San Jose Fighter Jet Flyover Mystery Solved

F-18 flyover was part of training mission

By Jessica Greene
|  Wednesday, Jun 16, 2010  |  Updated 1:53 PM PDT
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Some of the mystery of a fighter jet flyover in San Jose last week has been lifted after the Navy acknowledged the incident was part of a training mission.

A pair of F-18 Hornets buzzed through the South Bay skies last Wednesday at about 8 p.m. They flew so low, the rumble rattled windows and set off car alarms in downtown neighborhoods.

A representative from the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake confirmed today that the planes were on a training mission to San Jose Mineta International Airport the evening of May 9.

The fighter jets completed a "standard flight separation maneuver to facilitate a practice landing" before heading back the Kern County base, Renee Hatcher said. Missions like the one Wednesday night are not uncommon, Hatcher said. She's surprised this one has garnered so much attention.

The loud incident freaked out residents and also surprised some folks who would seem to be in the know about this kind of mission. Officials at San Jose Mineta Airport and Mountain View's Moffett Field were puzzled, even though the jets flew through their airspace.

We put out the call for a picture of the loud but sneaky visitors and got one from a man who works San Jose Mineta Airport. Todd said via email that the sound of the jets drew him outside while he was at work that evening.

Even though it seems like something the airport officials should have been aware of beforehand, the FAA has no authority over military planes.

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