Assessing the Risks to Those Near the Airport

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I am writing in response to William M. Monroe’s view on noise abatement (April 9). First of all, let me say on behalf of most pilots that we try to follow noise abatement procedures when we fly. However, when most of us do fly, we think of flying the airplane first.

Imagine an airliner loaded to capacity taking off at airports with relatively short runways--like those at John Wayne Airport. The captain doesn’t like to reduce power just for noise because that would reduce performance, especially in an emergency, but he does.

In Airline Safety, Capt. William Heller suggested that the DC-10 crash at Chicago could probably have been avoided. The DC-10, in his view, probably could still have flown, even though the engine fell off, but the airplane was following procedures dictated by noise abatement requirements and that suggested that the airplane did not have the extra airspeed required to maintain flight.


I think we should have pity for the captain and his crew whenever you see them flying from airports like John Wayne.

Another thing people don’t understand is that they complain about noisy jets flying over certain noise-sensitive areas. Most jets, definitely airliners, operate under instrument flight rules. Under the rules, a plane is under the control of air traffic controllers, so it’s not always up to the pilots where they fly. During congested periods, a controller will use all available airspace so that planes don’t collide.

In closing, I just like to say that many old pictures of airports don’t show homes around them. That should speak for itself. Also I didn’t go to Playa del Rey like Mr. Monroe suggested, instead I went to a little hill just south of LAX. I must say I love to hear and watch jumbos take off and land.


Huntington Beach