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Old 20th January 2013, 04:31 PM   #1
petrov2500
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Unknown Jet Noises

Every so often, about once a year, I hear a strange noise that I don't know what it is. It sounds like the roar of an airplane but it lasts around 10 minutes at constant strength. I live around 10 miles from a major airport, so I am used to hearing the roar of jets leaving or coming in to land. The unknown noise I hear sounds like one of the planes was hovering in place (which I think can't happen, except under high winds). You can find videos on YouTube of others who have heard similar sounds.

Does anyone have any idea what these sounds could be?
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Old 20th January 2013, 04:47 PM   #2
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A helicopter? An osprey? A plane waiting to land, on a long landing pattern?

A plane with excess fuel doing an intentional burn-off? A plane testing its engines after maintenance?
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Not without more information as to where you're living and what's in your area. Are you in a city area? Suburban? Exurban? What else is near you.

You also need to clarify if you're near a major airport with the big birds coming in (and thus actually hitting their final approach altitude near the 10 mile marker) or smaller aircraft. Are you near any sort of military facility? Power plant? Recycling facility?

Various possibilities, none of which gain any credence by just mentioning them, but which come to mind from purely anecdotal evidence, e.g. I've experienced some of them, myself.

> Electrical transformers, the type of small sub-units you see on a street corner. They can make godawful noise that continues for ten to thirty minutes and even for hours, and then they can be largely silent for hours/days on end. I have one near me now that behaves like this.

> If you're in a cellared or basemented house, maybe it's from your own boiler or air conditioning system kicking-in down below you. The sound seems eerie because it's somewhat amplified by the pipes and ducts in your own edifice.

> In a quiet rural or suburban area, a neighbor's washing machine or wood chipper or lawn mower. Here in Thailand we keep our washing machines outside as do many people in tropical climates. One of my neighbors has a machine that goes through a spin cycle that sounds like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming.

> One of your neighbors has a hobby of some sort that creates the sounds from his/her own work area in the basement or garage.

> Your spouse and/or offspring are trying to make a case to have you committed so they can get their inheritances earlier.

> Aliens.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:04 PM   #4
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The sounds of multiple planes, blending in to each other? Echoes? Distance does funny things to sound.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ehcks View Post
A helicopter? An osprey? A plane waiting to land, on a long landing pattern?

A plane with excess fuel doing an intentional burn-off? A plane testing its engines after maintenance?
A helicopter has a distinct sound from a commercial jet. I looked up an osprey on YouTube and it sounds more like a jet but still has a helicopter whirling sound associated with it.

I'm not sure what you mean by a plane on a long landing pattern. Does a plane burning excess fuel allow it to hover in place, I don't think so, but I am not an aviation expert. I not sure what you mean by a plane testing its engines; wouldn't it do this on the ground?
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:12 PM   #6
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When I was in Ohio, every now and then we'd hear a roar in the distance. It sounded a lot like a jet engine, but it didn't move, and it tended to start and stop abruptly. I lived about 3 km from Don Scott Field, which is a small airport operated by The Ohio State Univerisity. When attending said university, I learned that they had a few supersonic wind tunnels at Don Scott and, every now and then, they'd use them. A supersonic wind tunnel can be literally deafening (if you're nearby), and that was the distant roar that we'd sometimes hear.

It could be something like that. Are you near an airport or other research facility? Or some kind of aerospace firm that might run wind tunnels?
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Not without more information as to where you're living and what's in your area. Are you in a city area? Suburban? Exurban? What else is near you.

You also need to clarify if you're near a major airport with the big birds coming in (and thus actually hitting their final approach altitude near the 10 mile marker) or smaller aircraft. Are you near any sort of military facility? Power plant? Recycling facility?

Various possibilities, none of which gain any credence by just mentioning them, but which come to mind from purely anecdotal evidence, e.g. I've experienced some of them, myself.

> Electrical transformers, the type of small sub-units you see on a street corner. They can make godawful noise that continues for ten to thirty minutes and even for hours, and then they can be largely silent for hours/days on end. I have one near me now that behaves like this.

> If you're in a cellared or basemented house, maybe it's from your own boiler or air conditioning system kicking-in down below you. The sound seems eerie because it's somewhat amplified by the pipes and ducts in your own edifice.

> In a quiet rural or suburban area, a neighbor's washing machine or wood chipper or lawn mower. Here in Thailand we keep our washing machines outside as do many people in tropical climates. One of my neighbors has a machine that goes through a spin cycle that sounds like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are coming.

