Bush attacks Chapel Hill?

Ruby Sinreich's picture

What's with the fighter jets strafing southern Orange County this morning? The last group of them was so loud/close that it set off a car alarm in my neighborhood!

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40 Comments

This is exactly what blogs

This is exactly what blogs are for. I'm sitting in my office in the journalism school and hear them flying overhead but can't see what they look like or how many there are of them. I imagine they're from Ft. Bragg, but who knows. The last few weeks have been so strange politically that this seems to fit right in. I'm just waiting for the air raid siren.

Mark Kleinschmidt's picture

I heard Coach Bunting on

I heard Coach Bunting on WCHL yesterday talking about how excited he was about the fly-over. He said they were going to fly so low, you'd feel the stadium shake!

By the way, I have been told that the Town has no authority over military fly-bys.

I actually like flyovers at

I actually like flyovers at sporting events, and I wouldn't necessarily classify them as "an incredible waste" -- I'll probably enjoy it when the planes come over at Kenan Stadium tomorrow, and I bet most people there will, too.

But this morning's practice run was obnoxious as hell. At the very least, a little bit (or a lot) of advance warning would've been nice.

And I do wonder why we can spend money on things like flyovers when there are veterans like my mom and grandfather to support (or tuition to lower).

I could be wrong, but I

I could be wrong, but I don't believe that these fly-by's actually cost anything EXTRA---the military uses them for practice. Pilots have to log so many hours of flight time, so many low flyovers, etc. If a country is gonna have military air power, said country's pilots have to fly to keep in practice.

Think of it along the lines of fire-fighters burning abandoned or obsolete buildings. Yes, one could view this as a service to the property owner (building demo is expensive) but it serves a purpose for the firefighters--they get "hands on" training.

Now, y'all may want to debate whether we should have standing air power. If we didn't have fighter jets then the pilots wouldn't need to practice...but that's an entirely different argument.

When I heard them my first thought was "There must be a home game this weekend."

melanie

I'm guessing the Air Force

I'm guessing the Air Force is paying for it a/k/a the American taxpayer. I suspect it comes out of the Air Force PR's budget. I did some Googling and found info on how one could request a flyover for patriotic events but nothing about getting one for football games.

I did read on the UNC athletics web site that one of the pilots is a 1994 UNC graduate.

I believe that the military

I believe that the military uses these opportunities for PR purposes. Just as they are very helpful to Hollywood studios who want to do military movies, they also are eager to show off with flyovers. Better PR means better recruiting.

Its a win-win for sports fans and the military- but can be abnoxious for neighbors. At least it only happens for a few seconds each year.

According to Peeling the

According to Peeling the Orange in this morning's CHH, the jets are based at Tyndall Air Force Base in Pensacola, Fla., and the lead pilot is a Carolina graduate who had asked the Athletics Association about doing a flyover for the Virginia game.

Michael Beale, director of marketing for the UNC Athletics Association, also indicated that he "sent an e-mail this week giving notice of the Thursday flights, and UNC Public Safety Chief Derek Poarch forwarded that notice to several others, including the Chapel Hill Police Department." Also, he indicated that UNC "didn't pay the freight for the flyovers; since they were training flights, the government bore any costs."

The flyby noise was

The flyby noise was absolutely terrifying here on Mason Farm Road. It was playground time at my preschool. At the first attack, I had eight three and four year olds in varying states of shock with several in tears. I calmed them down. Then the noise came again and again and again. The planes were so low and so fast that we never saw them. We fled indoors, which helped a bit for the remaining attacks.

Only now do I see what it was. What rotten absence of good sense! No notification. Aside from the glaring stupidity of the notion, what about some warning to affected people? Only by reading OrangePolitics do I see that it will happen again on Saturday, which was to have been a parent workday here on the playground. Guess I'll cancel that.

One commentator above suggests that ". . . the military uses these opportunities for PR purposes."? That's pathetic. Being terrified and deafened is supposed to make me want to enlist in the military?
Which public relations firm is that?

Mark Chilton's picture

Duke Power was kind enough

Duke Power was kind enough to notify the Carrboro Town Manager (and he in turn informed the Board of Aldermen) that they were planning to have low-flying helicopters inspecting for powerline damage this week - which has been no bother at all that I am aware of.

Seems like the Athletic Department could have done the same - particularly considering how much louder low flying F-15's are. I realize UNC sent out some notice, but clearly more could be done.

I had two thoughts when I

I had two thoughts when I saw the jets flying around.

First, I thought how terrifying it would be to be in an Iraqi village and hear and see them approaching, if not attacking.

Second, I realized what a tragic farce it is that we have this faux defensive posture that supposedly justifies all this fucking exotic deathware, as if we are going to get attacked...

Ruby Sinreich's picture

Catherine, I think it's kind

Catherine, I think it's kind of insensitive to tell Diana to "calm down." Those flyovers were extremely intense and unexpected. I literally felt the vibrations of them in my chest, which was very unpleasant. She takes care of small children at her home near campus (and the stadium), I can't imagine how scary it must have been for them.

Perhaps you can get UNC to schedule your house for the flight path next time.

Jason Baker's picture

I was sitting in the library

I was sitting in the library trying to finish my DTH candidate questionnaire when the sky-beasts came. I could make out the exact outline of the plane from the shadow it cast on the neighboring building at almost life-sized. That seemed a bit too close for comfort.

The title of this thread left me literally laughing out loud, however. The person sitting at the computer next to me - a complete stranger, at that, turned to me after the third flyover and said "I didn't know Jesse Helms could fly a fighter plane."

