The Northwest neighborhood in Vancouver, Washington is subjected to loud, disruptive and disturbing behavior caused by a few bad pilots in small planes taking off and landing from Pearson Field. Many of these planes crisscross over the Northwest neighborhood and my home from all directions, sometimes passing within seconds of one another making the probable collision between planes an urgent public safety issue. These pilots are also a public nuisance, which I will describe in more detail below. Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 91.119 of the General Operating and Flight Rules, specifically prohibits low-flying aircraft [and] creates a minimum requirement that small aircraft when over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, be at an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle and beyond a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft. Small aircraft operating from Pearson Field must also comply with PDX airspace regulations, but the horizontal radius requirement remains.
This website provides graphic examples of the flight paths I describe and a short list of tail numbers of planes determined to have flown in close proximity to my home (this is the triangle reference point in the images) and all over the neighborhood. My efforts are not intended to be exhaustive or to meet some rigorous technical threshold. My efforts are to expose the problem of small aircraft failing to adhere to the regulation(s). And, I anticipate this will be met with all kinds of criticism from every direction. It is presumed that professional interests have access to websites such as http://www.flightradar24.com. The search tool allows the investigator to examine and collect the data for themselves. The posted list of tail numbers is merely a flashlight.
I estimate that in the summer months upwards of 40 flights a day pass directly over or nearby my home (within a 500ft horizontal radius) which is inside the established 2000ft radius. Any suggestion that the ridge along the Northwest neighborhood is in a “flight corridor” is pure codswallop. Why is that? It’s because planes enter the space over my house from every point of the compass to destinations everywhere and back again, often within seconds of one another. The cumulative takeoffs and landings result in thousands of annoying, disruptive and harassing flights each year over the Northwest neighborhood. Pilots will attempt to make the case that the flight path they take is the safest and prescribed by the unique conditions of geography, weather and settlements. The pilots will attempt to claim my house—a unique waypoint or geographic feature—is in a “flight corridor.” It should also be noted that flights over neighborhoods and my home are the same regardless of the prevailing winds. The pilots deliberately disregard the flight rules. When the reader observes the example of flight paths it would be difficult to construct a more convoluted, arbitrary and chaotic approach and departure “corridor” for VOU airport. Earlier, I described these erratic flight paths as a public safety issue. There is certainly nothing “safe” about this kind of flying (see below- three dates and times of near misses).
Anyone engaged with any aspect of transportation that requires additional licensing, beyond a simple drivers license, understands the intentionality of his or her actions. Flying is intentional. Every pilot learns the relationships between power settings, angle of attack, trim, and weather. The direction taken is also intentional. Many of these small planes, out of all the available approach and departure patterns choose to fly directly over the Northwest neighborhood and over my home. There is no supporting technical reason for choosing this path. As stated, flying is intentional, and many pilots will use GPS waypoints (a three dimensional point in space) instead of geographic references. Don’t be confused—waypoints are geographic features and are unique. Vice versa—geographic features themselves are also used as reference and stored (held in an onboard computer) as GPS waypoints. More precisely a waypoint can represent a home. Repeatedly flying to a waypoint, the geographic feature, over the same home of an individual, when knowingly in violation of the regulations is not only wrong, but constitutes harassment, a criminal offense.
My home is situated on a bluff (approximately 75ft elevation above MSL), which defines the western edge of Vancouver, Washington. Regardless of what reference is used (visual, satellite, map, census) this is obviously a densely populated urban area. Immediately to the west are railyards, agricultural fields, wetlands and the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. There are clear unambiguous geographic features, which define the boundaries between populated and unpopulated areas. It should be noted that the VUO airport recommended approach procedures don’t identify the bluff as a geographic feature. My home provides no unique geographic reference to pilots, other than they have stored it as a waypoint. Furthermore, my home is approximately 3 miles on a heading of 335 degrees, which is not a destination. This neighborhood, my home, is not in the landing or takeoff flights paths that would be considered standard procedure or best practice, unless of course pilots are intentionally flying over neighborhoods, which they are.
