This week’s lightning and rain has brought some relief, but Quincy residents worry that the drone of small planes flying overhead will soon return.
Residents say that since late April, they have suffered from the sound of low-flying planes, which are making continuous loops above their homes through the day and night. And government officials will not say who is flying the planes or why.
“It was every six minutes this loop would take, and it’s doing this arch,” said Michael Gundersen, who lives in Wollaston. “But when it’s doing a turn, it would get louder, every six minutes for hours on end.”
Gundersen said the sound started April 21 and has been practically continuous.
“The noise was just — at some points, it was unbearable,” he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s Facebook page has been overflowing with comments from frustrated residents, and local officials have been receiving phone calls and e-mails reporting the noise.
Those in the know remain tight-lipped. “It is a sanctioned flight by the FAA,” said Quincy police Captain John Dougan, who would not elaborate.
FAA officials echoed that response.
At Quincy City Hall, the reason is no clearer.
“We’ve received a couple more phone calls, and the response is the same,” said Christopher Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch. “The FAA confirmed that it is a sanctioned flight, and there is no information beyond that.”
A lack of an explanation has only exacerbated the frustration of locals who were initially upset about the noise.
“Given the events of the past month, people are on edge, and the main concern that folks have is, is there something going on that they should be concerned about?” said Councilor Brian Palmucci. “[Is there an] event, activity, individual that they should be vigilant about? And no one is providing any answers.”
Though some have speculated that the aircraft is a drone, a photograph taken by a resident shows a Cessna single-engine plane. Residents also say that more than one plane is involved.
“My husband is a pilot . . . the Cessna can only fly for seven to eight hours, so there is definitely another plane that comes to relieve it,” said Jennifer Azevedo-Andre, who lives in Merrymount.
Azevedo-Andre said that she snapped a picture of one of the planes and that another plane has a dark blue belly. The tail number in the photograph is registered to a company called RKT Productions.
The company’s only available contact is a post office box in Bristow, Va. A spokesman for the nearest airport, Manassas Regional Airport, had never heard of the company.
At this point, however, most residents say the purpose of the flights is irrelevant.
“We’re very reasonable people,” said Azevedo-Andre. “There may be a valid reason for them to be covert; to explain it might undermine its purpose. But I can tolerate for so long, and no one can give us a timetable of when it will stop.”
Jessica Bartlett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.