By Morf Morford
Tacoma Daily Index
I live in Tacoma’s North End, in the Proctor District.
My neighborhood is not near Sea-Tac Airport, but is in direct flight lines of McChord and I can see jets coming into – and leaving Sea-Tac on a regular basis. We are also in the flight pattern of small planes heading east or south from the Tacoma Narrows Airport (https://www.co.pierce.wa.us/1624/Tacoma-Narrows-Airport-TIW).
In other words, from my house I can see two or three (if not more) planes overhead at any given time.
Sometimes in the evening (usually about 10 pm) I can even see satellites. They are rarely, if ever, lit so you can only see them as they reflect the sun’s light from beyond the visible horizon. They are easily distinguishable from anything else because they quickly travel in a straight line. You will see no flashing lights – only a swift moving silver ball in the sky. The ones I see only go from south to north.
If you want to see what the world – or your neighborhood – looks like from the point of view of a satellite, check out this website – https://satellites.pro/#.
These aircraft overhead are rarely intrusive, but they are a constant presence.
For better or worse, it is difficult for me to imagine daily life without them.
If I travel, even a mile or two out of the flight patterns, even as near as Puyallup or University Place, I am struck by the difference in air traffic.
If you are an aircraft fan, or are just curious about who is passing over any point on the earth, be sure to consult FlightAware (https://flightaware.com/).
Love them or hate them, if you fly often, rarely or even never, aircraft – and the various supportive industries around them are a central feature of our history, economy and culture.