Close Encounters

One of the un-nerving experiences of Southern Inyo – a low flying military jet that breaks the sound barrier. Since the Owens Valley claims status as military air space, jet encounters of the close kind do happen. Military spokesmen say jets should follow certain rules.

Susan Reed of China Lake Naval Weapons Center said that our air space, R-2508, falls under the control of China Lake, Edwards Air Force Base and Fort Irwin. Reed said that the airspace is designated restricte3d by the FAA to support military mission activity above 20,000 feet mean sea level with what’s called a Military Operating Area below 18,000 feet. With certain controls, civil airplanes are allowed in the airspace.

(Photo: Courtesy of Scott Palamar)

Ms. Reed said that “every effort is made to mitigate noise and low-level flying created by military operations.” She said if citizens feel a military jet has flown too low or created too much noise, they can complain to her. She said there is a set process of investigation of such complaints. Reed assured that she will return citizen calls.

If you have a concern, call 760-939-6047.

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