Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Reflection on University City

I remember standing out near the flight line in 1970 shortly after reporting into Attack Carrier Air Wing Two at (then) NAS Miramar. Looking to the west I noticed and asked about the construction going on past the end of the runways, and I was told they were putting in homes. I responded with, "Who the (deleted) builds homes at the end of the runway of a Naval Air Station?" (At that time I hadn't experienced Point Loma where people move under the Lindbergh Field traffic pattern and complain about the noise.)

I am mindful of PSA Flight 182 that crashed in North Park about 30 years ago, and I seem to recall a couple of mishaps out of Montgomery Field up on Kearney Mesa. I think when you live under the flight pattern (not to mention at the end of the runways) of an airport - military or civilian - you need to come to terms with the reality that - sooner or later - gravity always wins and you could be in the bulls-eye.

It's a shame, certainly, when innocent lives are lost. On the other hand, I am thankful that the crew of the F/A-18 was able to eject and will live to fly another day.



Blogger Kay Dennison said...

I've never understood people buy homes in such areas. As the mother of an AT (who was already half deaf in one ear when she went in) who religiously wore her ear protectors as a plane captain, I have since learned a lot more about those flying POSs than I ever thought I would. The really funny part was when my ex an ex-diesel submariner said he always secretly hoped his son would go Navy but that his daughter did was nice, too. Were you at Great Mistakes?

8:57 PM  
Blogger Always Question said...

Sure was, Kay!
I did boot, HM "A" school and OR Tech school at Great Lakes! I was in OR school when I started going over to Canton on weekends in the summer of '66.

12:00 AM  
Blogger joared said...

My husband and I flew a private plane in our youth. I have the utmost regard for plane flight paths for takeoffs and landings. I can't imagine why anyone with common sense would deliberately choose to live in such an area.

My brother did boot camp at Great Lakes. Remember riding a train up there for Christmas one year. Luckily he was allowed a few hours off base while we were there. Shortly after he shipped out in the submarine service for a long haul in the South Pacific during WWII.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Old Woman said...

My sister has lived in University City for about 30 years, and I doubt whether she was aware of flight paths when she and her husband bought the house. I also bet the real estate agent didn't mention it. However, it is a fact of life that population patterns change, and flight patterns are probably easier to alter than where population centers emerge. I wonder if the powers that be ever considered changing the way the military does what it does, or whether in fact it is all necessary. Perhaps we could do with fewer flights? Does this question brand me a hopless dreamer?

10:28 PM  
Blogger Always Question said...

"Old Woman," you make a good point. It's not plausible that one could have bought a house in University City then without hearing Miramar in the process; however, as University City grew (and the noise complaints) there was talk about moving the Navy out and developing the mesa. There was that much talk and more about moving the Navy out and moving Lindbergh Field operations onto the mesa. DOD did move the Navy fighters and TopGun out to Lemoore(!?!) and turned the base over to the Marines out of El Toro.

Being in the military, one develops a level of empathy with Native Americans: we get shunted to places (like San Diego all those years ago) until you people want it back and then we get moved to some other lifeless hole. Thank you for that.

8:28 AM  

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