The $#!&^%* Air Show

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Sineed
The $#!&^%* Air Show

When I go back to work after the long wkend, workmates will say, "So, did you go to the air show?"  I reply, "I don't have to go to the airshow.  I live in Parkdale - the air show comes to me."

As yet another ear-splitting roar dissipated, my 14 year old daughter quipped, "So, mom; when do the bombs start falling?"

To be honest, my feelings are mixed; there's the "wow, neat!" factor.  Probably most Canadians haven't seen a Stealth bomber fly close overhead.  And the Snowbirds are pretty.

http://www.snowbirds.dnd.ca/v2/

martin dufresne

A Toronto ally speaks of "the obscene spectacle of jet fighters screeching overhead"...

 

---Take the toys from the boys---

Papal Bull

I absolutely adore air shows. Mind you, they should stick to smaller, out of the way air ports. The one in Toronto is really horribly loud, mainly because the tall buildings seem to act like an echo chamber when the F-22 roars on by.

Mind you, I have to ask something. Is the B2 actually there? I saw it at an air show once when I was in Ohio. Super duper neato. A couple hundred million dollars of flying freedom.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Sineed... I feel for you. At least (and I am assuming you are in Parkdale in Toronto) they will not necessarily be flying directly over your dwelling... most of the display should be over the lake. Summer before last the Snowbirds "performed" at the opening of the Calgary Stampede... the exhibition grounds are immediately south of downtown, and they did a large part of their "show" at low altitude over the communities of Ramsay and Inglewood... my dwelling was directly beneath their flightpath while they lined up for the acrobatics. 45 minutes of screaming aircraft about 50 metres over my roof. I am still wondering how they got permission to perform over a densely populated residential neighbourhood. I did notice they did not fly over the traditional upper class neighbourhood (Mount Royal) even though it is approximately the same distance away, and is much less densely populated.

Sineed

A friend of my husband's called the CNE to complain about the noise and was told, "But the planes don't fly over populated areas."  

This morning, I pointed to a particulary neat-o jet that went right over our house and said, "So that wasn't really there."

I don't know much about jets; my dad, an American navy vet who flew on planes that dropped troops into Viet Nam, can identify all of them, but he doesn't come to Toronto when the airshow is on due to military-associated trauma.  (Wonder how many people try and get out of the city over Labour Day wkend for the same reason.)

For PB, here's a list of all the "performers" at the air show this year.  I saw the Blue Angels this morning from my front porch - they are pretty kool.  No B2 on the list, but there's the F-16 Viper that can do in excess of Mach 2.

http://www.cias.org/content/view/37/52/

martin dufresne

Papal Bull: ...A couple hundred million dollars of flying freedom...

Enduring freedom. Tell it to the Irakis and Afghans burnt to a crisp.

NDPP

definitely not impressed with the jet noise on my day off wishing I had a stinger..

Papal Bull

[quote=martin dufresne]

Papal Bull: ...A couple hundred million dollars of flying freedom...

Enduring freedom. Tell it to the Irakis and Afghans burnt to a crisp.[/quote]

 

I suppose the internet isn't really that good at getting across dripping sarcasm.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[quote=Sineed]

(Wonder how many people try and get out of the city over Labour Day wkend for the same reason.)[/quote]

There are thousands of people in this city who are refugees from wars around the world. I imagine they relive their trauma every Labour Day weekend.

Maysie Maysie's picture

I'm in Cabbagetown and I hear the planes do their swooping thing all weekend. I started a crabby thread about it last year that has been lost in the archives.

Many people can't afford to leave town. Some of us resign ourselves to the city getting hijacked every year in the service of praising the war machine.

But on Facebook this is my status line, as suggested by a similarly-feeling friend:

[quote]

Send this to the Mayor at mayor_miller@toronto.ca : The air show negatively impacts small children, people with trauma and war experiences, night shift workers and pets. I join with thousands of Torontonians to say--kick the air show out of Toronto! Make this your status update today.

[/quote]

martin dufresne

Great idea.