> One of your neighbors has a hobby of some sort that creates the sounds from his/her own work area in the basement or garage.

> Your spouse and/or offspring are trying to make a case to have you committed so they can get their inheritances earlier.

> Aliens.
> I live in a suburban area, near to an international airport, so large planes land there. I am not around any military facility, but I am near ~2mi to a power plant. I don't know if they make any loud noises.

> As for the electric transformers i don't know what noises they make either. This could be a possibility if they can make jet noises.

> It is not something in my basement as I heard it when I listed out the window last time the noise was present.

> I should note that I once heard the same noise on the road, when I was near the aforementioned airport, so assuming the same thing is causing the noise every time, that would rule out any noises from my neighbors.

> Aliens. Probably not. If I posted this on a different forum such as abovetopsecret they would likely say aliens!
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dasmiller View Post
When I was in Ohio, every now and then we'd hear a roar in the distance. It sounded a lot like a jet engine, but it didn't move, and it tended to start and stop abruptly. I lived about 3 km from Don Scott Field, which is a small airport operated by The Ohio State Univerisity. When attending said university, I learned that they had a few supersonic wind tunnels at Don Scott and, every now and then, they'd use them. A supersonic wind tunnel can be literally deafening (if you're nearby), and that was the distant roar that we'd sometimes hear.

It could be something like that. Are you near an airport or other research facility? Or some kind of aerospace firm that might run wind tunnels?
I live about 10 miles from a major airport. I don't know if they have wind tunnels. If they do, the tunnels must make noises a lot louder they the planes they fly, since I can only hear planes when they come near my house; their roars fade as they get near to the airport. In other words, I can't hear planes taking off, I only hear them when they fly near my house.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
I live about 10 miles from a major airport. I don't know if they have wind tunnels. If they do, the tunnels must make noises a lot louder they the planes they fly, since I can only hear planes when they come near my house; their roars fade as they get near to the airport. In other words, I can't hear planes taking off, I only hear them when they fly near my house.
Maybe next time you hear the noise, you could follow it for the ten or so minutes it lasts and see what direction you head in.
OK, I realise it doesn't happen often enough to plan for it, but it's what I would do if I was curious enough to find out.

Do you mind letting us know where about you are?
Not the exact address of course but at least the area.
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Old 20th January 2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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If the power plant is gas turbine or has a gas turbine auxiliary generator, annual testing and / or restarting could be a likely explanation. Restarting a large turbine is noisy as hell.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:02 PM   #11
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Harriers make a hell of a noise and can hover in place.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:04 PM   #12
dasmiller
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
I live about 10 miles from a major airport. I don't know if they have wind tunnels. If they do, the tunnels must make noises a lot louder they the planes they fly, since I can only hear planes when they come near my house; their roars fade as they get near to the airport. In other words, I can't hear planes taking off, I only hear them when they fly near my house.
I doubt that it would be really noticable at 5 miles, let alone 10.

In my case, the university airport wasn't a major airport; the major airport (CMH) was about 10 miles away and, just like you, we couldn't hear the jets taking off or landing there.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:05 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
Every so often, about once a year, I hear a strange noise that I don't know what it is. It sounds like the roar of an airplane but it lasts around 10 minutes at constant strength. I live around 10 miles from a major airport, so I am used to hearing the roar of jets leaving or coming in to land. The unknown noise I hear sounds like one of the planes was hovering in place (which I think can't happen, except under high winds). You can find videos on YouTube of others who have heard similar sounds.

Does anyone have any idea what these sounds could be?
I used to have that same thing happen when I lived near Christchurch International Airport.

It turned out to be Air New Zealand Maintenance test running a jet engine. Normally, I was too far away from the airport to hear it clearly, but if the wind was right, or if the night was very still or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place, I would hear it clearly, even though I was about 12 miles from the airport.

Such tests can often involve running the engine at Maximum Continuous Thrust for 10 - 15 minutes, and sometimes at "Take-Off" for extended period as well.

I feel sure this is what you are hearing.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I used to have that same thing happen when I lived near Christchurch International Airport.

It turned out to be Air New Zealand Maintenance test running a jet engine. Normally, I was too far away from the airport to hear it clearly, but if the wind was right, or if the night was very still or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place, I would hear it clearly, even though I was about 12 miles from the airport.

Such tests can often involve running the engine at Maximum Continuous Thrust for 10 - 15 minutes, and sometimes at "Take-Off" for extended period as well.

