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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fairhope Airplane Noise Problems Continuing

Fairhope, Alabama



Attorney Henry Caddell standing

DESPERATE CITIZENS HIRE ATTORNEY

Hank Caddell (of Thirty/Caddell, LLP), approached the city's Airport Authority recently about continuing overhead airplane noise issues on the north side of town, especially the high-powered (1,100 hp engines) 'T-6' military training planes.

Caddell said he represents a group of citizens "suffering from airplane noise over residential areas of Fairhope," including one who works at night and has trouble sleeping during the day because of it and others who are suffering various other losses of use of their property (for work, recreation, etc.).

T-6 "Texan"
He blamed training of Navy pilots from bases in Florida, NAS Whiting Field and Pensacola, for the "screeching, shrill and horrific aerobatics ... reminiscent of Pearl Harbor"  for creating the "incessant nuisance problem" ... and asked Airport Authority members for  help in finding a solution.

Caddell cited "strong Federal law and legal precedent" against "taking property without just compensation ... inverse condemnation" as a basis for possible legal action but hoped it could all be worked out before that happened.

Caddell: "There doesn't seem to be any good reason on God's green earth ... when you have vast areas of the county that are rural and uninhabited ... . They could go over open fields to do training ... disturb cows and pigs ...  not Fairhope residents."

"It's degrading large parts of residential Fairhope ... to the extent it is ruining habitability."

He said he had already been in touch with Senator Sessions and Congressman Byrne and hoped to "team up" with the Airport Authority, Mayor Wilson and Councilman Burrell to communicate with the Navy about a possible Federal lawsuit to move the training away from directly over city neighborhoods.

"The very nature of Fairhope as an idyllic community ... a top ten retirement community ... our character" may be at stake.

(Publisher's Note: This problem is separate from the touch-and-go landings often seen at the airport itself. Besides orange-bottomed Navy T-6's, Air Force planes (with blue bottoms) also train here.)



Planes taking off from Pensacola:


42 comments:

Publisher said...

Please adhere to all posting rules ... .

Anonymous said...

I support our military and the airport providing a place for training. I do think the airport authority should consider providing soundproofing window installation to established residential neighborhoods as a cost of any future expansion.

Anonymous said...

The area in and around Fairhope is a Military Operational Area (MOA). So good luck with any legal action taken to stop this. These pilots have to train, just as residence get upset about military aircraft so do the farmers, this is an age-old issue.

If there is any damage, such as a helicopter landing in a crop field then a claim can be filed with the DOD for some form of compensation.

Most of Baldwin County is in a MOA, and the Fairhope area is in the Southern Pensacola MOA, it always has been. These pilots are allowed to trained, with the only exception of no live munitions.

When these pilots depart their home base, there are too many of them to fly in the same area, so they fly to remote areas. However, this MOA is not reserved for the navy, any military aircraft can train in this area, from the surface to 17,000 feet.

I was a military pilot training back in the early 1980's, and this area was a MOA then, and it's a MOA today! Good luck with any legal action.

Anonymous said...

That is just the point. It once was rural vacant land and is now a bedroom community of Mobile. The military needs to adjust accordingly.

Some day one will crash and kill somebody.

Anonymous said...

Everything is based upon census data, Federal census data. The census defines the class size of the municipality and other issues. Remember, many residences in Fairhope are not 'homestead' and therefore will not be counted in the census.

The DOD airspace is based upon the last census data, many grants are based upon the census and as Fairhope grows, and Baldwin County grows, there will fewer grants to the area for projects.

Given the location of Pensacola Naval Base, the Coast Guard bases, and economic impact it provides to Baldwin County it is not likely the MOA will be impacted. Remember, there is jet training further south of Fairhope.

The military must train somewhere, there is limited time to train, limited fuel so the closest area is the best. Fairhope Airport is uncontrolled (no tower), so it shows limited traffic into the area.

I understand the noise, and I hear it too but trying to bring about legal action is limited and a lot of money to be spent, only lawyers get paid!

I spent 7 years on active duty from 1981 - 1988 and then 1988 - 1992 in the active reserve, during that time-frame I was a rotorcraft and fixed wing pilot, airfield commander, operations officer and assistant operation officer for various military airfields. I can promise you this is an age-old complaint.

The farmers get the most attention because the noise causes chicken not to lay eggs, cows not to produce milk and pigs not to eat, so the DOD is less concern with those with money. AND farmers have an advocate, Department of Agriculture. All farmers can do is file a claim for losses, the MOA will still be in effect.

All you have to do is look at Pinehurst Golf Course, well, they are in a MOA and are only a few miles from Ft. Bragg, N.C., they have complained for years and they are still in a MOA. It's funny, Arlington, Virgina has been complaining since the dawn of time about aircraft noise, and there was a meeting in 2016 about the noise. Everyone was heard but it's a time old complaint.