My version:

This pathetic exercise of military arrogance hurts small children, people with trauma and war experiences, night shift workers and pets. It discredits Toronto as a city that should have the interests of its population at heart. I join with thousands of Torontonians to protest this exercise of privilege on your part and on that of the military establishment. Shame on your administration! Do the right thing and kick the air show out of Toronto before the kind of tragedy that has happened in many other cities throughout the world on such occasions when an airplane crashes in a crowd or on a building!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Question: do municipalities have the power to ban air shows, or are these totally a federal responsibility? I hate the damned things, personally, and am grateful we don't have any in this isolated area (known as Quebec Labrador). A few years back we had low level German fighter jets on training to deal with, but I think the Innu or Inuit raised a stink and the flights were cancelled or moved elsewhere. One of their jets crashed just north of Chevery about ten years ago, and I think there's been other crashes as well.

martin dufresne

Part of the reason the low-level flights over Labrador ended was aboriginal advocacy efforts, with support from Quebec progressives, but another part was that Germany and other NATO countries simply did not renew their contracts for the use of this airspace. And for anyone who wants to dig a little in Auditor General reports, they never paid what they owed Canada for this service.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

The air show is only one of the ways in which the Canadian National Exhibition engages in war promotion.

There's the annual [url=http://www.thestar.com/theex/article/685282]Warriors' Day Parade[/url], the Canadian Forces recruitment booth, military band concerts, displays of tanks and other military hardware, and [url=http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/land-terre/news-nouvelles/story-reportage-e... display of banners and sale of merchandise to support the war[/url], among other things.

 

Michelle

Most of the jet noise isn't bothering me, but there was this one plane earlier today that I swear sounded like it was flying right outside my window.  Scared the crap out of me, the noice was so loud and sudden.  I can't imagine what that would be like for people who have lived through war.

Tommy_Paine

 

Hey, I had military helicopters rattling my windows this week.   It was the RCMP, borrowing the military hardware so they could find and confiscate some small marijuanna crops being grown by hard put to it farmers.

I learned a thing or two from Charlie Don'tcha know, ya better stay away from Copperhead Road.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

I went to a few airshows with my Dad as a teen. He's a airplane buff.  I liked the team displays but after the first couple of jets roar by, meh, whatever.  I think the noise would bother me now, plus just the whole miltary thing would bug the heck out of me now. I will remember one thing as pretty much the coolest airplane thing I've ever seen though.  The Concord was there and did a low flying display back and forth across the tarmac.  I swear if the pilot could have rolled the thing he would have. He got it pretty close to perpendicular.   It ended with a touch and go  which was a pretty awesome with a plane that massive.

triciamarie

[quote=M. Spector]

There are thousands of people in this city who are refugees from wars around the world. I imagine they relive their trauma every Labour Day weekend.

[/quote]

Sounds plausible but in the case of my parents, air shows never bothered them in the least; they used to take us every year. Mom couldn't stand to see soldiers goosestepping though or hear recordings of Hitler. My dad, because of his age and size during the war, was at constant risk of conscription to a German munitions factory; he ate nothing but turnips for a whole year at the end. He never said word one to us about his war experience, but there were no turnips in our house growing up.

triciamarie

[quote=martin dufresne]

This pathetic exercise of military arrogance hurts small children, people with trauma and war experiences, night shift workers and pets. 

[/quote]

Pets???

My  small children were all over this, both for the pageantry factor as noted, and the youngest wants to be a bird so anything that flies has her intense interest.

Some people with war experiences likely find it troublesome, but not by any means all. Some people with war experiences are triggered by other things.

My husband has been a shift worker for 25 years and like most others, he wears earplugs to sleep during the day. Doesn't hear a thing.

I would say that air shows are environmentally problematic -- all that jet fuel burned for no good reason. They're very expensive. There is the possibility of a crash, as you note. Wildlife may be negatively impacted by the noise although I suspect not any more than by fireworks -- which are also expensive (on a municipal budget), dangerous (particularly for those producing them in developing countries), and cause pollution. The difference of course is that fireworks are just mindless consumption, not military propaganda, so us lefties feel free to enjoy them or not (personally I can't stand them).

