The helicopters are still making their early morning run over Ocean Beach

by on August 17, 2011 · 67 comments

in Popular, The Widder Curry

An Update:  February 26th of this year, I originally wrote an article about the number of helicopters flying over Ocean Beach in the wee small hours of the morning. As an insomniac I find this very distressing. I accept that I will go to sleep after 11:30pm when Lindbergh closes their takeoff routine, and, if lucky, will have the drone of the motor wake me at 6:30am. That is if I am able to sleep in the “between” hours.

I can’t tell you how many times, just in the last week, I was awakened by the sound of helicopters overhead between the hours of 11:30pm and 6:30am. When I did a small investigation of why this is happening, I was told that there were several reasons: One, there are more “drug boaters” – what else do you call them – that are bringing drugs onto our shores between Coronado and Oceanside. Then I was told that there is also the military doing training at night. And another reason, I was told, was because of the News Helicopters chasing a story.

That’s all well and good. But can someone tell me why they have to fly over our houses to get to the Pacific Ocean, night after night after night? Some of the copters are, I was told, Coast Guard helicopters. They take off from San Diego Bay; some are military taking off from North Island; some take off from Brown Field; some take off from Miramar and even more astounding, some take off from Montgomery Field. All of these helicopters training over our coastline? Doesn’t sound very safe to me.

So…I now have a telephone number that we can call to register our complaints. One is the FAA in the regional office in Los Angeles. That office covers San Diego too. Their telephone number is 1-310-725-3550. There is another number to call also and that is close to Montgomery Field. That number is 1-858-502-9882. I was also told it is ok to call the FAA number to report noisy aircraft and register a complaint. (Wish I had known that number yesterday, the 15th at 9:04am and this morning, the 16th at 7:40am.)

Unless we as a community complain, the noise is going to get worse. Many voices are more effective than just one – or two – every few days.

Maybe as a “reward” when the noise abates, I will be offer you a free meal at the new gourmet airport at Lindbergh.

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG August 17, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Nearly the same situation in parts o f La Mesa. Sometimes an elderly person will wander off from their residence & the chopper has to alert everyone by blaring the description of the person via the chopper’s PA system. Then there are the light planes.
And while I’m thinking about it, why is it that motorcycles get to blast us w/ straight pipes on the bikes? I’m sure that when the mufflers are sold, the decible level comes in at just under the cusp of the allowable limit. The limits should be lowered, & the noise should be abated tremendously.
We should start yet another group to battle the noise. How about the Get-a-Muffler Foundation. Decades ago it was Jerks walking around w/ ridiculous boom boxes on their shoulders. Now it’s the Jap bikes & herds of Harleys rumbling about in their Sunday best leathers, two up, club style, bellowing throughout the land.


Goatskull August 18, 2011 at 7:37 am

You are really one uptight person aren’t you. Jap bikes? Just a little derogatory don’t you think?


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG September 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I owed two jap bikes. Not derogatory. Motorcycle nomenclature.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG September 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

That would be “owned.”


Larry February 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

It is noisy here on the coast too but no amount of complaining seems to help. The bastards just seem to like to fly just over the land when they go up and down the coast. Really pisses me off!!!!


Really? August 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm

If you want dead silence you need to consider moving out of the “big city.” No amount of complaining or telling people to call some phone number with a voicemail box checked by a trained team of monkeys is going to change that.


iDthePoet August 17, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Weed jokes on an OB-centric website are easier than writing funny quotations on cat pictures.


debo August 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

To the writer of this article, if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Since you are an insomniac what made you think OB would be the place to get a good nights sleep? Try living out in the suburbs someplace or maybe Julian – you might get quiter nights and won’t need to waste a page making complaints in the Newspaper.


judi curry August 17, 2011 at 4:56 pm

Sweetie~ I have lived in the same house since 1966. The ONLY airplanes that flew out of Lindbergh was PSA. There were no helicopters except the Coast Guard for rescues. What we have now came after we bought our home, OUT OF THE FLIGHT PATH! And….since the OBRAG is on-line, I am not wasting paper. They are infringing on my rights – not the other way around.