And you are correct, one day someone will crash, it may be a civilian, commercial or military aircraft, any loss of life is a shame but with aviation, people do lose their lives sometimes. The military pilots are training for combat operations, and they must train as they will fight.

There is a way to approach the military, and if approached done incorrectly, if a lawsuit is discussed, the military enjoys more immunity than any city or state government and they will simply turn everything over to the attorneys in DC and nothing will get done.

A commander can limit areas where the pilots train, within reason, but it is all how they are approached. I did have pilots to circle areas to avoid and the areas were marked and briefed in the preflight briefings, it is all in the approach.


Anonymous said...

The MOA needs to adjusted based on new population density. Those posting that this has been going on for years are clue free as usual. The T6 Texan trainers were brought in 2-3 years ago and noise levels have skyrocketed since then. If the MOA was moved 20 miles north the training would again occur over largely rural unpopulated area.

Anonymous said...

Mufflers

Anonymous said...

Pull up the FAA map and it will show the MOA. The T-6 II has replaced the T-34 C, the noise level when they are low level are about the same.

So, yeah, I know what is still on the map and what is not - the area is the same. They are both turboprops, while the T-6 II has four props and the T-34 has two which is less noisy.

The reason the noise is higher is because the T-6 II has an ejector seat so the maneuvers can be performed at lower levels than with the T-34 and at a higher speed. And the aircraft is pressurized, steeper descents and higher speeds.

It is a lot easier to eject than get out of the T-34, the T-34 you pull the canopy back, then climb out and push away. Good luck with that at a low level.

The MOA is still as large as it once was. So, yes, I know what I am talking about. Pull up the FAA maps, and it is still very much depicted on the map! That's why they fly around here if this was not a MOA then a simple letter with the tail number to the FAA would bring it all to a halt.

This the problem around this area, everyone thinks they know but they don't learn to listen to others that do know. This area is a MOA and it's the ability to perform maneuvers at lower levels, and decent at steeper rates from higher altitude causes the noise when they pull out of the maneuver or flying faster at a low level.

Anonymous said...

I really don't understand this. How can it possibly bother you so much that you would pay a lawyer to deal with it. My guess is that you are all recently relocated to Fairhope from some northern clime. You loved Fairhope. Now you want to change it.I have lived here for almost forty years and the Navy planes have been flying and training overhead most of that time. It does not bother us at all. In fact, we enjoy them. Maybe you should not have moved here. Or maybe you should get involved in something important.

Anonymous said...

I have lived here for sixty years and the noise from the planes has always bother me to. Time for them to go somwhere else.

Anonymous said...

It is striking how many comments in so many posts seemed rooted in either a dislike of new comers to Fairhope, or a dislike of elites that live in what some consider expensive subdivisions. Fairhope has always had new comers arriving, many of the founders themselves were Yankees looking for a better place and a better life. Some local folks need to get used to new comers arriving because it will not stop. New comers will continue arrive and will also want to engage and change things. Some folks in Fairhope need to stop with these tired old comments about new comers, elites, whiners, etc that mostly serve to demonstrate their jealousy and sour grapes.

Anonymous said...

The "screeching, shrill and horrific aerobatics ... reminiscent of Pearl Harbor". You've got to be kidding me!!! GO NAVY!

Hank said...

Since when did we become a "retirement community"? Fairhope should not be marketed that way.

Anonymous said...

It is true. They are attacking their own citizens.

Anonymous said...

I'm from here and am in no way a new citizen. These new T6's are louder than the T34's, couple that with increased training and higher population density and this shouldn't be a surprise. Nobody is saying they don't support Fairhope or the military. What is being said is that there's a segment of the community, new and old, that are bothered by the noise.

If it doesn't bother you, great. Why attack those who have a legitimate complaint. I'm a local and this is a problem for me. I know of others who have been residents of our town for a short while who take issue as well as those who've been a part of the community for 60 years who are willing to try to change this problem. This isn't one demographic against another, nor is it political. Some people are frustrated about a problem and wish to see it changed.

Anonymous said...

True, some people are botherd by the planes, but the vast majority are not or are ok with it as they see the need. Democratic society = majority rule.

Anonymous said...

Everybody I know complains about the noisy planes but they think they are crop dusters.

Anonymous said...

They're not crop dusters.

Anonymous said...

