A U.S. Navy Boeing EA-18G Growler of test and evaluation squadron VX-31 flies over the city of Ridgecrest, Calif., as it returns to NAWS China Lake at the conclusion of a test mission on the Electronic Combat Range (Echo).
U.S. Navy photo by Cmdr. Ian C. Anderson, USN
WALLA WALLA — It was a buzz that left the town abuzz.
Two low-flying military jets which flew over Walla Walla and College Place about 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening created a stir that was still percolating this morning.
The aircraft were two EA-18G Growler jets from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Anthony Popp, deputy public affairs officer, said the two jets left the base at 9 p.m., performed practice approaches at Walla Walla Regional Airport and then returned home.
Growlers are electronic warfare jets that went into service in 2009 and are the successor to the EA-6B Prowlers that used to be flown commonly in the area.
Judging from comments on Facebook, the low-flying aircraft brought people out of their home, panicked some pets and set off a car alarm or two.
Ed Reading, a resident of Catherine Street, said in an email the aircraft “sounded like it was coming into the house. We were getting ready for bed, but we put our clothes back on and went out into the street.”
Reading said the aircraft “was military, judging by the noise; they don’t have the noise suppression that civilians do. He was at 200 to 300 feet, which is unusually low for a five-mile approach to Walla Walla Regional Airport. I saw the landing light (on the nose, not the wing); a skinny body; the two wingtip lights; two exhausts, close to the centerline, not on the wing. As he passed I thought I saw a T-tail, but I’m not certain.”
Patrons at the Fort Walla Walla amphitheater also heard the aircraft, which flew over during the intermission of this season’s summer musical production.
Andy Porter can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8318.