Fourfold Flying Begins–Residents Consider Leaving Coupeville

Man in Pain from Noise - Residents consider leaving Coupeville due to Jet Noise

Recently, the question was asked of neighbors in the fly-over zones: Are you going to consider leaving Coupeville because of the fourfold increase in Growler jet training?

The responses continue to pour in. Here are a few examples. If you would like to read them all, head over to our “Liveability on Whidbey Island” page. Names are not disclosed so that people would feel more free to respond truthfully without fear of retaliation.

#4 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
If the jet flights increase as expected & they fly a lot in the evenings and weekends, we will certainly attempt to move if our home has any value left. We hate being stuck inside our house on hot days and not being able to open doors for ventilation or sit on our deck. I also fear walking my dog in the neighborhood and being blocks from home when the jets suddenly start flying. We have to try to invite off-island visitors on days when we hope the jets might not be flying, but that means we can’t be sure more than a week in advance at the most. Finally, I just bought some expensive hearing aids, but they have to come out whenever the jets fly.

#7 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
If we had only known moving here last Spring that our home would be exactly under flight path 32 here in Admirals Cove. We swear the house has a giant X on it but it’s the three tall trees where the jets bank heading back to the airstrip. “Yes”, our realtor said at the open house,”the jets do fly over but you get used to it. You know they fly all over the islands”. We had seen a few up at Ault and it seemed ok; not so loud. The scratchy black and white drawing provided was all we had to go on that weekend. Mind you they didn’t fly that weekend or even for weeks before or after. Devastating to move to a beautiful place and to feel so frustrated as I hear the rumblings begin. Moving? Seriously on my mind. Who wants to live somewhere hearing the sounds of war huddled in our homes day and night staring out our windows watching the submarines going back and forth? It’s home for now and each moment of peace is cherished.

#8 – Coupeville
I will be forced to sell my house… I am directly under the flight path and work from home full time. I am unable to be in conference calls for my job, the noise overpowers any noise canceling earphones I can find. The only acceptable number of flights would be the same as the prior years. I have lived in this area since 2008, so after 10 years I decided the noise and number of flights were acceptable, so I purchased my home assuming the 10 year pattern would continue. This changes everything, I don’t see how anyone could keep their homes… there will be no quality of life. And my livelihood is gone… along with my home value.

#12 – Welcher-Race-Harrington
I have lived in this house since 2009 full time, and yesterday was the first time they flew as low as they did. Until after 10pm. NOW I fully grasp what you guys in AC deal with regularly. Soul sucking.

#17 – Coupeville
Here is a 2 minute decible reading from this afternoon. 118db was the highest. We’ve always been Pro-Navy but this is getting to be too much.

#25 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
Yes, Coupeville neighbors, this is what we experience in Admirals Cove. When they fly directly over our house (can see them in the skylights) we can’t watch tv, talk on the phone, walk or work outside, enjoy our deck, invite friends over or even talk to each other! We’ve learned to live with it when they only fly one or two days a week but 80 more Growlers will make it impossible to have a good life here on Whidbey.

#29 – Donahey
Feel so sorry for the gentlemen who was afraid to state his opinion on this site! And for Atlanta, I love the freedom our armed services afford us, but one community should not have to carry the whole burden of growlers! Freedom should not destroy one community there are ways the Navy can handle the growlers and get our men and women the training the need with out totally destroying a community! That’s all most of us want!

#32 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
We would consider selling – but who would buy????

#35 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
First, let me say, I am not anti Navy. I worked on a Navy base for many years. I appreciate the sacrifice our service men and women make to protect our country. But this new normal is not something I can live with. I am an outdoor person and I even open windows in my house all year round. But now my lifestyle has had to abruptly change. I feel like a prisoner in my home. I could even accept this easier if the Navy could be a little more specific about when they will be flying so I could snag a window of down time to walk my dogs or know when they are done for the night so I can open my windows and fall asleep. The not knowing is the hardest part. I have been caught outside running, walking, kayaking etc. when they have started flying and it is unbearable for me. I cannot live this way.

#42 – Coupeville
We have lived on Parker Road near Kinneth Point since 2001. We were fine with the jet activity up until this year! They are louder, flying lower, and flying a whole lot more. We certainly can not be outside when they are flying. When inside our floor vibrates when they are flying low. My wife has hearing lose and tinnitus and the loud noise activates her tinnitus! We are going to move. This is horrible!

#45 – Admiral’s Cove Beach Club
In Boise, they are wrestling with commercial airport expansion and have declared areas similarly exposed, albeit at a lesser noise level, to be “unfit for human habitation.” I think that is the best short answer to the
question of why so many hate what is happening here. It has made so much of our community unfit for human habitation.

Read all the submitted comments (More are also added as they are submitted) on our “Liveability on Whidbey Island” page. If you live under the jet paths, let us know if you are planning to move or intend to stay in Coupeville.



  1. Tom

    We bought our home when the flights were reasonable and we enjoyed watching them. One year, they suddenly became unbearable. I learned afterward that this was likely during the time that Boeing was selling aircraft to Australia and the Navy let the Australian pilots learn how to fly the aircraft by bouncing at OLF. My understanding is the number of flights that happened that year was at or below the levels they are talking about for the coming years. We’ve already moved. For everyone’s sake, I sincerely hope that it doesn’t take too long for level heads to prevail.

  2. Peter Keyes

    We’ll be putting our house on the market within the month. We built our house in the center of Coupeville over the past 14 years, living full-time in the summer, and intending to spend more time after our imminent retirement, but that is not to be. We built in Coupeville for its beauty, its peace and quiet, the lovely community into which we were welcomed, and because being in the middle of Ebey’s Landing, we felt assured that it would not change. We were fully aware of the extent and impact of Prowler operations before we committed ourselves, and were shocked when everything changed without warning. This is heartbreaking – and probably a huge financial setback for us – but we truly feel for those whose lives will be even more affected: our friends who will have to give up on their farms on the prairie, or those older folks who are well into their retirements and who have no other options. I’d like to say I’m shocked by the stupidity and cruelty of this development, but somehow it seems to fit in with our current national tenor.

  3. Heidi and Steve Borton

    Yes, we are seriously considering moving. These flights, especially the late-night ones have robbed us of sleep and caused one of us to have depression and severe anxiety. And we are not even in the very worst of the flight path. My heart goes out to the folks in AC. Here’s an ironic poem I have written:
    “The Navy’s won,
    Hooray, hooray,
    We get to listen to jets all day.
    If your eardrums burst,
    Don’t blame it on me,
    Remember “Freedom isn’t free”
    And if the planes should fall from the skies
    Over Whidbey
    And burn up the trees,
    Just say to yourself all night and all day,
    “The Navy’s protecting me.”
    The water is poisoned,
    The airfields scream,
    The children can’t learn in peace.
    Retired folks cry as the jets go by,
    “Go,Navy,go” far away.

  4. Anon

    The jets are not going to leave. They’ve mitigated their sound as much as they can. There’s nothing else the Navy can do. Not flying isn’t an option for them.

    If you stay, it will be loud. If you leave, it will be quiet. Simple as that.

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