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Old 08-28-2017, 11:43 AM   #1
cityboy
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Ok, what's with the Military Jets?

This past Thursday afternoon I was sitting in a lawn chair by my Camp when a military jet flew right over the top of me faster than speed of sound. Not much higher than the mountain I'm one. Within the next 15 minutes 11 more flew between me and Goodnow mountain (Newcomb).
In the past they've flown by before but never this many. I called my wife back home to see if there was a national emergency but she hadn't heard of any. Any ideas as to what went on? It was Thursday August 24th at 1 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:45 PM   #2
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Probably an A10, the "warthog"
The Air National Guard has been conducting training flights with those planes for years.
Their top speed is well below the the sonic barrier, but it may seem greater than that when passing overheard. (no sonic boom)
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Old 08-28-2017, 05:33 PM   #3
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After I posted I found their site on internet. They say they practice flying low to avoid radar. I say faster than sound because if you look where the jet noise is coming from you'll miss them.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
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After I posted I found their site on internet. They say they practice flying low to avoid radar. I say faster than sound because if you look where the jet noise is coming from you'll miss them.
If you listen closely, you can hear the same effect from high flying passenger jets, and even from passing trucks, do the math (speed of light vs speed of sound) and you will see how that happens.
Military jets are not allowed to break the sound barrier unless they are in specific designated restricted areas for the purpose. There is no such area over the Adirondacks. In the past an occasional "mistake" by a fighter such as an F-16 in a mock dog fight, would create a sonic shock wave, but the A-10 does not have that ability.
Just enjoy the sight and sound for what it is, the sound of freedom.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:26 PM   #5
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+++ ^^^ +++
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:23 PM   #6
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I have heard that the terrain in the Adirondacks is fairly similar to the terrain in Afghanistan. I've no idea if this is true or not, but it would explain the use of jets frequently in the Adirondacks for training.

I was once in the West Canada Lakes, at the height of land on the Cedar Lakes trail north of the Perkins Clearing Trailhead, when two A-10s came blasting through the same gap in the ridge that the trail traverses. The roar of the engines was so loud that I had to cover my ears.

I had also heard that they were phasing out manned flights in the Adirondacks in favor of drone flights, which would be generally undetectable by sight or sound by most hikers. Indeed, for a while, it did seem like I was seeing fewer military jets in the Adirondacks. In the past year or so, though, it does seem like there has been more of them again.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:38 PM   #7
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the Air National Guard maintains a state of the art air to ground range at Ft. Drum used to train pilots from Maryland up to Maine. Likely what you heard were F-16s which are not a low level plane but still make a lot of noise when executing turns. Not likely these were A-10s, a real low level plane, as these were to be phased out about 5 years ago. You might want to call the NYANG hotline at (800) 228-3567 if the noise is an issue.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:13 PM   #8
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Couple of years ago I was in the Goodnow Mountain Fire Tower when they flew past. They flew in the valley between Goodnow and Windfall Mountain. Since both mountains are 2800 Feet tall I say the jets were at roughly 2500 foot elevation. I've seen jets but sometimes some big monstrosities too. Usually I've seen two to four but this time there were twelve.
As for speed I have no way to gauge. There was no breaking of the sound barrier but the Jet sound appeared way behind the actual Jet. Was this an effect of the mountains? Who knows. As a 25 year resident of Queens near JFK I had the "honor" of being near the flight path and in seeing 1,000's of low level passenger jets go by I never had heard that audio anomaly before.
My Camp is 20 years old and in the beginning flyovers were more frequent. It practically stopped around 2005 but now it has appeared to have picked up again.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I have heard that the terrain in the Adirondacks is fairly similar to the terrain in Afghanistan. I've no idea if this is true or not, but it would explain the use of jets frequently in the Adirondacks for training.

I was once in the West Canada Lakes, at the height of land on the Cedar Lakes trail north of the Perkins Clearing Trailhead, when two A-10s came blasting through the same gap in the ridge that the trail traverses. The roar of the engines was so loud that I had to cover my ears.

I had also heard that they were phasing out manned flights in the Adirondacks in favor of drone flights, which would be generally undetectable by sight or sound by most hikers. Indeed, for a while, it did seem like I was seeing fewer military jets in the Adirondacks. In the past year or so, though, it does seem like there has been more of them again.
"D'
The flights we're speaking of were training exercises with manned aircraft, piloted by humans. Not drones.
These airmen were practicing real time exercises.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:27 PM   #10
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Sometime on a clear day when you visually notice a high flying passenger jet (look for the contrail), make note of where the sound appears to come from. It will be from well behind where you see the plane at the moment. Simply a factor of the sound taking some travel time to get to you from when it was emitted. Meanwhile the plane has moved miles along on in its path. Has nothing to do with going faster than sound, only with the finite speed of normal sound. If you have ever been exposed to the shock wave from a fighter breaking the sound barrier, it is unmistakable. I once heard the double bang- bang from the Space Shuttle (one shock wave from the nose cone, another from the wings) as it passed overhead LA on its way to land at Edwards AFB a couple of hundred miles to the east.