Well if this is such an issue,just wait till Brookley is made the Downtown Airport (if it ever happens) the approach is directly over the eastern shore.That said,yes the T-6 is slightly louder then the T-34.Yes some have and issue with noise abatement,some have issue with the airport management by those with NO aviation background of any kind or limit their management to their own agenda.This is not a difficult task.Currently the use of the Silverhill location was deactivated to accommodate refugee housing but since that is no longer on the table the,military training command could and should use this area to retask training operations to that field.Limit Fairhope training to mid-day operations to diminish noise abatement.The biggest problem in all of this is that the good ole boys of Fairhope will do every thing they can to dispel the fact that the new Mayor is a WOMAN.It encroaches upon their ego's of ...".that just the way we do things here" Senator Trip Pittman end quote.That said most of the complains heard by most locals are from those who retire or relocate from other areas and have NO clue as to FACTS,but only subjugate their voice by innuendo,rumor ,and third party hearsay.If not sell prices are up,and the airport could grow as a proper industrial area as it should be.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Montrose, played outside all day as a kid and rarely saw or heard a plane(jet or prop) fly over. But saw coast guard helicopters training almost every week over th bay. When you did see navy trainers it was in the middle of the county(Robertsdale, Silver Hill, Foley to Lillian) and they weren't irritatingly loud because they just practiced touch and go for carrier training. If you were out in the Gulf fishing you would see planes doing acrobatic maneuvers. And that is probably the real point of the problem, the new navy has to train over land, crash on land easier to investigate than out in water!

Anonymous said...

This plane noise is constant.I hope our new mayor can help us Kant did nothing now he is out.

Anonymous said...

Get ready, next we will be complaining about it is unfair of all the rain we receive in the South Alabama and suing NOA. A set of foam ear plugs cost a dollar or a more expensive set of sound reducing earphones will work just fine. Please people get a grip!!! Oh this has nothing to do with who is Mayor.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the noisiest places I have ever been.

With the planes and leaf blowers and dogs barking all day and the garbage trucks roaring through at 3 AM in the morning.

Anonymous said...

After many years I came to dislike Fairhope so I moved to Daphne, still hear the planes but not so much all the other stuff. I'm happy I moved as I'm sure you are.

Anonymous said...

The negatives on here should spend a few hours at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. See the history, see why, see the courage, see the sacrafice. If that dosen't help you nothing will.

Anonymous said...

They've been flying all morning today. Over and over again since 7:30. They could at least let us know the schedule so we can plan our lives around it.

To the people saying "get over it" and "majority rules": someday you may be in the minority and need help. Think about that. We are not your enemy. Have some compassion for your neighbors.

There should be a required disclosure for real estate purchases so newcomers know what they are getting into. I'm not a newcomer, but it's wrong to hide this from people who are investing in our community.

Anonymous said...

the least the new mayor could do is to stop the loud garbage trucks from waking our kids twice a week.

it is so stupid. such nose should be prohibited overnight.

Anonymous said...

it is going to take one crashing on a school to wake up some of the conservative numbskulls around here to the problem.

Anonymous said...

Evan most liberals like their freedoms being protected.

Hank said...

Us "Conservative numbskulls" aren't the ones complaining. I-10 is just 20 minutes from your precious fruit and nut district.

Anonymous said...

Would someone whose life is so disrupted by these planes at least post what street you live on so I can see and hear for myself the problem caused by these aircraft. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

It is everywhere today. just open your window.

a new traing class has begun for roookie pilots from allies all over the world.

If one crashes hope it hits a right wingers' house!

Publisher said...

The majority of complaints we receive concerning this activity come from the northern side of town.

Aircraft noise at the airport itself is an entirely separate issue.

Anonymous said...

This lawyer working on the case wants cash up front.We need a lawyer who will work on a contingency.This is a big money case for any lawyer willing to put in some time the Navy will settle on this they always do.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. We don't live near an airport or a Navy base. Train somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

The noise is constant.Please help us .

Anonymous said...

The noise is constant.Please help us .

Anonymous said...

there's one lone everyday compainer
all the rest of us are cool with the planes

Anonymous said...

Hiring an attorney to fight this is a waste of money - any change in the airspace use has to go through the FAA, with an airspace study, and then overcome any objection from the military.

THEN, any change to use of the airspace has to be placed in the Federal Register, then public commit period then a proposed change based on public commit and then maybe a change to the use of the airspace.

Years and years of studies, then counter studies! Like Fairhope does, studies and studies and studies....studies...and more studies.

All the airspace usage went through many changes over the years, and have approach paths, flight paths, and airspace usage is like the ecosystem, any change can disrupt all the airspace use in the area.

Everyone needs to be thankful, in New Hampshire and Vermont, they just lost a battle with the Air National Guard and now jets can fly as low as 500 in the area.


Anonymous said...

There are many people who are concerned with airplane noise only one or two who like loud noise all day.

Anonymous said...

You sound brainwashed. Probably ex-military. It's not an us versus them issue. There are ways to resolve this to mutual benefit.

Anonymous said...

I'd pay $100. We can crowdfunding this. But isn't this why we have a city council? To advance our interests?