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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Big Noise Abatement Joke

Police cars
Police helicopters

They are but sent to try us - and they do.

I slept really badly last night. I live in a densely populated but pretty quiet area, and we are seldom troubled by noisy parties or nuisance neighbours.

Most nights, if I am restless, I hear the sirens of police cars echoing in from the surrounding areas, even though they are not supposed to sound them after dark (they don't actually know that, what, you expect the police to know the law?) but last night I didn't hear any.

Frequently, the police helicpter can be heard doing a tour of the area. You can tell when they are not in pursuit of anyone or anything, because they do not hover, or follow the route of a perp escaping into the distance; they do big circuits, and you lie there waiting for them to come back round in a few minutes to continue their jolly.

Don't ask me how this is possible. Planes are prevented from flying over London and disturbing its millions of inhabitants after about 11.30 pm, until about 5 or 5.30 am. Why not helicopters, other than to give support in a genuine police pursuit.

We have been lucky lately, in that the flight path for planes from Heathrow seems to pass over some miles away, and the only planes are heard in the distance. But this morning, the first planes passed over at about 4.30 right overhead. And they kept on coming every couple of minutes. Sometimes the next one could be heard approaching before the sound of the previous one had faded away.

So much for noise abatement. Won't it be so much better if they build a third runway.

In the days of Concorde, the beast flew over my house 3 times a day. You always knew it was Concorde. The volume and intensity of the sound was far above any other plane. If you heard it come over, you could tell the time without looking at your watch - 10.15 am, 2.15 pm, 5.15 pm. It was beautiful to behold, but appalling to hear, and the knowledge of what it was doing to the environment was scary. In the early days, I heard one go over very late at night when I and most of the rest of the capital were in bed. I made an immediate phone call to complain. I was told that "Concorde doesn't go over at that time of night. But it did go over. But it doesn't go over". And that was all the sense I got. It didn't do it again.

When the planes made their last flights, they flew very low over the area. I was about to enter the local shopping centre, and I saw one fly past much lower than I had ever seen before. Most people were so accustomed to the noise, they didn't even look up. I entered a department store, and was right in the middle of it when I heard a second Concorde go over, very low and very loud. No-one seemed to notice.



Tess said...

I get very nervous when planes fly over my house, sometime they fly so low I swear they're about to crash.

fuzzytweetie said...

take a deep breath.....and say (VERY QUIETLY)....VINNY, VINNY, BOBBY, BOBBY! Then go to the computer and either start working on a new VDO post or look at others.....and masturbate......(excuse me......masticate. I KNOW that's what I meant....masticate. I just know it....

Music Wench said...

Living close to an airport would be nightmarish I think. Sorry to hear no one is paying attention to the noise rules. I think it's one of the reasons I like living in the middle of nowhere.

I don't know what I would do if I had to move back to a large city.

judith said...

i used to live near british areospace, very near to the runway and i loved the planes flying over. you could nearly shake hands with the pilot they flew so low. when they were practiceing for farnbough air-show they would twirl in the sky nearly touching the ground. me and my 2sons loved it. now i live somewhere else nowhere near the planes and i do miss them. the quiet can be very noisey.x

Anonymous said...

East Midlands Airport isn't too far from me. Sometimes, they sound SO low, I think they're going to land on my bed. Then there are the police helicopters that like to hover over the M1 at all hours of the day and night...Sad to think we invented the things but can't seem to 'improve' on the design OR the noise levels.

fuzzytweetie said...

Actually, I live at the end of 3 of MSP's runways. The older model planes (727, DC9, MD80) are really loud. If you're talking or on the phone you just have to wait until they pass over. Military jets "crackle".

jazzy said...

I have been living in the biggest German/American "Garrsion Town". US military tanks, fighter aircrafts, US air bases, daily field exercises...
Now THAT was a big noise!

SnarkAngel said...

I live in Chicago, near the lake, so I never "hear" the planes. Instead, I hear screaming fights in the street, cop sirens, fire sirens, ambulance sirens, and the occasional gun shot. Or maybe it's just a firecracker, or an M-80. Ahhhhhh, life in the city! LOL

Eliza said...

Thankfully the only airport near us is so small it's only for light aircraft so noise isn't really a problem.But,it's also the home of the police helicopter/air ambulance so THAT noise can be annoying.As you say,not so bad when they're responding to a call,but a pain in the rear when it feels like they're sightseeing

ann said...

what a coincidence to read this post today. I've just got in from work and there was a police helicopter hovering over the office all afternoon - it did my head in - had to reach for the panadol - so Val, what can be done?

JoJo said...

This is one of the many reasons why I sleep w/ earplugs.

We are in the flight path of the military planes and extremely loud Chinook helicopters which travel from McChord AFB/Ft. Lewis over to the training site in Yakima. You haven't lived till a low flying "Shithook" has woppa-woppa'ed right overhead and shaken the entire house. I've been in earthquakes that shook less!!!

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