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Navy jets’ low flight riles neighbors near Santa Rosa

Kathleen Galvin was working on a writing project inside her home office Wednesday afternoon in the Woodbridge neighborhood northwest of Santa Rosa when she heard the jets rumbling overhead.

The sound startled her and lasted long enough that she went outside to see what was happening, she said.

“I thought that a plane was going to crash into our neighborhood,” Galvin said. "People were coming out of their houses. Everybody’s pets went berserk.“

But she needn’t have worried. The flights aren’t going to become a regular thing here.

The several Navy F-18 jet fighters just stopped off at the airport for a while and then took off, probably destined to stop at a naval base farther south, said Jon Stout, manager of the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.

“They didn’t give us any information on their mission. Usually they are transitioning from one base to another,” he said. “It’s not uncommon for military aircraft to stop at the airport.”

Stout said the jets took off about 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Some residents who wrote about the jets online said the Navy planes flew low and loud over west Sonoma County, and wondered if it would be a regular thing.

Galvin said she wants to know “what actually happened and what the future is going to hold.”

The jet stopovers occur about three or four times a year at the airport and are “not very frequent,” Stout said. “We see a lot more military helicopters than we do aircraft.”

A Navy spokesperson could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera. You can reach Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5209.

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