Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Risks of Flying Over Residential Areas

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Risks of Flying Over Residential Areas

Re: ‘No Way to Mitigate Roar of Jet Engines Overhead’, Connection, October 28-November 3, 2020

It is my understanding aircraft cross the planned development at 900 feet every three to five minutes throughout the day. Although the focus of the argument thus far has been on noise levels, as a former Air Force pilot, I am surprised no one has brought up the safety aspects of placing a development directly under the flight path of large commercial aircraft. For example, the most dangerous portion of any flight is the first take off of the day by an aircraft. Why? The aircraft is fully fueled and this is the first time the engines will be at full power. I have been in emergency situations like this with 80 passengers in the back and the first thing a pilot in command does is to look for a place to put the aircraft down if it is no longer flyable. Placing a development under the flight path makes the choice infinitely more complicated. The same concern applies to an aircraft in a landing situation. Do we really want an aircraft with an engine fire or other critical in flight emergency flying directly over a residential development?

I also do not understand the logic given citizens living in Alexandria constantly complain about noise coming from Reagan National Airport. Does not the Board understand the situation will be the same in this instance?

In this case the Board individually and collectively would be using extraordinarily poor judgement in approving this development.

Norman P. Byers

Colonel, USAF (Ret)

Burke, Virginia