I feel sure this is what you are hearing.
That's a good point. I live a few miles from LAX now (I never learn), and the engine tests are much louder than the usual takeoff & landing noise.
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Old 20th January 2013, 06:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
Every so often, about once a year, I hear a strange noise that I don't know what it is. It sounds like the roar of an airplane but it lasts around 10 minutes at constant strength. I live around 10 miles from a major airport, so I am used to hearing the roar of jets leaving or coming in to land. The unknown noise I hear sounds like one of the planes was hovering in place (which I think can't happen, except under high winds). You can find videos on YouTube of others who have heard similar sounds.

Does anyone have any idea what these sounds could be?
Do these noises happen at specific times of the day? Early morning?

You say you live close enough to hear the jet noise of take off or landing with thrust reversers applied?

It may be as simple as ground crew running up engines at take-off power for extended periods in place at a special run up area. The airport authority here in Tampa recently built a very large and very expensive "hush house" for this very reason. I can say that we still dont always use the hush house...lol.

Go complain to the Airport Authority

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Old 20th January 2013, 07:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Normally, I was too far away from the airport to hear it clearly, but if the wind was right, or if the night was very still or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place, I would hear it clearly, even though I was about 12 miles from the airport.
Could be. I used to live 10 miles from a race track. Usually you couldn't hear it at all, but sometimes it sounded very close.
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Old 20th January 2013, 07:54 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by HighRiser View Post
If the power plant is gas turbine or has a gas turbine auxiliary generator, annual testing and / or restarting could be a likely explanation. Restarting a large turbine is noisy as hell.
I like this explanation, and the distance of 2 mi. is quite close if they're revving up a turbine generator. And the "about once a year" scenario fits.

I also like the airport as the number two suspect - not regular planes coming and going but maybe a side strip or maintenance area - and optimal wind conditions, which will carry sound/noise. If they were taking readings and calibrating after an overhaul, say, it makes sense that they'd run the turbines for 5/10/15 minutes at a time.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:11 PM   #18
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Oh for petes sake. I live within 5 miles of my local international airport (EIDW, if you must know) Like every airport, there is a section of the apron reserved for engine tests. For obvious reasons. Claiming that there is some unspecified conspiracy requires that we all believe that aircraft operators do not test their engines. Would that posit make you feel safer? Do you even think it is likely?
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
I used to have that same thing happen when I lived near Christchurch International Airport.

It turned out to be Air New Zealand Maintenance test running a jet engine. Normally, I was too far away from the airport to hear it clearly, but if the wind was right, or if the night was very still or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place, I would hear it clearly, even though I was about 12 miles from the airport.

Such tests can often involve running the engine at Maximum Continuous Thrust for 10 - 15 minutes, and sometimes at "Take-Off" for extended period as well.

I feel sure this is what you are hearing.
This seems like it might be the correct explanation and it fits with the fact that I once heard the noise on the road near the airport and it sounded louder there.

Quote:
You say you live close enough to hear the jet noise of take off or landing with thrust reversers applied?
I don't hear the planes taking off, I just hear them as they pass over my house.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:33 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Oh for petes sake. I live within 5 miles of my local international airport (EIDW, if you must know) Like every airport, there is a section of the apron reserved for engine tests. For obvious reasons. Claiming that there is some unspecified conspiracy requires that we all believe that aircraft operators do not test their engines. Would that posit make you feel safer? Do you even think it is likely?
Oh, for Pete's sake!

Let's wait until we actual see some evidence before accusing people of being woo-ish (funny, you don't look woo-ish). The OP merely asked for help explaining something. Upon counter-questioning, he/she has been very clear in that it sounds like a plane's turbine/engine which seems illogical due to the duration. The only mention of woo was from me in a tried and tired JREFF meme... mention all sorts of mundane explanations and at the end, add in "Aliens" as the final option. Occam's Razor and all that.

The old "do a little tap dance on the virtual windpipe of the newbies" gambit should be held in abeyance until we see actual evidence that said newb is actually promoting woo. I see no such signs, as yet. Give 'em the benefit of the doubt, I say.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:50 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Oh, for Pete's sake!

Let's wait until we actual see some evidence before accusing people of being woo-ish (funny, you don't look woo-ish). The OP merely asked for help explaining something. Upon counter-questioning, he/she has been very clear in that it sounds like a plane's turbine/engine which seems illogical due to the duration. The only mention of woo was from me in a tried and tired JREFF meme... mention all sorts of mundane explanations and at the end, add in "Aliens" as the final option. Occam's Razor and all that.

