Archived Story

A nuisance to be tolerated

Published 6:43pm Saturday, June 28, 2014

For a while now, there have been complaints cropping up every now and then about the Warren Field Airport in Washington.

More specifically, the complaints have been about the types of aircraft using the airport, notably, the loud ones: the ones that circle around and make several approaches; that land and take off in rapid succession for no apparent reason. One can hear these aircraft coming from a good distance. One can hear them going. One might very well find their presence and the noise pollution annoying. That’s understandable.

What’s also understandable, however, is the need for practice. Pilots aren’t born knowing how to fly an aeronautical behemoth like the V-22 Osprey. It’s basically a jet plane, with helicopter-like capability, so a really proficient pilot would have to be well versed and very well trained.

When a V-22 Osprey is circling the sky above Washington, its pilots aren’t buzzing houses just to annoy the residents below. The pilots are doing it because their training requires them to. They’re doing it because the more practice they have now, in a low-pressure environment, the better they will be able to perform in a high-pressure environment, like war.

Yes, they are loud. Yes, they are disruptive. But perhaps Washington residents should take a different approach to the influx of Ospreys on an irregular basis. For the patriotic: supporting troops means more than just saying the words. It means tolerance for the intermittent aural intrusion. For those who don’t really care much for patriotism: well, each one of those aircraft is worth approximately $70 million. Any taxpayer should hope that the person piloting an Osprey is well trained — even if it means intermittent aural intrusions.

Regardless of where one should fall on the patriotic scale, it’s time to stop looking at, and hearing, Ospreys as a nuisance. Those pilots have a job to do and Washington’s airport is helping them do it.


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