They were really low over

They were really low over Carrboro as well. I was working with customers at SOuthern States' GC and had to quit speaking while the planes went past. It WOULD have been nice if there had been a "heads up" in the paper.

DIana--I'm sorry the "littles" were scared. My guys would have loved it at that age--ONCE they knew what it was. We used to get low flyovers at Sunset Beach when the kids were small. They would cover their ears, and watch.

melanie

Apology accepted, even

Apology accepted, even though it wasn't to me.

Airplanes at the beach are one thing. You see them coming. You hear them. You see them go. You know what's making the noise.

Airplanes in the woods (Yes, there are still trees on Mason farm Road, and at least one fox. Nature does her best.) are something else. The noise begins, gets louder; we look to see if it's one of the regular hospital helicopters except that it's crashing this time; we've already covered our ears; the noise gets louder and even louder; the planes are so low and so fast that we have no idea where to look to see what they are, so we never "knew what it was" for sure. Are these two, three and four year olds really so unusual in their dislike for sudden terribly loud continuing noises in what felt a minute before like a safe place? Am I?

They should have let the

They should have let the community know.

In my line of business the roar of jets is a welcome sound. Those guys have saved us ground pounders more times than I want to think about. I am proud to serve with these fighter jocks, who have placed themselves many times in harm's way to ensure that I make it home. I have to admit to a lump in my throat and a swelling sense of pride and gratitude when I see them roaring in formation low across the sky.

Lest anyone misunderstand: For me, the smell of JP-4, the flash of silver in the sky, the dipped wings (the airman's salute to those fighting on the ground), and the chest-resonating thunder of the twin Pratt & Whitney afterburning turbofans are not mere symbols of war, but rather symbols of the honor of brothers who find themselves sent to strange lands for even stranger reasons, yet who do not hesitate to fight and sometimes offer unthinkable sacrifices when called to arms by their democratically elected government.

I hate war (most seasoned, professional soldiers hate war--do you find that so strange?), but I love these guys with their awesome flying machines and cocky attitudes that hide the twin anguish of fighting an unpopular war and following the terrible orders of combat that they'll remember to their last breath.

(Still, they should have let the community know.)

From Tar Heel Blue: F-15

From Tar Heel Blue:

F-15 Flyover Before Saturday's Game.

Four F-15C Eagle jets will cruise Kenan.

Oct. 18, 2005

Fans attending Saturday's home football game against Virginia will want to make sure to be in their seats with their eyes turned to the sky before kickoff. As part of the pregame festitivies, a group of F-15 C Eagle fighter jets will do a flyover of Kenan Stadium. The lead jet will be piloted by Maj. Brent "Wrench" Allen, a 1994 Carolina graduate.

Folks: Carolina football

Folks:

Carolina football gets a flyover just about once a year. Anytime you hear/see jets flying over campus at the end of the week, just assume that's what it is. And as has already been noted, the Air Force requires its pilots to log a certain amount of hours and practice certain maneuvers to maintain their ready status. That's certainly not a waste of tax dollars, no matter your feelings about this war.

Flyovers at sporting events are a pretty big tradition, and they're good for all parties involved. Good for the military from a PR standpoint. Good for the pilots from a technical standpoint. Good for the University from a PR standpoint as well (as the game was televised nationally). Good for the football program because that kind of visual gets fans excited, gets players ready, and gets recruits to notice the school.

I'm sorry that the flights upset some people, but keep in mind we live in a state that's home to a whole heckuva lot of military bases. We've all experienced flyovers before, and many of them have nothing to do with the University. As a kid, I used to love them. Loud as they were, unexpected as they were, they never failed to leave my heart pounding and set my imagination running for the rest of the day. Even when the scared me enough to send me diving to the ground.

So let's all take a deep breath and relax. This was all in good fun. And the jets did look awesome on TV.

Diana-- I wasn't saying the

Diana--

I wasn't saying the small children shouldn't have been scared--and I agree that it's different at the beach. And there SHOULD have been a wide-spread "heads up." I don't even know what Tarheel Blue is...

But it ISN'T the Chapel Hill News or the CH Herald. One wonders if they WERE informed--and didn't bother to share.

melanie

I have to ask: Who heard the

I have to ask: Who heard the Saturday flyover? Was there only one, as Sally and Tucker tell me? I must have been inside U Mall during the few minutes of the flyover; I heard nothing at all.
Quite a different experience that we had on Thursday.

Melanie,
Tar Heel Blue is the Official Site of Tar Heel Athletics.

And flyover or no flyover, we did beat Virginia (7-5) despite our best efforts to give the game to the Cavs.

Surprising that no letters

Surprising that no letters or reports appear in either paper about local state of emergency -- which it was, from an FAA standpoint. RDU air space would have to have been restricted for the duration of the practice fly-overs and the spectacle at yesterday's football game.

The mister attended the football game and tells me the big half-time event lasted two seconds at the most -- whoosh -- and the jet pilots walked onto the field about thirty minutes later. "That's impossible," I said. Pardon my skepticism.

I heard & saw the practice

I heard & saw the practice flyovers from my building just yards from Keenan, and then I happened to be sitting outside at Weaver Street market when the Saturday flyover happened. Saturday it was four jets in formation, and it was so loud on the Weaver Street courtyard that everyone was pretty shocked. Since I knew what it was from emails that circulated through my department on Friday, I was able to tell the people sitting next to me that Carrborro wasn't being attacked. I echo lots of the above comments--wasteful, disruptive, and a silly display of excess.

7-5? That's a football score?