Ro August 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Wow LOLCat, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed? The last time I looked, it was a free word and people were given the right to free speech. Doesn’t mean that you have to agree with others, but you don’t have to be rude. It’s really uncalled for.

And Unwashed, I have to laugh about your comments on the helo loudspeakers. I can never understand what they are saying and as I hover near my front door I find myself thinking “I should go outside to hear what they are saying. But, what if they are saying there is a madman with a knife in the area and I step outside just in time for the madman to get me.” Needless to say, I stay inside and try to ignore the noise until it moves on.


twomartinilunch August 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Wow – did any of you read “Suburban Warriors” by Lisa McGurr. This whole industrial-military-complex-perpetual-war-economy was all started by you Southern Californians – specifically Orange Countians. A horrendous fusion of Christian fundamentalism, xenophobic nationalism and western libertarianism that the rest of the country has been trying to deal with at all levels. Sad day for AmeriKa.


Frank Gormlie August 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm

That WAS a book wasn’t it? It didn’t happen yet. Why the “sad” day-ness?


MIke August 18, 2011 at 7:54 am

I hate the military-corporationy-industrial-pharmaceutucal-bakery-automobile-kindergarten-Lufthansa-wheel of fortune-cinnamon-pickle-comlpex too!!!!!!!
But I think its a horrendous fusion of Scientology, pork flavored candy canes and northwestern apple orchards.
(makes about as much sense as you garbage post…)
What the hell are you even talking about??You sound like another pot head that memorized a bunch of grown-up words but nothing you say actually makes any sense.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG August 17, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Sometimes the chopper speakers are support for local police. For example, when a San Diego Transit cop was killed last year at a station in La Mesa, the chopper hovered over the neighborhood announcing a description of th perp. I’m concerned about the slippery slope when announcing important events from the chopper. I would rather not hear, “8.5 pound orange tabby lost at 7:50 p.m. near the intersection of Fletcher & Baltimore. Has red & green nylon collar w/ Bopsy engraved on the tag. Any information should be directed to the La Mesa Police Department or Timmy & Sondra McKnibbet.”
The military aircraft can just go to hell.


thinking out loud August 17, 2011 at 8:22 pm

If you don’t like noise move to the country.
And this is not 1966 anymore case you have not checked the date……
Life and times move on get used to it……
Or just keep bitchin about it online….


OB Dude August 18, 2011 at 10:48 am

Thanks for the info!

Can’t the boys play over camp pendelton where nobody lives? Better yet, play over LaJolla!

I will be passing this on. Everyone in OB deserves to have enjoyment of their home. We have to deal with the airport issues so the military can go somewhere and share the noise to all the wonderful people of San Diego :-) That goes for the police copters that practice also!


Goatskull August 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm

As far as helo squadrons based out of North Island, moving training operations up to Camp Pendleton is just not likely. Keep in mind the pilots and crew members don’t pick the hours and places where they train.


Rick August 18, 2011 at 11:41 am

A pal of mind recently obtained a medical marijuana card. He’s been sleeping better and his disposition is much improved, too.


Kenloc August 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

I haven’t lived here since 66 but I have lived here long enough to not really notice the aircraft noise any longer.Helicopters,airplanes, loud explosions, loud voices,waves crashing, parrots screaming, Harleys roaring, neighbors partying, church bells ringing, live music blasting, skateboard wheels on asphalt, cars honking, people laughing, drunks arguing, sirens blaring, palm trees rustling…… these are the sounds of O.B., no?
I’m sure it was a quieter place once,but isn’t that true of everyplace?


OB Dude August 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

So does that mean we have to suck it up and just embrace noise….even unnecessary noise?

