Navy to conduct flight demonstration

Published 10:13 am Saturday, December 11, 2010

Two Navy planes fly over Franklin Municipal Airport on Oct. 27.

FRANKLIN—The Navy is planning a second round of demonstration “touch-and-go” flights with E-2C Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound aircraft at Franklin Municipal Airport for Tuesday, Dec. 14.

In the event of inclement weather, the flights will be rescheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 15.

According to the Navy, the demonstration flights will include a mix of four E-2C Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound aircraft from Chambers Field at Naval Station Norfolk and will occur between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Residents are encouraged to observe the demonstration at a location where they may have concerns about these operations, whether that is from their home, church or school.

In October, the Navy conducted a demonstration with E-2C aircraft. Unlike the first demonstration, no special events are planned for the airport for this demonstration.

The aircraft will simulate field carrier landing practice, or “touch-and-go” operations, to allow the public to gauge the effect of the operations at the airfield.

Ted Brown, a media relations officer for the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, said prevailing winds would determine whether the planes would fly a pattern at the airport to the north or south of the runway if it’s used for field carrier landing practice.

“For the demonstration, we want to show both of those patterns because the areas that we would fly over would differ based on which direction we were coming in from,” he said.

If high winds on Tuesday prevent flying both directions of the field carrier landing practice pattern, “then the time will be spent realistically flying just one pattern and the planes will return at a later date to fly the other pattern,” according to the release.

Isle of Wight County spokesman Don Robertson said Navy officials are scheduled to appear at the Board of Supervisors’ next meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16. Last month, the board voted unanimously to oppose the Navy’s use of the airport for field carrier landing practice.

The Navy announced in October it planned to negotiate with the city of Franklin to conduct field carrier landing practice operations at the airport—located in southern Isle of Wight—for E-2 and C-2 aircraft based at Naval Station Norfolk. The Navy’s goal is to achieve initial operating capability by January 2012.