Historic and real-time flight information for each plane that uses a GPS tracking device is available online through commercial websites. I use a subscription service https://www.flightradar24.com. This website tracks, stores, and allows the user to retrieve flight paths of all planes that use a GPS tracking system to transmit their location. Over the past 8 months I’ve collected images, flight records and documentation, which support the central claim that these pilots are intentionally subjecting homeowners to loud noises and downright dangerous flying behaviors in violation of FAR 91.119.
All commercial aircraft and most small planes are required to transmit a location using a GPS. Small planes with an “experimental” designation are exempt from having identifying numbers or GPS tracking information. “Experimental” aircraft represent approximately 50% of the flights over the neighborhood. More recently, I learned that flying with the transponder 'on' is an elective of the pilot. These rogue pilots fly as if the rules don’t apply to them and with no consideration for those on the ground.
Further, historic flight path information can be used to plot the direction and altitude of the craft. That information can be overlaid onto satellite imagery and/or street maps. I have published a few examples on this site. The reader will observe flight paths so contorted and convoluted that no other interpretation is possible. Don’t be bamboozled by torrents of technical jargon, which will undoubtedly flow in great volume. Why these contortions? Because the pilots are intentionally flying over my home. Pilots will state they are simply flying to a waypoint—not a home. Yet another way of looking at the information is in the numbers themselves. For example, if in the furtherance of the investigation, someone examined tail numbers #N80347 and #N545DS, the data reveals that these two planes took off and landed 95 times between the dates of August 25 and September 4th, 2019, a short period of time but useful for sampling. Of those flights, 48 passed directly over my house or nearby with each plane flying twice a day and sometimes more. (I call them abusers. And, as I suspect, there are multiple pilots using the same planes—then each pilot has been instructed to fly over the neighborhood. Gee, isn’t that intentional?) The planes have the same ownership and are registered to AeroMaintence, located at Pearson Field. N300PA and N9173B (see circle with intersection over the house) are other frequent abusers of the flight rules. In January of 2020 alone, NA300PA flew 8 times directly over my house (or almost once for each day there was good flying weather). These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Also included on the right side bar is a list of tail numbers and below are some photos of unidentified experimental craft.
I wrote about an imminent public safety issue regarding small aircraft flying over my home and the Northwest neighborhood of Vancouver, Wa. I described in an earlier Facebook posting the approximately 220 flights nearby my home or directly overhead during the week of March 16-22, 2020. Since then, I have further investigated 4 of the 7 days during that period. I was shocked to discover that on 3 of the 4 days there was a near collision between planes. The following information is available on https://webtrak.emsbk.com/pdx4. This website is publicly available without subscription. I specifically want to bring your attention to the events of March 17th @3:35PM, March 19thbetween the times of 1:40-1:44PM, and March 21 @2:52PM.
I am being harassed. In fact, the evidence is unequivocal and overwhelming. Between March 16-22 approximately 220 planes flew directly over my home or nearby. ‘Nearby’ means that the pilot flew within the horizontal radius of 2000ft of my location. From the information provided by Webtrak.com, I investigated 4 of the days and found 146 flights during that time. From that information, I was able to determine the tail numbers of a majority of planes. N545DS, N80347 (both registered to Aeromaintenance at Pearson Field) and N19218 all flew at least 9 or more times over my home. These are the worst serial offenders and I have specifically mentioned N545DS and N80347 in an earlier complaint. It should be noted that there were 26 flights by planes with no identification or 17% and this cohort most often purposely flew directly over my home. Some interesting flights occurring almost daily in one form or another: March 16th@11:37 -N19218 took off from Pearson, flew north a short distance, turned around flew directly over my home and landed. March 16th @2:11 -watch as N67601 deliberately flies over my home. Or, March 19th @1:44 observe N545DS circle around.
All of this flight activity can easily be moved ‘West’- quite literally. There is a lot of open space over the Columbia River.
There is no reason for all these flights over my home and the Northwest neighborhood. The pilots that engage in this activity are in violation of the regulations. These pilots make no pretense about adhering to their own stated guidance as found on their website to “ be considerate of aircraft noise impact on areas below traffic pattern” found on the Pearson Field website. The pilots are demonstrably unempathetic to the needs of those on the ground as they suffer through the corona virus and confinement. But worse, is the obvious lack of a moral compass. These pilots have crossed the line with their contempt and disregard for the citizens of this community. They are an imminent public safety issue.