For the helos, their numbnut bosses should plan missions away from the population. No only to keep the noise down so we can all have a good sleep to get up the next morning to work our butts off to pay taxes to support military operations which I don’t even agree with! So helos head out to the ocean, head north and play all you want at Camp P. On your return go back out into the ocean head south then make your landing to your home base. Too easy to do?


judi curry August 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm



Kenloc August 21, 2011 at 5:44 pm

In OB you can classify many noises as unnecessary. I just find it interesting that as loud as OB is the helos are the big source of contention.And you don’t have to suck it up, you could move to an area where there are no helos or planes overhead.Cities are loud dude. I liken this conversation to people that live in Manhattan and complain that there is traffic.


OB Dude September 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Take it back. It’s not smart to train/play helos at Camp P. Major accidents in 2011 prove it’s not safe for military personnel or surrounding residents. Maybe it’s time to move the military elsewhere……..Where? I don’t know maybe the desert since sand can’t burn? Just a thought.


judi curry September 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

You are probably aware that yesterday a helicopter went down at Camp P. killing
the two on board and starting a fire. What’s wrong with the desert for training?


OB Mercy September 20, 2011 at 10:46 am

God I hate hearing that, how sad. My son is a firefighter and a helo pilot.


Goatskull August 18, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Here’s a five month old article about more helo squadrons moving into North Island.
This doesn’t help the problem but it partially explains the increased recent noise.


Christopher Moore August 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm

I see the Navy and Marine choppers flying out along the coastline, but very rarely flying low directly over OB, and almost never at night.

Seems like 99% of the time there is a low-flying chopper over me at night here in OB, it’s an SDPD “ghetto birdie.”


OB Mercy August 18, 2011 at 10:42 pm

I live in OB and deal with the air traffic…but then I don’t even get a break, as I work right next to Montgomery Air Field! But I’m not complaining, other than that…I live in paradise!


JohnR August 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Living in OB it can be easy to imagine yourself in a remote seaside village, cocooned as it is, between the natural boundaries of shear bluffs and the San Diego River.
And I understand the political stand that many of the people posting here, have, regarding the military and what it does.
But the reality is that the San Diego airport has been where it is since 1928, perhaps jets didn’t take off for some time, but this small community has always been under the general flight path of airplanes. One of the reasons OB was spared during the redevelopment frenzy of the 70’s and 80’s, was the low property values after jet airplanes began flying out over the beaches, their engines screaming to get up over the hills, just like today, and spewing their exhaust over everything underneath them.
San Diego has been a military port and fortress ever since the bay was discovered by the Spanish. San Diego has one of the largest concentrations of military and military industries in the the Western World, it just comes and goes. During World War Two or Vietnam, San Diego was essentially a military camp and then things tapered off for a while. Now it’s back with a vengeance.
So yeah…,suck it up. if you really need your peace, move up the coast to Big Sur or the Oregon Coast. San Diego is the belly of the beast, and OB is lucky to survive, as comic relief perhaps, an anachronism, if you will, a city as theatre.

I am not surprised that there are more helicopters flying around these days, after all, San Diego has become perhaps the premiere place in the world to learn to become a helicopter pilot. The environment is almost perfect. Vast areas over the ocean to practice over


judi curry August 19, 2011 at 10:37 am

So let them fly over the ocean. Until we have “the big one” – I do not have ocean-front property.


john August 20, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Informative, insightful post.

I like that name too, where’d ya get it?



OB Mercy August 19, 2011 at 7:21 am

You’re right John, my son is a helo pilot and trained at Palomar. I also think the air traffic over OB is why rent is so cheap. I’m from LA, and would never have been able to afford a place at the beach in Venice or Malibu. But I can live a block from the ocean here and for what I pay, it would be 2-3 miles from the ocean there. So, I’ m gonna suck it up and just enjoy it!


