About those after-midnight military helicopters

(2017 US Army photo, UH-60 Black Hawk from 16th Combat Aviation Brigade)

Very early this morning, we noted on Twitter that a low, loud passing helicopter was identified on tracking software as a U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk (similar to the one above). As it headed up the West Seattle shoreline, another one was flying over Vashon Island; it too crossed the peninsula, but headed east over Lake Washington, while the first one turned around and headed back south. Today, also via Twitter, we learned these were training flights. The 16th Combat Aviation Brigade (from Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma) said, “As the days become ‘shorter,’ our pilots will fly earlier in the evening to complete required night vision training flights. In the summer it does not get dark enough, early enough, to fly under night vision at hours when most people are still awake.” They added that, “At a given moment, during weekdays, there are several 16th CAB helicopters in the air all over western and central Washington.” More often than not, military aircraft aren’t identified on standard online flight trackers, but the two we heard in the midnight hour last night were.

9 Replies to "About those after-midnight military helicopters"

  • Slept for naught September 8, 2021 (1:00 pm)

    Yes, it certainly WAS loud and low and well after midnight when the chopper went by Seaview. Later, sirens that might have been heading to Beach Drive?  

    • WSB September 8, 2021 (1:21 pm)

      The shooting was about an hour after the helicopters; that was the only other siren-generating incident aside from a one-engine medical call here and there.

  • cjboffoli September 8, 2021 (2:40 pm)

    I think I’d trade the occasional late night Blackhawk for the sociopaths that seem to roar down my street every ten minutes (24/7) with their 150 decibel mufflers. 

    • Fig September 8, 2021 (3:09 pm)

      Agree so hard on this. So ridiculously tired of the seemingly endless parade of the loudest of loud cars constantly zipping down our street since the bridge closure. Seems to just be getting worse and worse.

    • Je m'appelle Jeanne September 8, 2021 (3:28 pm)

      You and me both. Wonder if only a death can compel politicians to finally put a speed&noise camera on Admiral.

      • bill September 8, 2021 (8:34 pm)

        Nope, not even a death will budge things because speed cameras are regulated at the state level and the red-county politicians in the legislature love to stick it to Seattle.

        • Jeff September 9, 2021 (6:51 am)

          …but you better not interrupt the flow of tax money from the puget sound region to their little backwaters!

  • Craig September 8, 2021 (4:15 pm)

    Same about the loud engines, from over here on Beach Drive. There has to be something simple the city can do to help the majority of its citizens not be annoyed (or woken up) by the minority of the population that knowingly disturb the rest. Speed bumps on Beach Drive? A traffic copy at 11pm (that be an easy 20 tickets in 20 minutes)? 

    • Dan September 8, 2021 (5:43 pm)

      Don’t be foolish! The city can’t have extra revenue from something like that piling up! It would be a huge risk on our tax rates

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