By the way, the A-10 was due to be phased out, but it has proven so valuable in the Afghanistan type of warfare, that it has been given a reprieve and is due to stick around for a few more years yet. One reason why Fort Drum has survived all the military cuts of the pre-post cold war times of today was the terrain and landscape is very similar to Eastern Europe. I think less so similar to Afghanistan, but mountain passes are mountain passes. The F-35 fighter is due to be stationed at Burlington, if the politics ever gets sorted out, so hopefully we can look for them in the future. F-16s used to be stationed at Syracuse and Burlington, but now Syracuse flies drones.

The military likes to fly in this part of the country because of the relatively light amount of air traffic, making it safer for all. You will often see large C-17 cargo jets fly into Griffiss AFB (Rome) for training, taking the place of the giant outdated C-5 that formerly used the airspace facilities. Sometimes their flight path will go well up over the SW Adirondacks and Tug Hill.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodspirit View Post
the Air National Guard maintains a state of the art air to ground range at Ft. Drum used to train pilots from Maryland up to Maine. Likely what you heard were F-16s which are not a low level plane but still make a lot of noise when executing turns. Not likely these were A-10s, a real low level plane, as these were to be phased out about 5 years ago. You might want to call the NYANG hotline at (800) 228-3567 if the noise is an issue.
This was in 2008 or 2009, well before they were due to be phased out. I'm not 100% sure of what they were, but they looked a lot more like A-10s than F-16s.
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Old 08-29-2017, 05:26 PM   #12
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A little research discloses that they could have been A-10s as four ANG wings still have them and one of those wings trains at Drum. They are awesome to see when they are performing relatively unsupervised Low Altitude Tactical Navigation but disturbing when it is over a Wilderness area.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:04 PM   #13
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A little research discloses that they could have been A-10s as four ANG wings still have them and one of those wings trains at Drum. They are awesome to see when they are performing relatively unsupervised Low Altitude Tactical Navigation but disturbing when it is over a Wilderness area.
They're A-10's. Pretty much their only reason for existing is to conduct low altitude close air support in different types of terrain, so someone, somewhere is bound to hear and see them. The ADK's have mountainous terrain, so it would make sense that local units would utilize the area from to time for training purposes.

It really isn't a big deal. They're usually not on station for that long of a period.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:12 PM   #14
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I can't tell you how many times I've heard and/or seen jets when hunting, paddling, hiking or fishing in the western half of the Adirondacks. My brother, who is leaving Ft. Drum in a few weeks after 18 years there, says they regularly fly in a 50 mile radius of the base, or farther, except for over Canada.

But, the wildest thing I ever experienced was actually one time when he and I were hunting of Ft. Drum. It was a Sunday morning and around 8am they started a military exorcise. He said it wasn't close but it sure sounded so, with rockets, machine guns and all kinds of noise. We left and went somewhere else. That was a round 2003 or 2004.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:01 PM   #15
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Years ago we were at Miller falls on the Coldriver fishing an we heard this noise coming down the river, It was a black hawk Two guys were hanging out the door an giving us the thumbs up They just cleared the tops of the trees. I'll never for get it.
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Old 08-29-2017, 07:26 PM   #16
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They were all over Lila today.....not sure if they were a-10's, 16's or what.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:08 PM   #17
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Attachments don't usually work on ADKForum, but I have tried to attach pics of the A-10 and the F-16. Very different looking craft, easy to tell apart.

Looks like it worked. A-10 above with the big external engines. F-16 below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg A-10.jpg (74.5 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg F-16.jpg (55.0 KB, 104 views)
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:41 PM   #18
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you never know what you'll experience when you're in the backcountry ... a few years ago my son & I were canoeing down the Chena River (in Alaska) & we stopped to scout along a ridgeline for moose. All of a sudden we heard some very loud sounds in the sky & before too long we witnessed two F16s doing some aerial flight training, looping around and around, climbing high into the clouds and then swooping down. We watched them for about a half hour before they scooted off. Pretty remarkable sight to see. (the planes came from Eielson AFB which is near Fairbanks)
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:48 PM   #19
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in 2009, during the Yukon 1000 mile canoe race, we were on a rare long straight section of the Yukon River in Alaska. From the bow seat I noticed something on the horizon above the river. Black dots getting larger. Pretty soon I recognized them as a flight of 4 F-16s (My son is an F-16 instructor pilot). As they approached I waved my paddle high in a salute. In return they each in turn did a wing wave followed by a "burning climb" right above us, each pitching up in a full afterburner vertical climb straight up many thousands of feet, before rejoining in formation. How impressive was that! After the race I stopped by the Flight Mission Operations shop at Eielson AFB outside of Fairbanks to pass on a big thank you on to the pilots.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:56 PM   #20
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I experienced a low-flying A-10 zip through Indian Pass ... but that was around 1980. Matte green with two engines mounted high in the back. A noise you hear *and* feel. Possibly from the (long defunct) Plattsburgh AFB?

Glad they don't buzz the High Peaks like that anymore. (Or do they?)
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