NAVY Pilot Training Takes Off, Hits Turbulence - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

NAVY Pilot Training Takes Off, Hits Turbulence


SALISBURY, Md.- Plans to beef up the Navy pilot training facility in Accomack County have taken off. But the arrival comes with baggage. Some neighbors are complaining, while others are rolling out the tarmac.

"We had them fly over here before, and it was really noisy at night," said Pat's Country Corner owner Patricia Tarr. Her small beauty shop is not too far from the NASA Wallops Island Flight
Facility in Virginia.

"Sometimes you hear three to four loud jets per night," she said.

It might get even noisier. The Navy announced it will begin flying up to 20,000 twin-engine turboprop aircrafts a year this summer.

Some planes would carry supplies and personnel, while others would provide the eyes and ears of combat operations.

"NASA Wallops Flight Facility is a world-class operation, and I am encouraged that the Navy has chosen it as a partner to conduct Field Carrier Landing practice," said U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell, representative of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, in a press release.

But some neighboring people are shaking their heads in disapproval.

"It vibrates a lot of the trailers and things that people live in, and the windows are not that safe," said Robin Scolling of Accomack County.

That's not the only thing pilot training in the area has shaken up. Lawmakers say it's good for the Navy and the economy.

"With jobs being lost at the rate they are being lost, you know, I think that would be very profitable," said Cauline Merritt of Accomack County. "It encourages more businesses in the area."

Although pilots will train miles away from the small town, locals say they are inches away from protesting the wallops flight facility.

But Tarr says it is hard to work when you can't sleep.

"A lot of people that work shift work here and it's noisy for the workers at night," Tarr said. "It's not a good idea, I don't think it is."

According to NASA Wallops Flight Facility spokesman Keith Koehler said the Navy will work with neighboring towns to find a happy medium.

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