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* Explanations for low flying aircraft over Houston area.

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MonzaRacer 3
AuthorMan 2
Going off air 3
d:-] 1
SuperFantastic 2
rEVOLution 6
Ogre1 7

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rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

I'm sure there is absolutely nothing to these stories, they started surfacing last week but the information is not very easy to find out on the web. Channel 11 had about a 15 second explanation of "low flying" army aircraft today, no mention on their website so I started digging. Channel 11 mentioned that these planes would be flying low enough that they could cause buildings to shake and that other aircraft could be accompanying these aircraft and could cause sonic booms. I wasn't going to post this until I started finding completely different explanations for these low flying military aircraft. I'm sure it's nothing, just found it really odd. One story: A pair of military aircraft flying low over parts of Brazoria County were part of a training mission, emergency personnel said Thursday, but officials struggled to find out where the planes came from and why they were here. They’re still not sure. The massive C-17 Globemaster and smaller C-47 Skytrain caused phones to light up at the offices of Brazoria County officials. They were reported over Angleton about 11:30 a.m. and left the area just after noon. The Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office received about two dozen calls from the public about the planes, the same number as the Angleton Police Department. “We confirmed with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) that there were military aircraft in the central Brazoria County area,” Brazoria County Assistant Emergency Manager Steve Rosa said. “There was no reason to be alarmed, but they didn’t clear anything with us.” They likely don’t have to, a federal aviation department spokesman said. As long as the planes are flying below 10,000 feet using Visual Flight Rules — other pilots can see them and they can see other pilots — there is no violation of air laws and a detailed flight plan isn’t required, the spokesman said. The C-17 cargo plane is 174 feet long and 55 feet high, has a wingspan of 170 feet and a maximum, loaded takeoff weight of 585,000 pounds, according to the U.S. Air Force Web site. The C-17 transport is 63 feet 9 inches long, 17 feet high and has a wingspan of 95 feet 6 inches. Its maximum takeoff weight is 31,000 pounds. Planes that size are required to fly at an altitude of at least 1,000 feet in densely populated areas and at least 500 feet in less-populated areas, Brazoria County Airport Director Jeff Bilyeu said. “That’s generally speaking, for civilians,” Bilyeu said. “Those are the federal regulations we’re expected to adhere to.” Calls to the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army were not returned Thursday. Brazoria County Emergency Management on Sept. 22 received an e-mail from the Army Test and Evaluation Command stating a C-27J cargo plane would be tested over areas around Houston Oct. 12 through Oct. 16, Rosa said. The e-mail made no mention of Thursday’s flight. The letter was copied to the Department of Homeland Security for clearance, but aside from discounting any serious risk to the area, a Homeland Security officer would not comment on Thursday’s flights. Calls and e-mail to the Army Test and Evaluation Command were not returned. Some Brazoria County officials said they would have appreciated notice before the planes flew over cities and near chemical plants, including Dow and BASF. Arthur Velasquez, executive assistant to County Judge E.J. “Joe” King, said aviation officials told him the planes are privately owned, but he did not know who owns them. “They can fly anywhere as long as they’re not in restricted airspace,” Velasquez said. “We’re being told they’re practicing for the Wings Over Houston Air Show.It would have been good to know something to answer the number of calls we got. It would have been helpful, but there’s nothing that says we have to know that. They can fly anywhere another privately owned plane can go as long as they’re not in restricted airspace.” Photos of the C-17 Globemaster III and smaller C-47 Skytrain are posted at the Wings Over Houston Web site, but a spokeswoman with Wings Over Houston said planes for that show weren’t yet in town. Officials with Ellington Field near Pearland, the Houston Airport System and Lone Star Flight Museum in Galveston said the planes did not take off from their airstrips. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet, according to the Air Force Web site. The Brazoria County Airport’s runway is 7,000 feet long. While planes as large as a C-17 do fly in Brazoria County airspace, it’s not a regular occurrence, Bilyeu said. “We see them from time to time,” Bilyeu said. “They come to airports and practice approaches and training. It’s not unheard of, but it’s rare.” Maneuvers with similar planes were done about six months ago and prompted the same response from the public, said Pete David, training supervisor at the Brazoria County Airport. “Everybody on Highway 288 was stopping,” he said. The other story: And here is another "Explanation" of what's going but listing different aircraft for different reasons. October 09, 2009 It's a bird! A plane! A Joint Cargo Aircraft! If you spot a low-flying military aircraft swooping through your neighborhood next week, don't bother diving for cover or dialing 9-1-1. A joint-service test team of Army and Air Force personnel will be testing the C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) over the Houston metropolitan area Oct. 12-17. The JCA is smaller than the Air Force's C-130 Hercules, but larger than the Army's C-23 Sherpa. It will be used to transport troops and supplies to remote forward operating areas. Officials from the Army Aviation Flight Test Directorate (AFTD) at Fort Rucker, Alabama, want to raise public awareness of the test to prevent alarm when the JCA takes to skies, especially since Houston does not typically see a lot of military aircraft traffic, says AFTD commander, Lt. Col. Robert A. Willis. From the AFTD press release: AFTD, as the flight test arm of the Redstone Test Center in Alabama, tests nearly every aircraft and aviation system the Army owns or is considering procuring. For some tests to be successful, engineers must identify a test location which replicates situational or environmental conditions the aircraft will encounter in real-world missions. In this instance, the Houston/Texas City/Pasadena area proved an ideal location. "The area provides an environment containing a high density of electronic communications and signals, which met the parameters needed to conduct this test of systems aboard the JCA," said AFTD Flight Test Engineer, Justin Powell. "A significant portion of JCA testing will involve data collection during low-level flight--altitudes ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 feet above ground level--to ensure the many integrated systems are working properly."  

