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Noisy Osprey prompt noise concerns around Mildenhall

Expansion of USAF special ops force at Mildenhall with arrival of a new version of the Hercules and the Osprey 'swing engine' vertical take-off aircraft.

FL; ENGANL00520130726124636

Expansion of USAF special ops force at Mildenhall with arrival of a new version of the Hercules and the Osprey 'swing engine' vertical take-off aircraft. FL; ENGANL00520130726124636

Concerns have been raised that Osprey aircraft could increase noise disturbance during the annual night-flying season.

The CV-22 Osprey aircraft arrived at RAF Mildenhall last summer.

The aircraft will be used in night flying exercises between 11pm and 2am from May 1 to September 30.

At a meeting of Beck Row Parish Council, residents raised concerns about the potential disturbance of noise from the aircraft late at night.

Chairman of Beck Row, Holywell Row and Kenny Hill Parish Council, Gary Peachey, said: “Concern has been quite widespread. There’s been a lot of complaints on social media sites.

“The bases have been here a long time most people are used to the noise but the Ospreys are a little bit different where as the planes take off and go these are hovering.”

Night-time flights take place during the summer months to allow the US Air Force to continue training in ‘true darkness’.

However Cllr Peachey said fears had been expressed that the presence of the Ospreys will see a significant increase in noise, above that of previous years.

Cllr Peachey said he understood the need for night exercises but that the Osprey did have the potential to increase disruption.

The Ministry of Defence authorises the USAF to routinely operate between 6am and 11.30pm.

However, during the summer months MC-130s and CV-22s are permitted to fly between 11pm and 2am since it is only during these times that sufficient darkness exists to practise flying with night time devices.

During these periods aircraft are limited to a single approach to land and local pattern flying is not permitted.

A spokesperson from RAF Mildenhall said: “A study by the U.K. Defence Safety and Environment Authority and Noise and Vibration Division at the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine found that the CV-22 Osprey is not intrinsically noisier than other types of aircraft in operation.”

 

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