OB Dude August 19, 2011 at 8:54 am

Peace love and whatever goes in OB….attitudes such as these is why we HAVE to suck it up and deal with undesireable elements. Let the gov and city just walk all over us and do whatever! So much noise is NOT necessary and there are many ways to mitigate the noise without risking our security, transportation conveniences etc. Let see who complains when little bungalows get torn down and “rents aren’t so cheap anymore”…..I guess as long as it doesn’t bother “you”…those that do just will have to suck it up huh? Their is a thing called RESPECT…it works in wonderous ways ….


judi curry August 19, 2011 at 10:28 am

Couldn’t have answered it any better than you did. Thanks.


Abacab August 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

I think one central theme in this article has been overlooked. As an admitted insomniac, it seems like one would already be awake when the helos are flying over. If it is more of an issue of being a “light sleeper” then that is where the noise would be a big factor.

If you are truly an insomniac, it seems like addressing that issue is the best place to start. Many options exist, going to bed and waking at the same time every day, use the bed only for sleep (not reading, eating), pharmaceuticals, holistic medicines, illicit medicines. Hopefully, you have tried some of these, but continuing to find what will work for you is key.

If the issue is more related to being a light sleeper, try white noise machines, ceiling/standing fans, ear plugs, play the radio/tv at a low enough level to block the outside world without keeping you awake.

Maybe it is a combination of both. If so, you may just be SOL. If no helos fly over, insomnia will keep you awake. Should you fall asleep, any little thing will wake you up, animals in the alley, loud cars/trucks/buses. Heck, the mocking birds kept almost all of OB awake for close to a month earlier in the summer.

Lastly, if you simply don’t like the helos flying over, then just say that. Parts of the article/comments come off as NIMBY-ism. I always hoped the wonderful community that is OB would be above this type of tactic…


OB Dude August 19, 2011 at 11:00 am

insomniac- that’s not me

Noise comes in all forms….

Brain- registers noise and sends signals to the rest of the body

Noise triggers brain the brain says to body wake up …. maybe it’s a smoke alarm and the house is on fire, maybe it’s a neighbors dog barking ’cause they were left out in the middle of the night, maybe it’s your partner snoring away, maybe it’s a burglar breaking in or rapist, maybe it’s the cops or military playing practice, maybe maybe maybe

So less noise might bring better sleep…..does this register?


Abacab August 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

Yeah, that registers, which I why I was trying to provide constructive alternatives as opposed to just bashing the helos. As you say, noise comes in all forms. Honestly, if you are that light of sleeper then you likely fall into the SOL category. Re-route the helicopters then find something else to complain about…


OB Dude August 19, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Your info may be helpful to some so thank you for your comments. I am not a light sleeper but I am aware of my surroudings (2 different animals). I don’t have time in my life to find things to bash about but since this is blog it’s all about comments, thoughts, bitches, compliments, ideas, community, diaglogue etc. That’s why the RAG rocks.

Now a few alternatives on the noise issue:

Sweep don’t blow

Train your dog don’t just let them yelp all day while you are away or bring them inside

The gov keeps increasing MPG on our cars how about quieter jet engines or the airport authority could require quieter engines that is if quality of life is important on the POINT

Don’t rev up your harley going down the road to get your rocks off kicking off alarms. It just understood that anyone who rides a harley is “somethin else.”

Take your cell phone conversation inside nobody needs to hear about your business

Just a few minor changes in behavior, more thought and consideration that there ARE other people in the world can bring more harmony to the world. Kindness and courtesy are GOOD qualities.

Sleep tight all :-)


Terrie Leigh Relf August 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Thank you for the info, Judi.

I hear them a lot during the day and evening, too, and have been curious about their increasing frequency. . .Sometimes, it’s clear they’re looking for someone in particular, like a child or someone who just committed a crime. . .It’s often difficult to hear what they’re saying over the helo broadcast system (when they do make announcements. . .).

