Gagnon: In response to reader saying Luke jets are too loud


Mr. Spinka,

I would like to unpack your recent complaint about the F-35 traffic out of Luke AFB, six miles southwest of Sun City.

Luke AFB has been in the West Valley since 1940, and since its inception, has always been a fighter training base except for a few short years after WWII. While there were never P-38s as you stated, there were single engine fighters such as the P-51 Mustang and the P-47 Thunderbolt.

When Luke entered the jet age in 1951, the area surrounding Luke was still in the desert. As the area’s population grew, so did Luke. Those moving into the area knew full well that the base was there and more than likely, flew noisy jet aircraft. That has not changed since in nearly 70 years. Slowly the F-16s will leave Luke and make way for more than 140 F-35s. Decades from now, the F-35s will make way for the next generation of aircraft. It really is inevitable. The base has to balance the need to train our nations F-35 pilots against remaining a good neighbor. I feel for the most part, they do a good job.

I live 2.5 miles from the southern end of the runways at Luke, the primary departure path for the base. Departures are where a jet is at its maximum thrust. Studies have shown the airplane is only slightly louder than the F-16. I have grown used to the sound of the airplanes and they rarely are disruptive to day-to-day life. I also knew full well that I was moving into an area close to an Air Force base, especially one known to train fighter pilots. If I moved next to a racetrack, it would be hypocritical to complain about loud cars.

Mr. Spinka, you might want to come to terms with having the F-35 as our new neighbor, they are going to be here for a while.

Tim Gagnon
Litchfield Park