On April 23, 2020 there were approximately 14 flights directly over my house or nearby (see WebTrak). Some but not all tail #’s include: N80185, N577BC (3times), N66313 (2 times), N9185H (2times), N8822E, N3247B and of course, the 3 or more very low and loud flights by planes without locating devices or the devices are turned off. This is not acceptable behavior. It’s clearly against the regulations. Pilots should be 2000ft horizontally from settlements, which is unambiguous.
April 26, was a milestone in abuse. Between 2PM and 3PM on April 26, 2020 my neighborhood, my home and my person were subjected to a physical assault from multiple low flying aircraft. During this concentrated one-hour period at least 15 single engine planes flew directly over my home or near. The evidence is located at https://webtrak.emsbk.com/pdx4 a publicly available website. All the information is there on the website, in clear unambiguous terms. These pilots are stalkers. The investigator will observe that the pilots of these small planes line up in a coordinated string, each taking their turn. Further observe that a few planes turn around so they could fly over my home twice. The investigator should also note the flight paths of the individual pilots as they change course and adjust to get in single file as if pre determined. This type of behavior is commonly referred to as a conspiracy, when two or more individuals collaborate to deprive another of their rights. These actions might even be criminal.
On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/weareallneighbors/ with recent postings support my claims of continuing harassment. There are literally thousands of instances of flights over my home. I can’t catalog them all nor do I want to be consumed by this effort. I presume that an investigator will conduct their own research. Hence my postings do not accurately reflect the magnitude of the problem. This is shameful behavior as I have stated before and it needs to stop now!
I have seen and continue to observe many exhibitions of troubling flying behaviors from pilots in aircraft intending to “express their displeasure” when flying over my house. Each behavior described below has occurred multiples of times and many examples are provided on this site:
1) planes circling;
2) wingtip stand(s)–200 yards to the west of my house and fly directly back over my house;
3) figure eights;
4) the rotations of the wings;
5) sharply banking directly over my home with full throttle;
6) Overhead late at night (hours past sunset), which informs me that my house must be stored as a waypoint because it wouldn’t otherwise be visible;
7) I have observed planes attempting to fly over my home from opposite directions that they nearly collided on four occasions. This is just the few times that I have, by chance been able to observe this particular event—but it suggests that it’s happening much more frequently. Really shocking;
8) The most frequent behavior is simply to fly north over my house and after several miles turn around and fly south over my house;
9) Pilots also “flock” (like sheep) and will pass low over my home 4–5 at a time 10 seconds apart. This requires a high degree of coordination;
10) Oh-yes, of course, the occasional anatomical gesturing whereby pilots express their “outrage” at me on the ground. You can’t believe it when you see it. I don’t want to get paranoid about this observed behavior but the totality of it is really disturbing.
I previously identified experimental aircraft as a particularly problematic group of pilots that fly with a sense of impunity. This category of aircraft is exempt from displaying identifying tail numbers and from transmitting global positioning system (GPS) location tracking information. As intended, this makes it very difficult to identify the aircraft from the ground. However, I have been able to photograph a number of these regular offenders as they fly low over my home and images of some of those aircraft are posted below. This immunity from identification seems to have encouraged all manner of bad flying behavior from this group particularly. It is also my observation that within the last several months, some aircraft that previously flew with their GPS location tracking devices “on” now appear to have them turned off. Because experimental aircraft comprise approximately 50% of the overhead flights, they are a significant part of the problem.
Based on the documented targeting of a neighborhood and home, a few bad pilots operating from Pearson Field have shredded the compact between those of us on the ground and those that want to fly. That is, we will tolerate loud and obnoxious behavior from small planes provided it is infrequent. Pilots approaching VUO have many options available to them, which would reduce the number of people impacted by noisy, disturbing and disruptive flight patterns. The pilots operating out of Pearson Field have forgotten they are part of a larger community and are harassing the citizens of this community with impunity. There is little indication that these rogue pilots respect the citizens of Vancouver and indeed hold them in contempt. The small aircraft operating out of Pearson Field are a nuisance and have created a public safety problem. These highly problematic behaviors need to cease immediately before two planes collide.
Do you have an issue with small plane noise from planes flying out of Pearson Airfield in Vancouver, Washington?