I’m an insomniac, too. . .’nuff said.



judi curry August 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Thanks, Ter, for your understanding. I often check my e-mail when I can’t sleep only to find that others are on-line too. And, you are correct. It is happening more and more, day and night. Sleep well….whenever you can. J


thinking out loud August 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

wow the noise thing sure generates a lot of comments… would think something could actually be done about it…good luck.


judi curry August 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm

You’d think so, wouldn’t you. Thanks for your well wishes. Judi


john August 20, 2011 at 6:43 pm


Life sucks like that, didn’t anyone tell you this before? I’m 49, if anyone told me 20 years ago I couldn’t move furniture for 8 hours then come home and wrench on my car till dark when I was this age I’d have said “shut up, old man, I’m superboy!” then gone down to Newport and shut the bars down.

The jets are so quiet now we don’t have to do “the OB pause” any more. Guess what else that means? Yep, rich folks are now building on the beach.

We banned alcohol which surely contributed to the local economy tanking, the city is near bankrupt, they even shut off whole blocks of streetlights at a time.

The fire rings, if we have any left, close at midnight. Gas is so expensive nobody can go out for fun at night. Why would they, no money to go bar hopping and according to modern DUI laws just ONE DRINK and a 500 POUND MAN COULD BE IMPAIRED.

I live (for a little while longer) on the edge of dog beach parking lot and in the past decade it’s gone from the misery (sarcasm) of having to endure the sound of YOUNG PEOPLE living, laughing, playing the drums , singing and playing guitars until the ungodly hour of 10 PM when they left because they couldn’t have beer after that, (I don’t drink though) to nowadays when I walked out last night, friday, just after Sea World fireworks and with no waves I walked to 7/11 and all I could hear were the mice scurrying away to get some pins to drop.

BUT OH NO it’s not quiet enough for some people who cannot comprehend why they are not getting the good night’s sleep they did 45 years ago when they moved here, so despite our local government’s staffing being cut to the bone they dial every number they can and want a live body to account for the whereabouts of every rotary wing registered airframe in the inventory of every agency operating in the San Diego TACAN corridor for the last week.

With all due respect, Judi, and I hope you’re laughing reading this like I am writing it, you should be pip pip cheerio thrilled to pieces to wake up to the sound of a distant chopper, because the day you don’t, you’re going away in a pine box. Life is for the living.

You can sleep when you’re dead.


thinking out loud August 20, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Anybody who quotes WZ must know what he’s talking about.
RIP Warren Zevon ~!


judi curry August 21, 2011 at 2:50 pm

You may be right, John. I AM getting old. Older, even. But…I can still laugh at your post and when I had my kitchen remodeled several years ago, I asked to have everything done in pine, so that when my time came I could just crawl into one of the new-fangled drawers with a lid and be wheeled out of the house. I just don’t want to only be asleep when it happens. It’s been so long since I had a good night, just because my eyes are closed may not mean I’m dead!


john August 23, 2011 at 12:02 pm

Your good natured response to my admittedly and intentional over the top reply indicates you are not the cantankarous fuddy dud it implied you may be.
I’ll confide that I also suffer from bouts of insomnia, even as a child going through those hated cycles of one night tossing and turning with blissful dreams for just a scant hour or two before the alarm went off and I trudged through my day half asleep and feeling zombified. The next night of course saw a full night’s sleep, the one after it all began anew.
Sadly the only time it wasn’t that way was the 15 years between about age 23-38 when I allowed increasing levels of alcohol consumption dictate my life, going to work every day as a functioning alcoholic. 11 years ago that ceased, all the alcohol I’ve has since would fit in a coffee cup. Every night I passed out by 11, a happy drunk, rising at 7 to face the world rested and fit.
I can’t say which version of life is better.
BTW I got my table saw back, the offer to make a solid cabinet for your earthquake supplies still stands and now it would actually be square! (but since IIRC you’re in a one story I think it’s overkill- unlike the victims of the northridge quake you don’t have 3 stories of building above you to crush the one below)
Water supplies are the number one concern then first aid and canned food. Bottled water is pretty much frowned upon environmentally, but I think Smart and Final sells a large vessel (10-20 gallons?) ideal for this. Fill that and keep it fresh and you’re miles ahead of everyone else. (I think all homes in earthquake zones should have a 50 gallon storage vessel inline with the water supply line which would always be kept fresh automatically. Similar to your hot water heater but stronger and accessible by a tap, and an access port for periodic cleaning)
(segueway back on topic, when you’re lying under the rubble of an earthquake ravaged building one would think the most beautiful sound imaginable will be those helicopters)
This was still a worthwhile thread, some of the impassioned comments were quite memorable.


