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Military planes

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Military planes

Postby Stebben84 » Wed May 12, 2010 11:54 am

In the last two weeks, I've noticed a huge increase in the amount of military jets streaming overhead. I live close enough to the airport that I hear planes landing and taking off all the time, but this has gotten out of control. Has anyone else noticed this?

I realize that living by the airport means I hear planes. I've gotten used to that. The constant barrage of military planes is harder to get used to. I'm just curious if something has changed recently.
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Re: Military planes

Postby clyde » Wed May 12, 2010 12:11 pm

Yes! Seriously! I have begun to wonder if we're under attack. I know our house is near the airport - it was there before we were, etc. so I don't usually complain about the F-16's and whatnot. But lately they are numerous and low-flying. And LOUD. And it scares the crap out of our cats.
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Re: Military planes

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed May 12, 2010 12:13 pm

I've noticed that there are now three fighter jets doing exercises over the east side. Weren't there previously only two?
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Re: Military planes

Postby clyde » Wed May 12, 2010 12:27 pm

I've seen them in sets of 2 or 3 over the past few years I've been here. But more often than not, now they are in 3's.
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Re: Military planes

Postby Michael Patrick » Wed May 12, 2010 12:31 pm

It's Obama preparing for the Communist takeover of our society.

Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Re: Military planes

Postby jman111 » Wed May 12, 2010 12:37 pm

Just a guess, but it could be based on the time of year. It could be the 2 week commitment that reservists/ national guardsmen perform annually. Many of the pilots of these F-16s are members of the Air National Guard, as I understand it. When I was a reservist, my two weeks were always sometime between May and September.

just a thought
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Re: Military planes

Postby Stebben84 » Wed May 12, 2010 1:54 pm

jman111 wrote:Just a guess, but it could be based on the time of year. It could be the 2 week commitment that reservists/ national guardsmen perform annually. Many of the pilots of these F-16s are members of the Air National Guard, as I understand it. When I was a reservist, my two weeks were always sometime between May and September.

just a thought


That would make sense. I can handle it for a couple weeks. I was hoping this wouldn't be a regular occurrence.
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Re: Military planes

Postby gargantua » Wed May 12, 2010 3:15 pm

My brother and I were golfing at Bridges this morning...right on the flight path. We saw a group of 3 followed by another group of 4 take off within moments of each other. With afterburners on I might add. A very impressive sight at close range. They all landed about 30-40 minutes later.
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Re: Military planes

Postby snoqueen » Wed May 12, 2010 6:11 pm

They're fun to watch and I bet they're even more fun to fly. When I was a student at MATC, parked way out on the west end of the parking lot, one day we also watched some huge, very fancy black helicopter hovering just above the grass of the airport area for about half an hour. It was scary-cool.

But all this is an expensive hobby and I'd sure like to know what they are doing. I'm not being negative here -- that's a real question.
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Re: Military planes

Postby rabble » Wed May 12, 2010 6:23 pm

snoqueen wrote:They're fun to watch and I bet they're even more fun to fly. When I was a student at MATC, parked way out on the west end of the parking lot, one day we also watched some huge, very fancy black helicopter hovering just above the grass of the airport area for about half an hour. It was scary-cool.

But all this is an expensive hobby and I'd sure like to know what they are doing. I'm not being negative here -- that's a real question.

If you mean the hovering helicopter, that was hover practice. I worked at Fort McCoy a while back and never got used to the trainees who would wobble all over the field getting really close to MY window every now and then. It was scary then and didn't get cool till it was over and I could tell stories.

If you mean what's going on now, I have no idea and I'm skeptical of the weekend warriors training theory. It's possible they've decided to change their schedule but we've been here since the turn of the century and never saw military traffic like this. This is more like what we saw when we lived in the Camp Douglas/Fort McCoy area. Helicopters at night with two little running lights and some with no lights at all. It's more traffic than we saw in the aftermath of 911. Something has changed.
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Re: Military planes

Postby Exploding Pinto » Wed May 12, 2010 6:42 pm

I'd say it's been more like a month, but I've definitely heard them a lot, lot more lately, yeah. I've been curious about it as well.
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Re: Military planes

Postby gargantua » Wed May 12, 2010 9:57 pm

Since we got a close look, I have to say, they are an awe=inspiring weapons platform. Morbid person that I am, I thought about how if one of them went nuts, they could blow up a considerable chunk of the northeast part of town, and inflict hundreds of casualties.

Then, I wondered how much each one of those launches cost. This is in no way a criticism, I'd really like to know. I'm thinking 7 jets for an hour each is at least a million, but I don't know and have no way of knowing if that's really a good investment.
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Re: Military planes

Postby Petro » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:27 pm

gargantua wrote:I'm thinking 7 jets for an hour each is at least a million, but I don't know and have no way of knowing if that's really a good investment.


Your question made me curious, so I went ahead and did some poking around.

It'd seem that it's less than $28,000, actually.

Do you really think that they tool around overhead with live ordinance, though? I don't see much benefit for the risk involved.
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Re: Military planes

Postby snoqueen » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:13 pm

It's hard to imagine the practicality of it, but they really have a civil defense function. At the time of 9-11, they all scrambled and flew the jets around on some kind of protective mission. You'd have to assume they had live weapons to do that or they'd be ignored by whoever their opponents might be.

I believe the national guard at Truax is assigned a particular area and their planes go up and check things out whenever something unexplained is going on anywhere in that space. It reaches at least up to Manitowoc, because I've been told they had oversight of the airspace over the Two Rivers power plant.

Obviously I don't know a whole lot, but maybe someone who does can clarify this to the extent it's public information. Wisconsin has such an unmilitary culture we don't pay a lot of attention to the national guard. Maybe we ought to know more about it.
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Re: Military planes

Postby Petro » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:42 pm

snoqueen wrote:It's hard to imagine the practicality of it, but they really have a civil defense function. At the time of 9-11, they all scrambled and flew the jets around on some kind of protective mission. You'd have to assume they had live weapons to do that or they'd be ignored by whoever their opponents might be.


I'd have to imagine that there's a distinction drawn between scrambling in response to a potential airborne threat and a simple practice flight.

It isn't like we'd potentially have any threat in our airspace without NORAD knowing about it for a considerable length of time before they were anywhere near us.
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