princess Anne County VA (Virginia Beach) because the area has over developed and now the new residents are complaining (loudly and frequently) about the noise from the landing fields. And a large majority of those complaining are retired military....go figure. Moving from the now profitable development area of Princess Anne Co to poor, undeveloped Albemarle Co is not acceptable. I don't think many will support your idea of moving the field to the Triangle will get too far. Heck, Orange Co can't even come to agreement on siting a local landfill to take care of our own trash.

That $25,000 doesn't even

That $25,000 doesn't even count the 3 practice flybys they did last Thursday or Friday while most of you were probably at work. Unfortunately I work near campus so I got the full noise and irritation of all 4 flybys.

slow news week? why is

slow news week?

why is this coming up as the top string, when the DNC is suing Sinclair broadcasting... NoMerger won't give it up...and there are dozens of positive things that might help get rid of the headache of the F-15s if only you talk about them.

this is a potentially great forum, and it's a shame to see it underused.

So Red Snail--why don't you

So Red Snail--why don't you set up a guest posting on one of those issues? Use the Contact Us link and select guest posting. Write the text of what you want us to read/respond to. It's easy and Ruby is very prompt in responding. The only constraint is to write your text so there is a clear 'local' issue.

E-mailed Mr. Badour: Those

E-mailed Mr. Badour:

Those fly-bys startled me... how about a "heads up" in the paper next
time? Better yet--how about NOT doing low fly-bys? Seems like a waste
of energy, jet fuel, and money. We ARE fighting a war, y'know.

Sincerely,

Melanie See

AND this was the reply:

You are right about the warning. The Air Force wanted to do it and the
fans loved it.

Dick Baddour

Melanie