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Are those military jets that fly so low over south Hampstead at night?

Ken Little

It’s difficult to give a specific answer without more information about the type of aircraft and what service branch it is from, says Mike Barton, a public affairs officer based at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point.

The general vicinity is considered a military operations area and is used for training flights. Civilian aircraft are banned from restricted airspace in the area surrounding Holly Ridge in Pender County because the military does train there, Barton says. He adds it’s not likely the aircraft in question is from Cherry Point because Marine-flown jets do most of their training north of the air station in Carteret County. Marine F-18s flying out of Beaufort, S.C., may occasionally train in this area, he says.

“They could be transitioning from land over to water,” Barton says.

And helicopters based at the Marine Corps Air Station in New River sometimes hug the coast of the Cape Fear region during pilot training exercises, Barton says. But he hastens to add there are also local military training flights by Air Force, Air National Guard and Navy personnel.

“There is a training area offshore run by the Navy,” he says.

In relation to Cherry Point, the Hampstead area “is plenty far enough to get at a decent altitude.  Our guys would not be flying so low unless they were getting ready to land or they were out on a low-altitude mission,” Barton says.

Another possibility is non-military aircraft coming in for a landing at Wilmington International Airport. “One of the ILM runways points right at Hampstead,” he says.

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3 Responses to “ Are those military jets that fly so low over south Hampstead at night?”

  1. On July 26, 2009 at 6:10 am Joseph wrote:

    F-15’s from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base outside Goldsboro N.C. would be the correct answer. Flying up the coast from the south they make a left turn for a direct flight path over Hampstead into Seymour Johnson.
    Pardon the noise, it’s the sound of Freedom

  2. On July 27, 2009 at 2:49 pm Debbie Lockey wrote:

    I also live in Hampstead, and have seen and heard the jets and helicopters fly over. Sometimes low enough to rattle you. But, everytime I see or hear one of them, I am just grateful to have those men and women who are onboard doing their duty. Any time I happen to meet anyone in our military, I tell them about watching and hearing those aircraft fly over my home and how protected and proud I am of them.

  3. On March 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm James McNally wrote:

    The jets are military and are following military route VR84 which turns northwest over Figure Eight island and crosses US17 approximately two miles southwest of Hampstead.

    Was the March 28, 2012 article a reprint of the July 25, 2009 posting?

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