Pax River Is Booming?

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It's not only civilian airports that get noise complaints. The sound of freedom is rattling the dishes -- and fraying the nerves -- of some residents near the Navy's Patuxent River Air Station. Some residents claim the Navy jocks are unleashing sonic booms over the naturally quiet hamlets of Princess Ann, Salisbury, Deal Island and Whitehaven in Maryland. "It rocked my house like an earthquake," Dinah Abbott, of Salisbury, told the Daily Times. But Pax River spokesman John Romer said it's not likely sonic booms that are jarring the residents. He said fighter pilots save their need for speed for the open ocean where the booms won't bust the peace. Pax River has about 130,000 operations a year but nearby residents say there's been a big increase in flight activity in the past 10 days. Romer said anyone bugged by a Navy plane should call the base to complain. "We don't want to upset the neighbors," he said.