Both fireworks and air shows, along with the Indy and construction and leaf blowers and backyard pools and outdoor radios, are extremely noisy and cumulatively this has proven adverse consequences for emotions and health. I favour bylaws that severely constrain anyone's ability to generate needless noise.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[quote=triciamarie]

Sounds plausible but in the case of my parents, air shows never bothered them in the least; they used to take us every year.[/quote]

Your parents would not associate the sound of screaming jets overhead with WWII. 

There are many in Toronto who have lived in constant terror of the sound of approaching jets in many countries of the world.

boomerbsg

[quote=martin dufresne]

Great idea.

My version:

This pathetic exercise of military arrogance hurts small children, people with trauma and war experiences, night shift workers and pets.

[/quote]

I could say the same thing about drum circles in Toronto's parks. They are loud, tribal and wake me up on the weekend.

martin dufresne

Doesn't the pejorative use of the word "tribal" smack of implicit racism?

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Well, implicit anti-tribalism, at least.

boomerbsg

Nope. Drum cicles are a form of urban tribalism just like modern primatives. Race has nothing to do with it.

boomerbsg

The question is, are a bunch of white neo-hippies racist for co-opting cultural practices of other cultures.... Nope they're just smoking pot, making noise and having fun. Yet they still wake me up.

triciamarie

[quote=M. Spector]

Your parents would not associate the sound of screaming jets overhead with WWII. 

There are many in Toronto who have lived in constant terror of the sound of approaching jets in many countries of the world.

[/quote]

True enough, but are usually plenty of WWII planes too at the Trenton show -- and there used to be many more, back in the 50's when my parents first moved to within ten miles of the base.

HeywoodFloyd

[quote=bagkitty] I did notice they did not fly over the traditional upper class neighbourhood (Mount Royal) even though it is approximately the same distance away, and is much less densely populated.

[/quote]

If they did then the show wouldn't be visible from the Stampede Grandstand.

triciamarie

We were at the air show at CFB Trenton earlier this year. My oldest daughter caught word that there might be someone there representing royalty, for the rededication of the base which was opened by Elizabeth 60 years ago, and nothing would do but we had to drive five hours to stand around a parade square at nine in the morning, just in case. Where did these kids come from??? Who have been taught since birth that monarchy is institutionalized theft.

Anyway, I'm conflicted on airshows. The attraction for me is probably nostalgia -- I grew up among Forces kids and hearing planes overhead, and the airshow was the biggest event of the year, although I started boycotting it in Grade 8 and this is the first one I've attended since then. Periodically one of the Snowbirds dies during practice or performance so that's not so much of an attraction for me. But I will admit to being impressed by the Airbus of all things -- it can slow down so much (for landing on small runways) that you can't understand how it doesn't drop from the sky; then right at centre field, without landing, it suddenly geared up and took off at about an 85 degree angle it looked like to me. Wow. Apparently there's more thrust in one of those things than the whole Snowbirds fleet put together. It's loud but not as loud as you might think, given all that.

They showed how air-to-air refueling is done too, with a big nod and wink to the fact that Canada doesn't own an aircraft carrier -- a major sore point for Air Force folks and the right generally.

One of the Challenger executive jets came in for an unscheduled fly-by. They say it was Harper incognito, paying respects on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada. Trenton of course is where all the dead Canadian kids fly into these days for their trip down McGuinty's "Highway of Heroes" aka 401 to the coroner in Toronto, so it makes sense that Harper wouldn't want to announce his schedule and set up such an ideal opportunity for protesters.

I also noticed a huge new anti-terrorism unit on the base that was never there before. Hadn't heard about that one.

clandestiny

A young semi feral cat, who i paid to have neutered a few months ago (she had 4 kittens march7th this year) never came around since yesterday-she loves to cry for her meals and rub up etc, then she eats her fill and falls asleep somewhere before going back out. i saw her recently crossing a sidestreet nearby, just running across w/out any att'n to cars or such, and i knew she was taking risk....anyway, i returned this afternoon and she was on sidewalk in neighbor's yard, laying there and looking very wan, and no reaction to any calls to get her come over. I went next door to open the apt door for her, when one of them bastards went over in his crowd pleezer, making more terrible noise then the bush-harper jeering down in hell, and the little thing fled, though i never see her so have no idea how badly she's hurt. Goddam them jets, in this one case anyway.

