Attention all my neighbors who freak out when they see and hear low flying planes and helicopters overhead at all hours: they’re not always chasing some bad guy in your yard. The Facebook neighborhood watch pages are always filled with it as if we’re being invaded, but here’s what’s up:
WHO ARE THE HELICOPTERS & AIRCRAFT?
1. There’s a military annex 6 miles away, Malabar Annex Space Force Base, doing training missions. They have to have so many flight hours that include a variety of maneuvers, including hovering, low-to-ground hold and different speeds. I see them often.
2. The Melbourne International Airport is 12 miles due north with the flight pattern directly over our heads. I see low flying aircraft often.
3. Brevard County Misquito Control sprays on a regular basis. Sprayers shine a spotlight to see where to start and stop to ensure it’s getting in the standing wet areas. They have to fly low so they spray the intended areas (standing water) and not just on houses and cars.
4. Law enforcement can be tracking someone. Stay inside, lock your doors for safety and observe if you are able. Do NOT call the non-emergency number asking about it unless you see someone in the area who shouldn’t be there. Leave the lines clear for essential info please. Check the Facebook PB Neighbors Watching Out For Neighbors page because group members have scanners and will post what they hear as they hear it.
WHAT ARE THE BIG BOOM SOUNDS?
1. The Air Force has practice at the military annex to drill for penetration incidents. That is what some of the booms and explosions we hear are, when it’s not a transformer blowing out, a dump truck letting their bed down, a car engine backfiring or fireworks, all of which I hear all the time in SE Palm Bay. Sound travels far. The source of the sound could be miles from you even though it sounds near and shakes your windows.
2. It could be a dump truck. When they let the empty dump bed down, it can make a loud bang just like a gunshot that can be heard quite a distance away.
3. It could be fireworks. Kids/people set them off all year long. Some parts of Palm Bay are real party towns.
4. Someone could be working on their car engine and the exhaust system could have backfired, which sounds like a gun shot. There are lots of guys working on their cars at home.
5. It could be aircraft breaking the sound barrier. We’re 30 miles south of Cape Canaveral but we see and hear the BOOM of the returning shuttles.