Tuesday, 20 April 2010

You Don't Notice Them Until They Aren't There

Regular readers will be aware that I live in south-east London. What they may not be aware of is that my home is almost exactly under the flight path into Heathrow Airport. In fact, it is not uncommon for aircraft to fly over the back of the house and then make a turn to line up for final approach. When aircraft are flying this way passengers on board the aircraft will be given a wonderful view of London as they fly over the Thames heading westwards for landing.

In the days when Concorde was in service, it could be heard long before it came near the house, and I never tired of running out of the back door to watch it approach and then turn over the house to make its final approach. I miss Concorde; it may have been noisy but it was a joy to watch. However, even though there are aircraft flying over the house most hours of the day, I hardly ever notice them; they are just part of the general noise and are less invasive than the sirens of police cars, ambulances or fire engines.

With the lack of flying from British airports over the last few days due to the volcanic ash, I have been aware that it was quieter than normal. Even though I don't usually take any notice of the aircraft flying over every couple of minutes, I had been aware that the noise wasn't there and I had begun to miss it.

But about 20 minutes ago there was a strange sound to be heard. Aircraft have started arriving at Heathrow again and I had become so used to there not being any flying over, that the first one that did sounded much louder than usual. I expect that I will get used to the sound again in a few days and I'll go back to not noticing the aircraft flying over.


Susie said...

i'm under the outgoing path for standsted and normally we have a barrage from 6am (Ryanair gets the cheap slots).

But i haven't heard a peep still yet. haven't heard anything on the news either, but they have just said at heathrow planes are arriving not departing so i presume its the same for stansted.

It's been nice and peaceful, but like you say i'm sure normal service will resume soon.


Nails UK said...

Exactly the same in Manchester...the first plane over this morning made me dash to the window, to see what the noise was!

Anonymous said...

I remember this from when the terrorists bombed the WTC and they grounded all flights. I live in an area with three commercial airports and several military ones (and numerous small airports as well) and the absence of planes in the air was surpassingly weird. When you did hear a plane it was a military one and they were always going somewhere in a hurry fast and it made you wonder what was going on.

When they let flights leave again in three days it was very strange for a bit to hear the planes going by overhead.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

I saw the first jet plane go over today too, like you it seemed so noisy! Where I live is very quiet, especially at night but it was noticeably much quieter without the plane and much easier to hear the noises of nature.

Anonymous said...

I took my first ever flight in and out of Heathrow last December and I remember thinking to myself how pretty London looked from such a high distance, it was night time and it was all lit up pretty...

Ironic but I booked another flight last night to Sweden and I'm flying via Heathrow again (despite me saying I wouldn't go via Heathrow again because it was too big!). lol I'll wave to you, just as I wave to The Priory everytime I fly over it coming into Manchester, bearing in mind I've took 21 flights in the past 12 months!

I always want to go to the Concorde Museum here at Manchester, it's on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days which started yesterday! ;)