Welcome back, pilots

Working across the street from the Palm Springs International Airport, getting a glimpse of airplanes coming and going is a perk – especially the Navy’s F-18s screaming past.
In 2011, when Rep. Mary Bono Mack brokered a deal with the Department of Defense to take the training elsewhere, I was a little disappointed. But I also understood the concerns of those who lived under the flight path. The jets did interrupt editorial board meetings on occasion, but nobody here complained.
I moderated one of our online debates on the issue, and it was a persistent source of letters to the editor.
In fact, the issue surfaced in a letter to the editor, when a tourist wrote that she was interrupted while trying to relax by her hotel pool. This brought a flood of outraged responses from patriots who described the jets as “the sound of freedom.”
On Friday, when news broke that training would resume, it was like flipping a switch for letter writers who miss the jets. You can read some of those on Tuesday’s Opinion page. One even uses that lovely cliché.
You can also read a Valley Voice column by Bill Borden, an occasional contributor from Rancho Mirage, who says the jets expected to arrive here son, T-45 Goshawk (photo), aren’t nearly as loud as the F-18s, “a supersonic, 1,305-mph, carrier capable, attack fighter/bomber with a maximum takeoff weight of 56,000 pounds, two GE engines with a range of 2,000 miles.”
He calls the T-45 the F-18’s baby brother. It is a trainer that flies at 645 mph, weighs a mere 13,000 pounds, and has a range of only 805 miles.
Maybe it’s the best of both worlds – not so loud that it will chase your poodle under the bed, but useful tools to keep our pilots sharp. It’s good news for Atlantic Aviation where they can refuel. Bringing back pilots to our cozy desert is great news. I hope to see them on Palm Canyon Drive at get a chance to thank them for their service.