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

New transport plane, cool. Kind looks like the Herky bird's little brother. 

rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

AFTD, as the flight test arm of the Redstone Test Center in Alabama, tests nearly every aircraft and aviation system the Army owns or is considering procuring. For some tests to be successful, engineers must identify a test location which replicates situational or environmental conditions the aircraft will encounter in real-world missions. This part cracks me up. Where exactly will this plane be deployed that made them think, "ah ha! this place is just like Houston, that's where we will test our aircraft." And what exactly will they be testing that could not be done "let's say, CLOSER TO ALABAMA?" 

rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

Kind looks like the Herky bird's little brother I think it is, lol  

rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

But the first article describes this little baby...  

Going off air --- 4 years ago -

And in an instant Area52 came to light 

rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

And in an instant Area52 came to light LOL... I'm just sayin! Where would they be deploying this aircraft that makes Texas City and Pasadena the "Ideal" spot to "Test" this aircraft? But then again, y'all know me, I question everything. Specially when there are three different versions of the same story. 

Going off air --- 4 years ago -

SOmething aint right thats fo sho 

AuthorMan --- 4 years ago -

Look through the window! The pilot is green. :-) 

rEVOLution --- 4 years ago -

Look through the window! The pilot is green. :-) LOL I wonder where we ever got the idea that Aliens are green anyways? From what I hear they are gray. 

AuthorMan --- 4 years ago -

I wonder where we ever got the idea that Aliens are green anyways? From what I hear they are gray. I have only seen green ones. :-) Except for the one time everything was pink. :-) 

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

Where would they be deploying this aircraft that makes Texas City and Pasadena the "Ideal" spot to "Test" this aircraft? Ellington Field. The support facilities are still there for military aircraft, NASA runs it's aircraft training down there, the USAFR, and TANG are down there. Multiple aircraft companies operate down in Clear Lake, I think Lockheed has a building at Ellington (or is it Grumman? I don't recall). Ellington was, until Bush opened up its newest runway the only field that could handle heavy bombers, which means it has a long, long runway. Perfect for testing an airframe. I've actually called Ellington Area 52 for a long time now, NASA runs some freaky aircraft out of there on occasion. 

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

C-17 in Unrestricted Climb D@MNED!  

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

OH, I know the Globemaster is just a cargo bird, but doesn't it just LOOK mean? I heard an interview of one of the pilots, SHE said it flew like a fighter plane it's so overpowered. That's rockin! 

MonzaRacer --- 4 years ago -

Ellington was, until Bush opened up its newest runway the only field that could handle heavy bombers, which means it has a long, long runway Yep, it's 9,000 ft compared to Hobby's 7600... As far as military aircraft being over Brazoria county, there is a "Military Training Route" running south just 15 miles west of Angleton and on down over Sweeney and out over the Gulf...That's not to say these aircraft were using it when seen however 

MonzaRacer --- 4 years ago -

Planes that size are required to fly at an altitude of at least 1,000 feet in densely populated areas and at least 500 feet in less-populated areas, Brazoria County Airport Director Jeff Bilyeu said. That statement is a little misleading as the reg. pertains to all fixed wing aircraft and it's 1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 2000 ft of the aircraft. 

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

That statement is a little misleading as the reg. pertains to all fixed wing aircraft and it's 1000 ft above the highest obstacle within 2000 ft of the aircraft. Well, that C27 was most certainly NOT at 1000 feet. If he was at 500 feet then I'd be surprised. And was over a neighborhood, San Jac college, and Spencer Highway. The Helos were also very low. The CH-53 was...200-300 feet tops. 

SuperFantastic --- 4 years ago -

 

Going off air --- 4 years ago -

WT Hey? 

SuperFantastic --- 4 years ago -

 

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

You'd think the boys on the "Forest Fire" wouldn't want to play games like this. 

MonzaRacer --- 4 years ago -

Well, that C27 was most certainly NOT at 1000 feet. If he was at 500 feet then I'd be surprised. And was over a neighborhood, San Jac college, and Spencer Highway. Ahhh...that's near Ellington and if they were that low they were most likely in the traffic pattern, were they can be lower. 

Ogre1 --- 4 years ago -

that's near Ellington and if they were that low they were most likely in the traffic pattern, were they can be lower. No, he wasn't in the racetrack. He was just orbiting around San Jac and Spencer Hwy, really low. I grew around there and know the patterns pretty well. It helps that I'm a military plane nut. 

d:-] --- 1 years ago -

He was just orbiting around San Jac and Spencer Hwy, really low. I grew around there and know the patterns pretty well. It helps that I'm a military plane nut.

San Jac and Spencer area is Ellington airspace. Take a look at Skyvector.com 

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