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May 15, 2014 2:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Naval Plane Departs From Gabreski, Roars Over Westhampton Beach

May 19, 2014 7:00 PM

A F18 aircraft roared over Westhampton Beach shortly before 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, the sound of its engines reverberating throughout the village.

The jet was from the U.S. Navy and used the civilian side of Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton—which is owned by Suffolk County and also houses the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing—for a practice approach, Anthony Ceglio, the airport’s manager, explained in an email.

“It made a practice instrument approach to our main runway and departed to the southwest, then made a turn to the east,” Mr. Ceglio wrote. “He was climbing quickly and was about 1,000 feet above the ground when he left the airport boundary.”

The transient aircraft’s arrival and departure at the airport was not related to the Air National Guard base, Captain Korey Larson said. “There was not association with the 106[th Rescue Wing], other than it was a military aircraft,” Capt. Larson said.

The loud noise startled some village residents and storekeepers, including James Patterson, who works at Books & Books on Main Street.

Mr. Patterson, who lives on Station Road in Westhampton, near the airport, said he’s generally used to hearing planes take off, but Thursday’s fly-over caught him off guard. “It was much louder than normal,” he said. “We actually went outside to check it out.”

Jim and Florence Flood, owners of Westhampton T-Shirts on Main Street, said they were also surprised by the sound, but it did not interrupt their workday. “It was just weird for that amount of noise,” Ms. Flood said. “But I just thought they were doing a drill.”

Others, however, considered it business as usual, including Brooks Surgan, who was working at First Coastal on Arthur Street at the time.

Mr. Surgan said he’s grown accustomed to hearing planes taking off because of the proximity to the airport.

“It was pretty normal,” he said. “We hear planes take off a lot during the day, so everyone kinda expects it.”

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This is newsworthy because.......?
By Frank Wheeler (1816), Northampton on May 15, 14 5:53 PM
2 members liked this comment
Because it happened, and people might be wondering what the loud aircraft was?

Really . . .
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 15, 14 6:04 PM
Live near an airport -- or a raceway or a shooting range -- know that there are going to be L-O-U-D noises on a fairly regular basis. Used to hear Grumman test flights overhead in the old days, but they were here before I was and I moved in anyway.

I out-lasted them, though -- and the Westhampton dragstrip, too! We could hear that is the wind was right on Sunday afternoons.
By Frank Wheeler (1816), Northampton on May 16, 14 4:05 AM
1 member liked this comment
Not all the residents of WHB have such memories (incl. North Sea Citizen below), so for them the sound of this loud aircraft was indeed a newsworthy event.

[ If the event was not newsworthy, why are we still discussing it and recalling old fond memories? ]

Now what about the F-106's scrambling in the early 60's to intercept Russian bombers approaching low over the Atlantic? That noise during the night . . .
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 16, 14 7:57 AM
The article has been updated with user comments from the ground.
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 16, 14 5:10 PM
Sorry it didn't meet your standard Frankie.
By dnice (2345), Hampton Bays on May 15, 14 11:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Phew! I feel better now that I read this article. I thought we were being invaded by Vladimir Putin...Red Dawn!
By Jaws (242), Amity Island on May 16, 14 3:42 AM
Don't hold your breath, the more Putin keeps talking about the New Russia . . .
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 16, 14 8:54 AM
1 member liked this comment
Growing up its was nice seeing the f-14's fly low over the bay or roar overhead. Miss that.
By North Sea Citizen (554), North Sea on May 16, 14 6:23 AM
3 members liked this comment
Frank: I've been working in WHB for the past 10 years and have never heard a jet that loud before--just FYI. A few others in the village said the same thing.
By Frank Costanza (19), Westhampton Beach on May 16, 14 4:55 PM
An F-18 on full throttle climbing out at (only) 1,000 feet as it passed over the Village's north boundary is loud indeed, well beyond the normal Gabreski traffic IMO.

Could Mr. Ceglio comment further on the location of the plane's turn to the east, and whether the air traffic controllers had instructed the pilot to clear the beach after take-off before making any turns east or west?

PS -- just noticed the article has been updated with more feedback from people who heard the jet.
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 16, 14 5:09 PM
Thank you, Frank Costanza. The severe impact of the F18 on those on the ground was not including in the original article.

Me? With apologies to Lt. Col. Kilgore, I love the sound of an F18 in the Noon hour... sounds like... secuity.
By Frank Wheeler (1816), Northampton on May 17, 14 2:23 AM
Thus it pays to trust your local paper to post the news flash, and then to fill in the details . . .

Otherwise one ends up with secuitous [sic] thinking!
By PBR (4939), Southampton on May 17, 14 4:22 AM
To the pilot:

Thank you for your service to our country. We appreciate the sacrifices you and your squadron make every day!

The sounds of an F/18 is much better than that of a MiG! Go USA!
By scottso (18), southampton on May 16, 14 9:46 PM
That isn't the first time. There were other times in the past where we had loud jets at Gabreski. They use to have air shows there and haven't had one since that fatality. The Blue Angels would land at Gabreski for a stop over for the air show at Jones Beach. And occasionally I would hear something breaking the sound barrier ;)
By Jaws (242), Amity Island on May 17, 14 2:17 AM
The Hampton Classic, Horse Show, Bridgehampton