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Noisy, low-flying cargo plane alarms residents

The Associated Press

PORTSMOUTH – After all the excitement when the city was buzzed by an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane, Mayor Gregory Bauer is asking for notification when training exercises are planned in the area.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001

PORTSMOUTH – After all the excitement when the city was buzzed by an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane, Mayor Gregory Bauer is asking for notification when training exercises are planned in the area.

Bauer said Tuesday he is writing to Gov. Bob Taft and the state’s adjutant general asking that the county emergency-management agency director be given a heads-up next time.

Residents flooded the city’s 911 center Monday night with reports that something big and loud was flying over the city.

The first flyover was at 6 p.m., followed by a second at about 9:30 p.m.

By that time, the mayor, police and Scioto County emergency management agency Director Kim Carver were on the phone with state, federal and military officials.

City officials got the North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado to order F-16 fighters to fly in from New York to investigate.

”With the recent terrorist events, the community was extremely alarmed,” Bauer said.

Bauer and Carver learned the commotion was caused by a C-130 on a training exercise from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

”We are used to low-level training flights,” Carver said. ”But anxieties are very much heightened and people have been told to report anything suspicious.”

Lt. Brent Davis, public affairs officer for the station, said its 16 C-130s fly over Ohio daily.

”They were doing that night what they do all the time, flying a routine training mission,” Davis told The Columbus Dispatch for a story today. ”Our neighbors up here I guess are used to it.”

He said C-130s fly as low as 500 feet to avoid radar detection.

”I’m a little surprised to hear they (Portsmouth residents) were alarmed,” Davis said. ”But I guess the timing would have to be a factor.”

Bauer said the city appreciated the arrival of the fighter jets.

”It is comforting to know that Portsmouth, Ohio, got that kind of response from the federal government,” he said.