The old "do a little tap dance on the virtual windpipe of the newbies" gambit should be held in abeyance until we see actual evidence that said newb is actually promoting woo. I see no such signs, as yet. Give 'em the benefit of the doubt, I say.
Fair enough. All I am saying, is the OP is making a claim, but there is no evidence for it.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:56 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. All I am saying, is the OP is making a claim, but there is no evidence for it.
The claim being that he/she occasionally hears a sound and doesn't know what it is? I'm inclined to accept it at face value.
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Old 20th January 2013, 09:48 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. All I am saying, is the OP is making a claim, but there is no evidence for it.

Perhaps is HAARP? Quick, someone call Jesse Ventura....!





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Old 20th January 2013, 10:13 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
...or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place....
If the direction the engine is being pointed can make enough of a difference in sound level, then it could also explain why a particular sound from an airport is heard only one a year. It could be happening every day, for instance, but only by random chance be pointed in the right direction to be heard. If the direction were purely random, and had to be pointed at his house with an accuracy of 1 degree, then ... ah heck I admit it, I'm just pointing out the coincidence of 365 days being so similar to 360 degrees.
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Old 20th January 2013, 11:20 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Baffled View Post
If the direction the engine is being pointed can make enough of a difference in sound level, then it could also explain why a particular sound from an airport is heard only one a year. It could be happening every day, for instance, but only by random chance be pointed in the right direction to be heard. If the direction were purely random, and had to be pointed at his house with an accuracy of 1 degree, then ... ah heck I admit it, I'm just pointing out the coincidence of 365 days being so similar to 360 degrees.
AIUI, when test running an engine, it is usual to point the aircraft nose into the wind.
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Old 21st January 2013, 12:31 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
Fair enough. All I am saying, is the OP is making a claim, but there is no evidence for it.
No evidence for an unknown sound? Isn't that the point of posting here, to get help identifying it?
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Old 21st January 2013, 04:50 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
Every so often, about once a year, I hear a strange noise that I don't know what it is. It sounds like the roar of an airplane but it lasts around 10 minutes at constant strength. I live around 10 miles from a major airport, so I am used to hearing the roar of jets leaving or coming in to land. The unknown noise I hear sounds like one of the planes was hovering in place (which I think can't happen, except under high winds). You can find videos on YouTube of others who have heard similar sounds.

Does anyone have any idea what these sounds could be?
I live about 7 miles from our airport, at times the take off route will direct the engine noise into town, it can be heard for quite a while and lasts at least five minutes. Jets are really loud just usually far away.
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Old 21st January 2013, 06:03 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
Every so often, about once a year, I hear a strange noise that I don't know what it is. It sounds like the roar of an airplane but it lasts around 10 minutes at constant strength. I live around 10 miles from a major airport, so I am used to hearing the roar of jets leaving or coming in to land. The unknown noise I hear sounds like one of the planes was hovering in place (which I think can't happen, except under high winds). You can find videos on YouTube of others who have heard similar sounds.

Does anyone have any idea what these sounds could be?
Oh...are we still doing those experiments on you guys? I thought we'd discontinued that years ago.

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Old 21st January 2013, 06:08 AM   #29
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Could it be grain-drying? I don't know much about the process, though, except that it takes a huge supply of natural gas once a year.
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Old 21st January 2013, 09:56 AM   #30
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Once a year????? Does it sounds like someone is emptying their sprinkler system with compressed air? If it happens late fall, it could be an explanation for it. Also done with some swimming pools. Of course, only where it freezes outside.
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Old 21st January 2013, 02:34 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by halohms View Post
Once a year????? Does it sounds like someone is emptying their sprinkler system with compressed air? If it happens late fall, it could be an explanation for it. Also done with some swimming pools. Of course, only where it freezes outside.
It doesn't sound like compressed air. I don't think it happens at any specific times of the year. I just heard it a few days ago. Once I heard it during the summer. It sounds just like a jet engine; I probably won't be able to distinguish it from a jet if not for its duration. I think the jet testing is the best guess so far, but I still have some doubts that I would be able to hear it from where I am.
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Old 21st January 2013, 02:40 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I used to have that same thing happen when I lived near Christchurch International Airport.

It turned out to be Air New Zealand Maintenance test running a jet engine. Normally, I was too far away from the airport to hear it clearly, but if the wind was right, or if the night was very still or if they were pointing the aircraft in such a direction that the jet exhaust was pointing towards my place, I would hear it clearly, even though I was about 12 miles from the airport.

