Re: “Flying low, loud, late and illegal near JBLM” (TNT, 8-4).
In regards to military helicopter noise, first let me state on the outset that I fully agree that unit commanders must comply with all laws and regulations requiring impact studies – just as they expect their subordinates to obey orders given by them.
However, let’s keep the noise of military helicopter over-flights in perspective with other noises we hear in nearly all of our neighborhoods – such as: loud “boom-boom” music from cars, loud motorcycles, screeching tires of wannabe drag racers late at night, fireworks (outside legally prescribed times), lawn mowers (especially from neighbors in the early morning on weekends), etc.
I would have to say that a military helicopter passing overhead is much less disturbing than, say, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle being revved-up. And it is not just due to a relative comparison in decibels, duration or frequency, between a helicopter over-flight and these other sources of noise (which in my opinion, a Harley would win hands-down).
No, it is mainly that a military helicopter flying overhead is representative of service in the defense of our nation, and a Harley is one of selfish indulgence.
The concern regarding military helicopter over-flight noise must come from either a limited perspective or, worse, a prejudicial one, by failing to also note those other “everyday” noises the author conveniently overlooks.