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Letters to the Editor - Sept. 12, 2019

  • Written by Readers

 Higher elevation needed for commercial air traffic over Woodinville

On Tuesday night, Sept. 3 at 7:03 p.m., my wife and I were on our deck when we heard and saw a large four-engine commercial jet flying a few hundred feet above our trees lining up to land at Paine Field.

I immediately pulled out my cell phone and took a picture of the jet as it passed over our house on 168th Ave NE. After mapping it on Google, Paine Field was about 14 miles.

Low flying commercial aircraft over Woodinville poses a number of issues in addition to the noise a four-engine jet makes above our homes. Woodinville has hot air balloons flying over our community, and on numerous occasions, they have flown over our homes at a much higher altitude than this jet.

We also have significant private airplane traffic, which again is at a higher elevation. The big question is: Why does a commercial jet need to be flying at tree top level when it is still 14 miles from Paine Field?

On Wednesday, morning I contacted the FAA’s Seattle Flight Standards District Office and spoke with Chis Melchior, Principle Operations Inspector. He took my information and emailed me the required forms to be filled out so that an investigation could be initiated. I will be filing out a report and include the picture of the jet that flew over my house.

The FAA has given Alaska and United Airlines authorization to fly 24 daily departures from Paine Field. This number is in addition to what Boeing is manufacturing, and will undoubtedly increase over time. I know we are not going to stop this train of commercial air traffic, but what I’m suggesting is that we collectively be proactive by reporting low flying aircraft to the FAA to try and influence them to impose a flight plan floor of 4,000 to 5,000 feet over our community.

There is an App called Flightradar24 you can download on your cell phone. It will allow you to point it at the low flying jet (or plane) and will tell you the model of the plane and who owns it, the tail number, and the speed and altitude it is flying. Take a picture of the plane if you can and be sure and document the day and time you saw it. The valuable information you collect can then be sent to the FAA to assist in their investigation.

The address to the Seattle FSDO is 2200 S. 216 Street, Des Moines, WA, 98198. The phone number is 206-231-3828.

Steve Evans, Woodinville

Sound Transit threatens local fruit market

We were surprised and dismayed to learn that Sound Transit's Bus Rapid Transit project along Hwy 522 is threatening the existence of the Yakima Fruit Market, which is an historic and cultural gem of great importance to people of the Northshore area including Kenmore, Bothell, and Woodinville.

To place this unique family-run commercial activity into a historic context, consider that when the market was founded in 1938:

— Work was starting on the Lake Washington Floating Bridge.
— Boeing unveiled its 307 Stratoliner, the world’s first transport aircraft with a pressurized cabin.
— Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River was just going into service.
— Folk singer Ivar Haglund founded Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant in Seattle.

The people of the Northshore area LOVE the Yakima Fruit Market, and many of them may find it difficult to support Sound Transit if it destroys the market.

Jo Ann Evans , President
Kenmore Heritage Society

 

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