 

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

[quote=HeywoodFloyd]

[quote=bagkitty] I did notice they did not fly over the traditional upper class neighbourhood (Mount Royal) even though it is approximately the same distance away, and is much less densely populated.

[/quote]

If they did then the show wouldn't be visible from the Stampede Grandstand.

[/quote]

Well when they were doing their manouvering for their runs over Inglewood and Ramsay they werent visible either... Scotsman's Hill is in the way... at the heights they were operating at the crest of the hill would have blocked the view. The only time they would be cleary visible from the Grandstand would be when they came in from the north (the east being block by Scotsman's hil, the south my cemetary hill and the west [the direction of Mount Royal] by the body of the grandstand itself). It would have been just as easy for them to have peeled off to the west and circled around for their next pass.... but then that would have disturbed the more affluent inhabitants of Mount Royal.

HeywoodFloyd

Neither Scotsman's Hill or Cemetary Hill are tall enough to block the view of the snowbirds during arial operations.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Scotsman's hill was when they were flying there last summer. I live on the eastern crest and there were periods when they were below eye level when circling to the north over Inglewood and over the bow to come back towards the grounds from the north. Or do you have one of those freaky Star Trek viewer screens that allow you see things from magical perspectives?

HeywoodFloyd

Fair enough. I wasn't really including the time they take to set up the maneuvers but you're right.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

My real point, sarcastic references to why they didnt manouver over Mount Royal to one side, is why were they permitted to conduct a performance over a populated area? I have seen the air show down at Lethbridge, and it was outside of the city proper, over fields, and from the photos I have seen from the one in Toronto, it takes place over Lake Ontario. I really don't understand why the body governing aviation permitted the display... the only other time I have seen them perform over a populated area is the footage of when they fly over the Parliament buildings (and I am not certain how often that takes place, or if we just see the same footage from a single occasion -- if it is frequent, and I was a resident of Hull, I would be just as pissed)

HeywoodFloyd

I've seen them perform over both Edmonton and Saskatoon. I was told when I was at the Medicine Had air show that they can't do the really risky patterns over populated areas. However.....I don't know for sure.

 

 

triciamarie

It's funny that our concern for the animals comes up every year during the air show but not during the Canada Day fireworks.

About 20 years ago I remember a bunch of us were sitting behind the Parliament buildings in Ottawa on Canada Day. As the fireworks went off I noticed a whole procession of ducks paddling madly along the shoreline, trying to get away from the explosions. That was probably the start of my hatred of fireworks.

[quote] Virtually all species of animals are terrified by fireworks. The lights, noise, and smell of fireworks can panic even the calmest of companion animals who often run from it and become disoriented. When this happens, many animals are lost, placing a heavy burden on animal control resources. Shelters report a rise in the number of lost companion animals after fireworks displays. In fact, fireworks cause a greater influx of runaway and lost companion animals than any other source.

Animals are also killed when they run amuck on roads, incidentally endangering human life as well.[...]

Fireworks harm wildlife too. Waterfowl become entangled in remnants of fireworks that land in waterways and ponds. Fish ingest the debris and die, sometimes causing the deaths of scavenging animals that eat them. Deer and other wildlife become frenzied during displays. After fireworks, wildlife rehabilitators experience an increase in orphaned birds, squirrels, raccoons and other small mammals. Even birds and butterflies are at direct risk of becoming disoriented, injured, and killed. [/quote]

www.all-creatures.org

Fireworks kill and maim birds through the explosion itself and the associated toxic plume. Fireworks cause heavy metal contamination of the bodies of water they are exploded over, affecting aquatic wildlife and everything else all up the food chain. Fireworks and firecrackers both cause fires and lead to frequent and severe injuries, including to children, as well as animals. There are many tragic stories of dogs running to retrieve lit firecrackers.

www.voiceforthevoiceless.org.za/dangers.htm

It makes sense that animals would also be stressed by the loud noise of the air show, but I wasn't able to find any information confirming that.

A_J

 

 

Not so sure about the allegedly different treatment of affluent and non-affluent neighbourhoods.  I live in Forest Hill and planes have been screaming overhead all weekend.