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Funny Sound Under Approach Path: Wake Turbulence?  
User currently offlineSpeedracer1407 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 333 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

A few weeks ago, I flew into PDX and rented a car at National's remote lot. I forgot to set up my GPS untill after I left the lot, and later found the perfect place to pull over and set it up: under the approach path to one of the runways.

I've never done any plane spotting, and so never been able to observe planes this close to the ground on their final approach. I've read, however, that wake turbulence can make funny noises under the approach path.

I watched a 767 fly overhead as I was trying to program the GPS. About a minute or two later, I was startled by a sound that seemed to be coming from everywhere.

It was as if someone was plucking a giant wood saw, or maybe long suspension bridge cables breaking. Come to think of it, it was exactly like the sound effects in Dr. No when Sean Connery is crawling through water pipes after escaping from his prison cell in Dr. No's lair.

A lot of setup for a simple question: is this what wake turbulence sounds like when it descends to the ground under an approach path?


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5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8165 posts, RR: 26
Reply 1, posted (5 years 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3905 times:

Yep you got it - you heard the glorious sound of vortices ripping through otherwise calm air  Wink


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User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2328 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (5 years 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3879 times:

That's what you heard - it's especially pronounced when a 757 lands, you hear a "crackling" sound after it goes by, I just love hearing it!


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User currently offlineFlashmeister From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 2900 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 12 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3361 times:
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Quoting Speedracer1407 (Thread starter):
A few weeks ago, I flew into PDX and rented a car at National's remote lot. I forgot to set up my GPS untill after I left the lot, and later found the perfect place to pull over and set it up: under the approach path to one of the runways.

I know just the spot that you stopped... on Cascades Pkwy (I believe) near the Embassy Suites. I heard the wake whipping noise every time I used to spot out there. It's a pretty nice spot -- would be be even better if they'd get rid of the trees between that spot and the end of the runway...


User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (4 years 12 months 8 hours ago) and read 3227 times:

Next time, try looking for them also. On a clear day with no condensation, if you're roughly in line with the runway, look at the delineation between sky and tree-line (i.e. the local horizon), over the runway edge (you know where they're going to be).

The low density air in the vortex shows up as refraction. Its possibly even more cool than hearing them!

Let us know how you get on!

Regards - musang


User currently offlineNoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3158 times:

You get this regularly at LHR at Myrtle Avenue (just shy of 27L threshold). A 767 or 777 makes an incredible noise, a really surreal effect that comes on so quickly, lasts a few seconds that seem like a lifetime, before the ripping noise just disappears!

It really is like nothing else in this world, almost like you're in your own little world for a few seconds, very strange but an awesome noise!


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