judi curry August 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Dear John,
I don’t know what pleases me more: the fact that maybe I am not “not the cantankarous fuddy dud” that you thought I might be, or the fact that you remember the very first article I wrote for the OBRag re: where to put my “emergency kit” before the big one hits!

Congrats for being alcohol free for so many years. I know that when my husband gave up smoking – before he died of lung cancer, of course – he said that nothing tasted so good as to have a cigarette with the “after-dinner drink”.
You are to be commended.

I appreciate your offer to build me the cabinet we talked about last year! (I am getting older – but I remember your kind offer back then!) I bought a trash bin with a locking lid, and have it ready to fill. I know! I know! It doesn’t do me much good to be sitting in the office waiting for me to fill it…but I did buy it!
Now that Virginia is having earthquakes, may the coasts have changed and I won’t have to fill it at all. (I do have one item in it: A first-aid kit for Buddy, my cherished Golden Retriever!)

Your comment about the water is a good one. I keep thinking that there is water in the pool that I could use if necessary. But…it would have to be boiled first. And..on what?

Your comment re: the sound of the helicopters when buried under rubble is a good one. But…do they have to be so damn loud?



Open your Eyes.. October 7, 2011 at 2:51 am

Good point you’re making for the most part, but try and understand what Judi could really be getting at. It’s clearly not 1966 anymore, but she’s lived in the same area for quite awhile and suddenly now we’re getting all of these choppers patrolling around for who knows what ? I live right next to Montgomery Field, and these fuckers fly around 24/7. I am another insomniac like others on this thread, but I dont quite see how useful these patrols really are, as I still hear about more local officers dying in the news, and more shootings in the area. What I do tend to notice are stricter laws on just about everything, cameras are now suddenly appearing on every intersection I find myself driving on; and these patrols keep buzzing around like the unwanted flies that they’re making themselves out to be. Perhaps we should all face the facts; America’s beginning to look like a Fascist playground. Where’s JFK when you need him?


Anne Barron August 31, 2011 at 7:48 am

We deal with police helicopters overhead all the time; I seriously question whether the police reports of +900 arrests are due specifically to helicopter actions.
My favorite observation: A police helicopter hovering over Henry’s parking lot in Santee, repeatedly circling (at least 20 times). A man’s voice on a loud megaphone kept urging, “Stop and put your hands up. You have no where to go.”
The unseen person of interest on the ground hotfooted it out of there, heading east (judging by the copter’s trajectory). The copter could only swirl above our housing complex, mournfully repeating “You have no where to go”. This also went on for a while. Apparently, the pursuee did- copter lost him or her. Not sure why there was no ground police on hand to assist.

Heavy police power in the sky: 0
Pursued person on the ground: 1

Copters are the aerial equivalent of motorcycles, but on steroids. I remember the copters overhead, with high intensity floodlights, 20 years ago in parts of Mira Mesa; we were promised then a reduction in their use.

The only copters really of value: the search & rescue ones with talented operators who can land on a dime on Cowles Mountain. amazing to watch.


judi curry August 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Good comments, Anne. The big difference between your helicopters and mine is that you can understand what is being said. After listening to the loud speaker several times I still have no idea what is being said. Did you see where Imperial Beach is going to be adding 20+ more helicopters for training? And the environmental groups fighting the change were astonished to find that the council can not see where more helicopters will impact the area. Geeze…..


