Buzzed on the Madison

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
In the mid-80's my tech and I were running across Sapelo Sound in Georgia in our 22ft Cobia, had a 200 hp outboard humming us along pretty good. We got buzzed by an A-10 a number of times that was clearly practicing strafing runs on us. We did a little juking and jiving with the boat just to add some fun.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Cool photo and experience! Thanks for the great account.
Regarding the comments above about Whidbey-

I have not met 10incher, but living on Whidbey I have experienced small bites of this noise he describes. I, agree, it is barely compatible with a family or a community. I suspect his tone in the above response may have been from a sleepless night haha. j/k, but it is possible.

My observation- Whidbey residents are very supportive of the pilots and the Base, but the noise does damage and it apparently is much different in 2013 that it was back in the 40's. Islanders wants Pilots proficient and well trained, but the noise down the center of the island is a problem and there is nothing even the highest ranking civilian can do to change it.

10incher- come o. down to Langley!
I grew up in Oak Harbor in the 60's and it wasn't much of a problem there. Very occasionally - like once or twice a year we would get "buzzed" as I recall. The runway at the south end of the island is a simulated carrier deck which is oriented north/south. This makes their approach down the island which probably puts Langley in the flight path. It's a tough one because carrier landings are something that needs to be practiced.


Active Member
Sorry for the anger. Of course I want pilots trained. But when I complain about the fuel budget there's a legitimate reason. I should have said "F" their fuel budget program." My above comment was inappropriate.

On the last few days of months when they haven't used their fuel allotment, they fly incessantly all day. Often until after midnight. I'm told that if they DON'T use all of their fuel budget it may get reduced for the same month the following year. So the point of these flights isn't always training. It's posturing. If the program were different the base could simply qualify the fuel they need, dump less jet exhaust on the public, make a lot less noise and burn fewer tax dollars that are better spent elsewhere. Sorry for the inappropriate comments above. I have nothing against anyone trying to get their job done.
I love when I see the planes flying as you stated. Many times I have been up at our property and watched the Whidbey Island aircraft fly through the mountains following the river or hunting up in the hills of Snoqualmie and looking down into the cockpit as they fly by giving them a wave.

I use to live near Spanaway and all the fly by's all times of the day, hearing them shooting day and night fire, booms that would rock the house, I loved it. Knowing they are training to allow me to enjoy life comes nothing to the noise. I love Chicago with the Air shows, both Chicago and Gary, loved being underway watching them.

Wish that aircraft would have flown over when I fished the Madison, all I got was a heard of 20 elk come down to the river to drink only 20 yards away, 4 big old 6x7 bulls looking at me, thinking who the heck does this guy think he is fishing in our river, hope we had the whole river to ourselves but nope some damn fly fisherman to ruin my peace and quiet.

July 5th I will be back in Washington living in Graham and hoping to hear the sounds of our great military training doing the best job they can do !



Not to be confused with Freestone
Totally agree 10incher... never understood the spend it or loose it approach to government. I suspect it has to do with how they recycle the books and state and federal laws about accounting practice but, on the surface, it just seems kinda bassackwards. I mean, if they found a way to be a bit thrifty and not use the allocation provided, why can't they bank it in a "rainy day" type fund for those years where situations require some overrun.


Active Member
Had a similar experience skiing in Vail about 6 years ago...bluebird day as always and a buddy and I are on a 2 person lift on the outskirts of Blue Sky Basin and all of a sudden, out of nowhere come 2 fighter jets well below the peaks and almost parallel to my buddy and I on the lift. As soon as they were there, they were gone, shot straight up and outta there. Thinking they were a couple of guys from the bases in Colorado Springs having some fun on a nice spring day but all I could think of was the scene from Top Gun when the CO freaks out after the fly by during the first day of training at the flight academy. Was pretty cool to see and glad to see you got a pic...even cooler with the vintage planes.


Active Member
I thought it was cool too. The first hundred times... I really do wish to be supportive of the training ops. But there is A LOT of uninhabited area to fly over. Why buzz communities at 100' after midnight over and over again?!? They fly laps. If you live in the path and the planes are flying you know that you can't watch TV, make a phone call, have a normal conversation or even get some sleep until it's over. Believe me, the shine wears off.
While Jeff and I were about half way up The Leaning Tower in Yosemite we got buzzed by a jet with the open cone nose, it looked like an old sabre. It flew tight over the top of the tower, totally in violation of the alt minimum in Yosemite Valley.

While fishing Dry Falls Lake one day when I was the only one out there I saw a small military cargo jet drop over the falls wall and watched it approach the next cliff on the southeast corner where it pumped up the throttle and with an incredible roar lifted just over the cliff edge. Dude was hot doggin below radar!

And, while fishing Douglas creek saw that same model of cargo plane roar down the canyon I was in no more than a couple hundred feet off the ground. Man, those things are badass... they've got some serious power.


Not to be confused with Freestone
Most likely the C17 and it is indeed the sports car of cargo planes. I have also see them on DF and Lenore making low strafing runs. I have to believe some of the JBLM pilots also fish these waters and just want to give their fishing brethren a little more to talk about.


Active Member
Fishing on the Blackfeet Res back in the 80's, thought I heard thunder in the distance; turned to find where the storm was and there's a B-52 flying low and fast, maybe a mile away. Assuming it was on a training run out of Fairchild. Pretty impressive, especially considering we were about the same age.



There's a WWII vintage aircraft group that flies from airport to airport to show the planes. They were at the Corvallis airport (such as it is) last weekend. It's possible the planes were part of that group.

Speaking of the Stealth bomber... years ago on one rainy day, Virginia and I were driving the back road to Eugene. To our surprise, we witnessed something flying low to the ground, next to the hwy. It was black and flat on the bottom with a dome on the top... looking very much like a flying saucer. I finally figured out it was a Stealth.

We heard later that the Air force was flying the Stealth in Oregon to see how it performed during rainy conditions.... evidently, we weren't the only ones who saw the aircraft.

After viewing the thing from the side, I can see how people believed they saw a flying saucer when the government was first developing the craft and testing it around Area 51. I don't know how many are aware of this but Area 51 was where the Air force started working on the Stealth design after WWII. Nope, they weren't hiding alien spaceships at the facility but creating the Stealth aircraft... thus, the secrecy.

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
Growing up in Yelm was a lot of fun in the 70's-80's. It was almost a weekly occurrence to have A-10's flying just above the tree tops.

Several times I would be fishing the Nysqually and have choppers fly bellow tree level over me on the river. Rotor wash at 20' is a lot of fun. The guys hanging out the sides always would throw us a thumbs up, I guess it was a lot of fun for them to see kids floating down the river.

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