Wash ME

June 20, 2006


I was going to title this entry "Disclosure" because basically that's really what it's all about, but then a particular series of photos came along and I just had to change it.

The disclosure part was what the sellers had to disclose to us when we were in the process of buying this house.

Disclosure is good, in fact the statement kept us from making an offer on one property when we found that it had a noise problem related to the community septic system.

And here as well, the disclosure was about noise.

One of the great things that we enjoy about living here is that fact that we picked up the "great outdoors" as part of our living space. Every evening we sit out in the back and then move to the front to watch the sunset.

And it's bug free.

Well, ok, occasionaly a bug will fly on by, but when we lived in Michigan we could not be outside at dusk or after in the summer because the mosquitoes would carry you off into the swamp.

So what's the noise deal?

That's the noise deal.

We live less than 4 miles from the end of the runway at the combined AQB international airport / Kirkland Air Force base.

And sometimes the fighters just rip over the house in formation, then fly over the airport and then come back again in front of the house as they all enter the landing pattern.

I can hear them coming and try to grab a shot now and then.

The reaction is always the same, especially when they are really close and loud.... I say out loud - COOL!

Just so you can see, the house is at the red dot, the airport runways are painted in red.

In a moment you'll see an upclose image of where I live and how it's related to the aircraft flight path.

So anyway, I went out the other day and left my camera ready on the patio because I wanted an image or two to round out the story of what it's like to live in the approach path of the airport.

Since the house is over 300 feet higher than the runway, the planes are close to the ground as they are on the "final approach" to the east-west runway.

Some are prettier than others, especially in the late afternoon sun.

Generally however, the landing planes make little noise. Their engines are throttled back and they are really quite quiet for as close as they get.

Even when they turn right over the back yard the effect is not one that needs a disclosure, at least not for this pilot.

When I was a kid I used to ride my bike out to the airport, just to watch the planes take off and land.

I washed planes for several years to get the money for flying lessons.

Sometimes I look up and think that someone ought to wash the belly of an airplane.

So just about a minute or two later, the thrid jet in this series came by, and I picked up the camera again and started shooting away, especially since it seemed a bit larger than most.

Here you can see something really interesting, the reflection of our community in the belly of the bird. As you can see, we live in a kind of oasis surrounded by barren land. I'm shooting from the far side of the green, just about a mile away from the plane.

But then, you might know, this guy's maintenance crew does have have a kind of "obligation" to keep it nice and shiny and clean.

(By the way, this photo illustrates the 4 R's of photography. Ready, Right time, Right place, Right equipment.)


Not a problem. Recently I bought a hand held scanner that picks up the communications with the planes and the tower.

I get to fly right from my front porch, ya can't beat that.