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B-1's Over Rapid City/Piedmont Area

Ellsworth AFB, S.D. -- The Commander' s Action Line is a forum for the Ellsworth community to make suggestions or voice concerns about Ellsworth directly to Col. Kevin Kennedy, 28th Bomb Wing commander. 


Col. Kennedy,

Why do the jet planes have to fly so low in the Rapid City and Piedmont area when there is miles and miles of sparsely populated areas just north and east of here? I don't get it. I know that I am not the only one who wonders about this and has complaints about it at the same time. The noise is so horrendously loud that it makes my children cry and the windows shake on the houses in the neighborhood so badly. if the planes fly any lower it will certainly cause damage.

Col. Kevin Kennedy
Col. Kevin

When you see our jets flying low in the Rapid City and Piedmont areas we are typically departing or arriving at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Our pilots and air traffic controllers follow specific procedures to mitigate the impact over populated areas, to include remaining at higher altitudes over densely populated areas. However, lower altitudes are necessary during takeoff and landing. On takeoff, the sound generated by the B-1 will be louder as higher engine settings are necessary to safely climb the aircraft away from the ground. Aircraft preparing to land do not generate as much sound as we use lower engine settings. I understand there will still be some impact to you and your family even with the procedures we have in place. However, please let your neighbors know that our aviators are aware of our impact and the sound we do generate is necessary for safety and to ensure our aviators are combat ready.