Debbie September 23, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Is the race car noise driving anyone else crazy? Is it really necessary for this kind of noise to go on all day long….is quality of life for surrounding communities ever considered for such events? If you would like to make comments here or to the event organizers… and of course

I understand that thought is these events take racing off our streets but now it’s in our neighborhoods. Can’t this stuff be moved out to the desert when the impact on people would be minimal?

I think it another money maker for someone using the stadium. Spectators: $8.00Racers: $30.00. How does the city prosper from these events?

There are more events scheduled according to the website:
September 23th – September 23rd 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
October 7th – October 7th 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
October 21st – October 21st 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
November 4th – November 4th 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
November 18th – November 18th 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
December 2nd – December 2nd 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium
December 16th – December 16th 2011 – Qualcomm Stadium


judi curry September 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Yes! It is driving me nuts. Buddy, my Golden Retriever, keeps trying to bury under something to get away from the noise. It’s been going on for hours! Thanks for the heads up!


OB Mercy September 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Debbie, I was wondering what that noise was! Where are they racing like that? That sound isn’t coming from Qualcomm is it? That seems way too far away! I thought they were boats racing near the jetty at Dog Beach.


Christopher Moore September 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm

That’s not coming from Qualcomm, the SCCA autocrossers there are disqualified if they show up too loud on the db-meter.

That’s the Coronado Speed Festival Fleet Week, a set of races of classic old race cars:

Still quieter than the F-18’s taking off IMO :)


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG September 23, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Unite. Vote in progressives & have them use the Brute Force of Eminent Domain to move Lindberg Field & the military out of town. Gradually, of course, so the populace can construct a positive economy not based on war economics. We could get North Island, Lindberg Field, & Miramar, build some parks & maybe a tourist desination or two & plant some grass & flowers. Just don’t give it away like Liberty Station. Someone, the govorporation I suppose, just built yet another military graveyard up on Miramar Rd. by the Nobel exit from 805. They probably spent a squadzillion tax dollars to get about 2 million bucks worth of work from the contractors & subcontractors. Blackwater & Halliburton were probably involved.
Hang on, I’ve got to do the OB pause. The pause is still there. Hasn’t gone.


mr.rick September 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Maybe we could get the little hydroplane races going in the bay again on weekends. That’s the flood control channel (bay?) to most of you guys. It was nice to get up early and go watch those little things flying around the bay.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

I think they are racing this weekend? On the bay, the Mission Bay. Mr Rick, what we used to call the “flood control channel”, we now – and more properly and historically – call the San Diego River.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2011 at 8:56 am

BTW, how do you like my new avatar? Hmmm?


OB Dude September 24, 2011 at 12:46 am

I will gladly stand corrected since I do not know for sure but…. there is nothing on the event schedule for Coronado Speed

that would confirm the noise we endured today….Can anyone clarify so those of us that want to send out comments are directing them to the proper event? Thank you!


yahoo September 24, 2011 at 7:00 am

Vintage car racing at Coronado….


mr.rick September 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Frank, it is the San Diego river for sure. When we were 7 or 8 years old it was a strange. concept. A body of salt water just didn’t compute into river. So that’s you, hunh, Bro.


mr.rick September 24, 2011 at 12:16 pm

B T W how’s the “Big OB” t-shirts working out?


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Mr Rick – We still have about 30 left, although we had some more printed up for the OB Street Fair last summer. They’ve been a huge success – although I wish more OBcians would pick one up. They’ve also helped fuel our reporting with a few bucks towards bloggers, change to larger server, helped us over the hump between waves of new advertisers. So, mucho gracias to those who laid out the mulla for the original shirts – our hats and shirts are off to ya!!!!!!!!!!!