Such tests can often involve running the engine at Maximum Continuous Thrust for 10 - 15 minutes, and sometimes at "Take-Off" for extended period as well.

I feel sure this is what you are hearing.
Since you are near an airport do planes travel over you house, or do live to the side of the plane routes. If planes do travel over your house, does the testing noise sound similarly loud to the planes or is it a lot softer. The noise I hear is typically, I think, somewhat softer but similar in strength to normal planes.
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Old 21st January 2013, 03:21 PM   #33
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The county that I live in have a number of trucks used buy the sewer company, They are called Jet Trucks, they use them to clean the sewer systems. It's sounds just like a jet engine when they have the pumps running and it usually last about 1/2 to 2 hours. Just a thought.
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Old 21st January 2013, 04:45 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Hammy View Post
The county that I live in have a number of trucks used buy the sewer company, They are called Jet Trucks, they use them to clean the sewer systems. It's sounds just like a jet engine when they have the pumps running and it usually last about 1/2 to 2 hours. Just a thought.
I've never heard of these. How are they used; do they somehow attach to a manhole and push air into it?
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Old 21st January 2013, 05:19 PM   #35
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No they are like a giant pressure washer with steam. They go down into the sewer with what looks like a pressure washing wand about the size of a shotgun. They use these trucks to breakup all the heavy grease and stuff that clogs up the sewer system.
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Old 21st January 2013, 06:03 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
Since you are near an airport do planes travel over you house, or do live to the side of the plane routes. If planes do travel over your house, does the testing noise sound similarly loud to the planes or is it a lot softer. The noise I hear is typically, I think, somewhat softer but similar in strength to normal planes.
I lived in Burnside, which is right off the eastern end of runway 110-290. This meant that I was quite close to the Air New Zealand Maintenance hangar located on Orchard Road to the east of the main terminal, and also I would have aircraft approaching not quite over my house any time there was a nor'wester blowing; the prevailing wind in Canterbury.

There is a big difference between the sound of a jet aircraft on approach or take-off, and one that is having its engines run at MCT.

For starters, you get the "Doppler Effect" of the pitch dropping as the aircraft passes you, and the engine sound only lasts for 30 to 60 seconds, whereas a test run lasts 10- 15 minutes and the sound is a constant "rushing".

Also during landing, the sound is much quieter as the throttles are set much lower than they are at take-off. The aircraft are also at a lower altitude as they are approaching at about 700 - 900 f/m aiming for the threshold (my end of the runway) whereas, if they are taking off towards my direction, they are airborne well short of the threshold at my end, and are climbing out at around 1,800 f/m

Thankfully, for a number of reasons, I no longer live in Christchuch
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Old 21st January 2013, 08:11 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
...for a number of reasons, I no longer live in Christchuch
#1 - The Christ
#2 - The Church

?
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Old 21st January 2013, 08:27 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Baffled View Post
#2 - The Christ
#3 - The Church
ftfy

#1... the Earthquakes!!
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Old 21st January 2013, 08:31 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I lived in Burnside, which is right off the eastern end of runway 110-290. This meant that I was quite close to the Air New Zealand Maintenance hangar located on Orchard Road to the east of the main terminal, and also I would have aircraft approaching not quite over my house any time there was a nor'wester blowing; the prevailing wind in Canterbury.

There is a big difference between the sound of a jet aircraft on approach or take-off, and one that is having its engines run at MCT.

For starters, you get the Doppler effect of the pitch dropping as the aircraft passes you, and the engine sound only lasts for 30 to 60 seconds, whereas a test run lasts 10- 15 minutes and the sound is a constant "rushing".

Also during landing, the sound is much quieter as the throttles are set much lower than they are at take-off. The aircraft are also at a lower altitude as they are approaching at about 700 - 900 f/m aiming for the threshold (my end of the runway) whereas, if they are taking off towards my direction, they are airborne well short of the threshold at my end, and are climbing out at around 1,800 f/m

Thankfully, for a number of reasons, I no longer live in Christchuch
Could you hear the engine testing from inside your house, or did you have to go outside or open a window to hear it. This still seems like the most likely explanation for what I hear and it explains why the noises sound like planes--because it is a plane engine.

By the way, what is wrong with Christchurch?
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Old 21st January 2013, 08:42 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by petrov2500 View Post
By the way, what is wrong with Christchurch?
#1 - Earthquakes....
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