For members of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 161, noise complaints can be more typical than praise from people who live close to the daily operations of the military aircraft.
The warm welcome that greeted the arrival of two Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey military aircraft at Roseburg Regional Airport on Friday evening was very much appreciated, said Marine Lt. Col. John Sax, commander of VMM-161.
“When you are stationed at locations where these operate out of, you typically get noise complaints,” Sax said. “When you go somewhere where they are not familiar with seeing them on every day basis, it’s nice to know that we still have support.”
Both military aircraft arrived Friday for a planned three-night layover in Roseburg. Both are flying with five-person crews (three pilots, two crew chiefs per aircraft) and were expected to continue training on Saturday with a planned down day on Sunday. Scheduled training included formation flying and flying at low altitude, Marine 1st Lt. Nicholas Krawec said.
The Osprey combines the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range performance of a turbo-prop aircraft.
“It’s a weird mix between helicopter and airplane that everybody is always interested in seeing,” Krawec said.
Bill and Dona Johnson, who live near the airport, can vouch for the noise from the arrival of the two Osprey.
“They vibrated the house when they came over,” Bill Johnson said, who serves as chaplain for the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The Johnsons didn’t mind. In fact, they wasted no time joining dozens of other people who immediately lined the chain link fence minutes after the arrival of the two military aircraft.
As volunteers prepared for the Young Eagles day at the Roseburg airport, some people waited with their cell phones for both aircraft to depart. After a lengthy preflight check, both Osprey taxied slowly to the runway before lifting vertically into the air. Both aircraft headed north briefly before making a slow turn to the east.