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Fri, Jun 03, 2005

Low-Flying Mystery Solved

Who Was That (Oxygen)Masked Man, Anyway?

Residents of the West Side in Manchester, NH, have an answer to one of their most pressing questions: Why was a military aircraft roaring low over their homes Tuesday and is there anything to be worried about?

The answers: That was a US Navy F/A-18 Hornet cruising low over the 'hood. The aircraft, dispatched from Maine's Brunswick Naval Air Station. The aircraft, based at NAS Oceana in Virginia, was on a testing and evaluation mission.

The Hornet was, in short, acting as target in the testing of a new target acquisition radar recently installed on an Aegis-class cruiser steaming just offshore.

Authorities received several dozen complaints about the low-flying aircraft since Tuesday evening. The pilot performed several abrupt-looking maneuvers. When the Manchester Union-Leader asked NAS Brunswick spokesman John James, he responded, "They do that."

Manchester Airport's assistant director, Brian O'Neill, told the Union-Leader no one in the tower was talking to the Hornet driver. But, he said, that's not unusual and "We had no issues [with him]."

FMI: www.navy.mil

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