Saturday, January 14, 2017

Noisy Air Force transport aircraft startle Marin County residents

The large, low-flying military aircraft spotted in Marin County skies Saturday afternoon were piloted by Charleston Air Force Base crews in California for flight training sessions, officials said.

Residents near Kentfield, Greenbrae and Corte Madera were startled by what they said were noisy, low-flying aircraft.

Five C-17 Globemaster III transport jets took off Saturday morning from Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield to practice in-flight refueling and formation flying, said Technical Sgt. John Ayre, a spokesman at Travis.

Crews from the South Carolina base where the C-17s are based were in the Bay Area to collaborate with California-based pilots and train together. It appears they did some training over the coastline and then took a non-standard route, Ayre said.

“From the sounds of it, they requested to do a little bit of a flyover over the Golden Gate,” he said.

Corte Madera resident Dawn Martin said the jets appeared to be a little bit above eye level as she looked out the window from the first floor of her home.

“It was pretty freaky to see as I was washing the dishes,” Martin said. “I think my jaw was in the sink. Not a good week to be scaring people with military planes.”

The jets should have had Air Force markings on the tail and nose, but it’s possible onlookers couldn’t make out the marks.

Residents in the area can expect the pilots to take a similar route Sunday.

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