To the editor:
In response to the recent article regarding the Outlying Field flying times, the Navy is quoted: “The safety risk to carrier-based aircraft would increase significantly if Navy pilots weren’t able to practice at Coupeville’s Outlying Field.”
What about the safety of the rest of us? We’ve learned from the Navy Hornet crash at Virginia Beach that accidents do happen. Three out of four Ault Field runways end at or near water. And the fourth extends over marsh land to Crescent Harbor. So why do Navy aircraft fly low over North Whidbey homes as they approach and depart runways? If the Navy followed flight patterns over water, safety for all of us would be improved (noise too).
Suggestion: Carrier landing practice could take place on Smith Island, or on a decommissioned carrier anchored near Smith Island. Safety and noise would be improved for us all.