john October 3, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Why the heck do people live in America’s 7th largest city and want peace and quiet? So they’re racing cars. Close your windows and turn up KPOP or your “murder, she wrote” and 60 minutes Andy Rooney reruns you watch on the VCR you don’t know how to set the clock on and call your great grandchildren and complain to them.
Why should the racers (or anyone else) move to the desert when you can do so just as easily? Earth to fuddy duds, there are going to be activities that make noise and we need them to pay the bills!
My mom lives in Sequiem, Washington, which has the distinction of being the “lavendar capital of the world”. Every year over a 3 day weekend they put on a festival where people from all over come to learn how to make soap out of this pitiful plant (obviously for some joy they get out of it as soap is pretty cheap) and the festivities include bluegrass music and wine tasting. A real rock and roll crowd, probably party at least till sundown. A few years ago mom decided she’d had enough of all the people parking on her street and making noise, she took on the town and tried to get the whole thing shut down- to obviously deaf ears.
I had to remind her that since lavendar was the primary viable product the economy there produced, that 3 day weekend was probably the difference between red or black ink on the bottom line every year for many merchants, restaurant owners, bars, all kinds of businesses. She married dad in the late 50’s and thanks to his Bell System pension and SSI, hasn’t had to go out and hustle a living since. To her peace and quiet was the biggest concern, but she forgets that the street she lives on is paved by the city and its revenues are partly contributed by all these noise making visitors, and shutting that down would naturally result in higher property taxes- could even double them.
We see this issue rear its head in many forms, car racing at the stadium, the alcohol ban, cruise ships downtown, smaller ways we don’t think of. How do you like your property and sales taxes vs. the level of services we receive? The quality of education in our schools? Want it to get much worse? Just do everything you can to keep things peaceful and quiet, and you’ll get it, along with higher taxes, less services, more unemployment- heck if you play your cards right the jobs that are eliminated might include yours in time and then you won’t have to fight all that noisy rush hour traffic and will have all the peace and quiet you can stand!
Noise is usually other people living, it’s a good thing.


Jamulian woman September 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm

All the commenters saying “move to the country”, have no idea what it is like out here. There are military Blackhawks flying 7 days/nights a week. We moved out here for more quiet and it is just as bad. The hot dog pilots play “strafe Afghanistan” through our hills and over our homes with complete disregard for anyone. Our rangefinder has targeted them as low as 204′! This is insane and dangerous, not to mention beyond annoying and a complete disruption of our lives. We have to stop phone conversations, can’t sit peacefully outside, can’t hear music or TV, our windows rattle, and this is not a couple times a day, but constantly. One recently did figure 8’s for over 30 minutes over our homes. They fly extremely low over Rancho San Diego shopping centers and up the Dehesa valley, well below the hill tops. I’m not an insomniac, but have been woken up more times than I can count by low flying Blackhawks shooting the gap around San Miguel Mountain with their floodlights on, pointing at the ground. This is crap and is NOT the sound of Freedom, but the sound of a bunch of adolescents that feel they don’t have to follow any rules. There is absolutely NO reason to be flying this low over residential areas. This entire county is not a training ground and all the talk of Sequestration has only seen an uptick in the number of flights we are experiencing, when we hoped it would be less. The “thwapping” of blades has reached an unbearable level and there is no where to move to escape it.


Jeremy June 13, 2016 at 12:35 am

There are no Blackhawks is San Diego. I’m on of those “hot dog” helicopter pilots, and flying the”gap” at San Miguel is course rules for us. Predetermined FAA flight paths. And, in the SoCal area, we are required to fly with our forward hover lights on to make us easier to see to other aircraft, as we are helicopters and fly flow. It is the reason helicopters were made. If we fly higher there, we are in the approach path to San Diego International. None of us are out there hot dogging around. We are training our students or junior pilots how to fly better, become proficient over land, in the mountains and over the water. We have specific approved routes we fly. We don’t deviate from them. We don’t fly over OB either unless were at 1000 feet. We take off out of the channel from North Island and head west or south from point Loma. North Island is a master helicopter base. The only one on the West coast. Its were we prepare for deployments to the middle east. You need to get over yourself and realize were training to keep ourselves alive.


Js September 27, 2015 at 6:23 pm

They fly over my house in Julian every day and night.


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