129 decibels split ears

129 decibels split ears

It seems like the National Guard may have increased their F-15 flights to spend some line items prior to sequester.

At least that is what is hoped. Government often does that at the end of budget cycles so they don’t have to give surplus back to the general fund. It is difficult to detect if the magnitude of flying has tapered off, but there is still enough to create disincentives from noise nuisances for other economy-boosting investments. This is in large part because the current command at the base refuses to restore the noise abatement flight paths and procedures of the past.

It defies comprehension how military types can fail to see how they are shooting themselves in the foot with current policies. Although county and congressional leaders have lobbied heavily to spare Kingsley Field from budget cuts, the public support isn’t really there because the base has been torturing the population with a complete lack of concern for noise abatement.

It was different when that crusty redneck Colonel Harper was in charge. At least he understood the connection between noise abatement, public relations, and public support in relation to budget allocations. Or it may have been his future political ambitions. Either way, a smarter Guard leadership used to be very careful about limiting noise and pushing public relations with tours and junkets for leaders. The leader tours continue, but the public interface is at an all-time low.

Many residents and business now hope for the budget cuts that will reduce or eliminate the deafening roar of F-15s taking off with full afterburners and screaming over suburbs at angles that point the contrail straight at people sleeping or trying to conduct business. Estimates vary, but 1,000 feet within 30 degrees of the exhaust creates around 130 decibels of noise, which is considered to be in the “pain” category, with the fly-arounds outside of that cone at the magnitude of a rock concert.

Noise ChartPeople don’t enjoy peaceful time at parks with this going on. Nor do they want to move to Klamath as a recruit to the medical community. They don’t buy homes when they hear that sound, nor will they start businesses if they have to compete with that kind of noise on their cell phones.

When it feels like there’s no choice to avoid the insanely loud and unnecessary noise, the mind recoils to desperation. Most people want the base support jobs to stay in Klamath, but not at the cost of their peace and sanity. The base is at risk (of failed public perception impacts on budget) because of a few stubborn assholes in charge. Ride that bomb to the ground like Slim Pickens in Dr. Strangelove, nutballs.