Head's Down: Boeing 787 Flying Very Low in the Humboldt Skies

According to the Ferndale Volunteer Fire Dept, 

Heads up. Boeing is planning a low altitude flyover of a 787 tomorrow. Last time they did this they didn’t warn everybody and it scrambled a lot of emergency agencies with visions of 911.

Anyone know why they would do this?

UPDATE: Nate Downey’s memories of the earlier Boeing flyover are riveting!

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Photo from Ferndale Volunteer Fire’s Facebook page.

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24 comments

  • my best guess is because we live in an unpopulated area.
    I don’t see you do you see me?

  • my best guess is because we live in an unpopulated area.
    I don’t see you do you see me?

  • When was the last time? A month? A year? Any frequency (history) to chart how often these 787s are flying low over Humboldt?

    Could they be part of a new flight plan for commercial planes?

    I wish I had answers and not questions. Perhaps one of your other readers knows Kym.

  • When was the last time? A month? A year? Any frequency (history) to chart how often these 787s are flying low over Humboldt?

    Could they be part of a new flight plan for commercial planes?

    I wish I had answers and not questions. Perhaps one of your other readers knows Kym.

  • I remember the last time as we were returning from San Francisco as it was going on and first heard about it on the radio. I can’t remember how long ago it was. A year or two, maybe? It was supposedly some kind of test flight, if memory serves me correct.

  • I remember the last time as we were returning from San Francisco as it was going on and first heard about it on the radio. I can’t remember how long ago it was. A year or two, maybe? It was supposedly some kind of test flight, if memory serves me correct.

  • The last time was several years ago, I’d guess not later than 2004 perhaps? At the time, the weather was socked in up in Washington where they usually test and rather than lose their test day, it was reported in the Times-Standard back then, they flew down here and did touch and gos from Hydesville airport and flew a grey, windowless large passenger craft very low over the cow fields and town of Ferndale, frightening many who remembered 911. It was a very grey day here too and I remember seeing this giant aircraft swooping around on a grey sky quite low to the ground. At the time it was reported on KHUM/KSLUG (sorry I don’t remember which I was listening to) and I’m sure Caroline Titus of the Ferndale Enterprise has a back issue on it, or perhaps the people at Hydesville airport remember. I googled all sorts of search strings and didn’t find an article, but that far back if it was only in Times-Standard it would be archived and unavailable anyway. Maybe Fred remembers what year it was from his trip pictures??

  • The last time was several years ago, I’d guess not later than 2004 perhaps? At the time, the weather was socked in up in Washington where they usually test and rather than lose their test day, it was reported in the Times-Standard back then, they flew down here and did touch and gos from Hydesville airport and flew a grey, windowless large passenger craft very low over the cow fields and town of Ferndale, frightening many who remembered 911. It was a very grey day here too and I remember seeing this giant aircraft swooping around on a grey sky quite low to the ground. At the time it was reported on KHUM/KSLUG (sorry I don’t remember which I was listening to) and I’m sure Caroline Titus of the Ferndale Enterprise has a back issue on it, or perhaps the people at Hydesville airport remember. I googled all sorts of search strings and didn’t find an article, but that far back if it was only in Times-Standard it would be archived and unavailable anyway. Maybe Fred remembers what year it was from his trip pictures??

  • Looks like it was much ado over pretty much nothing.

    According to Hank over at LoCO…

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/aug/2/plane-panic-plus-message-congressman-solomon/

    …it was pretty much a non-event — it never came any lower than 30,000 feet.

  • Looks like it was much ado over pretty much nothing.

    According to Hank over at LoCO…

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2011/aug/2/plane-panic-plus-message-congressman-solomon/

    …it was pretty much a non-event — it never came any lower than 30,000 feet.

  • I just moved here 3 years ago. Freinds have told me that DC3(recording studio and more out of WA) owned the plane that did the fly over last time. Probably samestory this time.

    • Nope, the silver DC3 belongs to the owners of Full Sail University, a music trade school in Orlando where they also teach design for video games and movies. When they visit Ferndale, which has gotten a lot less often now that they’re trying to sell their property, they fly over the town before going back north to Arcata/ Eureka airport where the classic plane is kept in a hanger. The “low flying Boeing test plane” was just that, a low-flying Boeing test plane. Thanks to 06em (below) for the handy link to the flight tracker !!

  • I just moved here 3 years ago. Freinds have told me that DC3(recording studio and more out of WA) owned the plane that did the fly over last time. Probably samestory this time.

    • Nope, the silver DC3 belongs to the owners of Full Sail University, a music trade school in Orlando where they also teach design for video games and movies. When they visit Ferndale, which has gotten a lot less often now that they’re trying to sell their property, they fly over the town before going back north to Arcata/ Eureka airport where the classic plane is kept in a hanger. The “low flying Boeing test plane” was just that, a low-flying Boeing test plane. Thanks to 06em (below) for the handy link to the flight tracker !!

  • What actually happened in the air yesterday is documented here at the flightaware.com link from the Boeing 787 test flight website. They were testing a Dreamliner with G.E. engines for ability to fly with only one engine and immunity to ground-based high power radio transmissions. The 787 is supposed to be able to fly with only one engine (makes sense) and the radio transmission test is to make sure nothing can interfere with the planes fly by wire systems. That’s why the plane sometimes flies pretty low.

    For those to lazy to click through, the plane went from Seattle to Crescent City, back up to coastal WA, back down to Crescent City and then home to Seattle. I think the lowest altitude it got over CC was still 12,500 feet, so may not have even been noticed.

    • For the record, o6em is right on the mark. Also Ellin there is no Hydesville airport, that last test flight did fly low over the area but did not land as our airports can’t handle that size aircraft. They could probably land in an emergency but never take off on our runways.
      Jim Bernard

      • Thanks, Jim. I recall hearing at the time they were dealing with Hydesville airport, I must have assumed the touch-and-gos. Great to know the right answer & fabulous to “meet” our local weather hero after all these years. Cheers.

  • What actually happened in the air yesterday is documented here at the flightaware.com link from the Boeing 787 test flight website. They were testing a Dreamliner with G.E. engines for ability to fly with only one engine and immunity to ground-based high power radio transmissions. The 787 is supposed to be able to fly with only one engine (makes sense) and the radio transmission test is to make sure nothing can interfere with the planes fly by wire systems. That’s why the plane sometimes flies pretty low.

    For those to lazy to click through, the plane went from Seattle to Crescent City, back up to coastal WA, back down to Crescent City and then home to Seattle. I think the lowest altitude it got over CC was still 12,500 feet, so may not have even been noticed.

    • For the record, o6em is right on the mark. Also Ellin there is no Hydesville airport, that last test flight did fly low over the area but did not land as our airports can’t handle that size aircraft. They could probably land in an emergency but never take off on our runways.
      Jim Bernard

      • Thanks, Jim. I recall hearing at the time they were dealing with Hydesville airport, I must have assumed the touch-and-gos. Great to know the right answer & fabulous to “meet” our local weather hero after all these years. Cheers.

  • That’s “too lazy”. Urghhh.

  • That’s “too lazy”. Urghhh.

  • I love how blogs collect information like magnets attract metal. Thanks everyone for contributing so much! If you haven’t seen that I added a link in the post above, it is a wonderful recollection by Nate Downey of the earlier flyover.

  • I love how blogs collect information like magnets attract metal. Thanks everyone for contributing so much! If you haven’t seen that I added a link in the post above, it is a wonderful recollection by Nate Downey of the earlier flyover.

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