Are Commercial Planes Flying Too Low Over My Neighborhood?


I am new to this site, so please bare with me. My wife and I just bought a new house in Corona, CA and we are noticing planes that seem to be flying too low (we are not near an airport - the closest being John Wayne in Costa Mesa).

What can we do to make sure that these planes are flying at the right altitude? Is there anything that can be done to change the course of the flights? Are neighborhood used to be rural, now things are much different. The development is still being completed.

Thanks in advance for the information.



The FAA says that planes need to fly a minimum of 1000 above ground level over populated areas. The two closest airports severing commercial flights are Ontario and John Wayne and commercial jets from those airports are likely to be well above 1000’ by the time they reach your house. Even small planes flying into Corona Airport are most likely higher than 1000’. While I’m sure this is not what you want to hear, the airports and the airplanes were flying there before you bought your house. If you didn’t want to put up with their noise you would have been wise to buy elsewhere.

As far as you getting the FAA to change the routings, I would say that you have about a zero chance. As my friends who live near Miramar used to say when the fighter jets shook there walls taking off in full afterburner - there goes the sound of freedom.


When i was house shopping I found a great deal on a super house and couldn’t figure out what the catch was. When I put the address into google earth, I saw the reason. It was perfectly in line with a runway from KDSM. I visited the neighborhood on a day with the correct winds(as the realtor refused to show the house on these certain days) and my suspicions were confirmed. UPS & United 757s were going off right over my head. I looked elsewhere.

I felt really bad for people in those areas after the Iowa Caucuses. Gulf 2’s and 3’s and other pre-abatement noisy aircraft were fleeing town after midnight and I could hear them from many miles away.


Learn to love it! I would love to live in a house with airplanes near enough that I could see them.


Actually, as you are new here, Welcome to Flightaware.

Even though I live in Canada!!!, I’ll give you the tools to answer your own question.

As aircraft landing at SNA John Wayne Orange County Airport have to clear the Santa Ana Mountains they certainly aren’t flying to low, or they would all be in serious trouble.

I would assume Ontario Airport is closer to you, and March Air Force Base with a squadron of KC-10 tankers isn’t too far away either. Corona Airport with light GA traffic, and Riverside with bizjets are also close by.

However, I’ll assume the aircraft you have referred to are airliners, and are flying in a southwesterly direction on approach to SNA.

Here is a free website, that shows the arrivals and departures in your area. You’ll be able to see the aircraft that fly right over you. Just click on each individual aircraft for the height it is flying.

It is 10 minutes behind in real time, and you can set the date and time to see replay of past flights.

John Wayne Airport

You can also listen to the approaching aircraft, and be able to track them on Flightaware. Here is the Air Traffic Control site;

LiveAtc just scroll down to KSNA - Orange County California.
You will hear the interaction between the controllers and pilots.


I should include the following;

Noise and Curfew from John Wayne Airport.

Contact Info for any unanswered questions.

The chance of someone in Corona complaining about the flightpath, and having them change something, is less than zero. The airport itself, is in Santa Ana, but boarders Newport Beach, you can imagine the Wealthy of Newport have done already, everything in their power to put the airplanes exactly where they are!!!

Reminds me of Trump, when he bought the Mar-a-Largo Estate in Palm Beach, which is directly under the flight path - including that of his own B727!!! They didn’t budge an inch when he tried to have them re-arrange the flight path…


Tell us the cross streets in your Corona neighborhood, and we can probably tell you what traffic you are seeing.


First of all, thanks to everyone for all of the helpful information! I am probably overreacting, but I want to make sure that everything here is SOP as my wife and I didn’t hear or notice the planes until recently. It is odd that sometimes (especially at night) they seem to come one after the other and then at other times, we don’t see them for an hour or so.

The other issue I think is that our location off of Weirick Road/I-15 is very quite as we are backed up on the mountains. I think this is why the planes are pronounced at times. Additionally, it seems some planes are significantly louder than others. Again, thanks for all of the helpful information.



Have you seen the aircraft? Are they Military? Red/Blue SWA 737’s and other recognizable commercial airliners?

I just tried to triangulate your area looking at SNA, ONT, AJO and CA89 which is Skylark Airport. Are there any airports closer? Or any hospitals or facilities with a Heliport? There are several military air facilities in your area.

I suggest when you hear a plane and have a sense of what it is and its general direction, expand a full size map of an airport/heliport near you and try to find it. They will be 6 minutes away on the map and you may have to pull up the next furthest map to see them as the closest one might not show it. :confused: You should be able to find your area by figuring out the crossing highways shown on the FA map nearest to you.

If you can’t find the nearest facility on Flightaware try, then enter those codes into flighaware.


Watching the arrivals pass directly over your house!!!, on average at a height of about 8000 feet.

I note that both John Wayne and Long Beach arrivals are passing overhead. It seemed every second aircraft while I was watching, was headed for Long Beach.

I best let an expert explain the sound, but first, all the cacophony of the day, dies down, and it seems to amplify the sound at night. Add a nightime temperature inversion, and the sound funneled down the side of 4000 foot mountains, I’ll bet it is loud.

I live in a fairly luxurious condo in Toronto. It has everything from electronic bowling alleys, to sauna’s, indoor pool, library, subway to downtown, and two feet of snow outside. But it sure is quiet.

(And free health care!!!)

I’ll trade you!!! Actually I think I need to move back to Vancouver, Toronto is like a concrete jungle, flat with nothing to look at!!!

Refraction of sound explained


Some of the departures from the local airports could be a bit lower because of departures heading directly east toward Thermal Vortac. Normally, departures from ONT/SNA/LGB/LAX depart toward the west, and they would be quite a lot higher as they head east. During the winter, and during Santa Anas, aircraft would depart directly eastbound, and I’m guessing thats why they could be a bit lower than normal.


Okay Erick…from what I can gleen from the location information you’ve provided, I’m guessing that you’ve purchased in the Retreat area… If that is correct, aircraft arriving John Wayne/Orange County and Long Beach airports are traversing the area via the KAYOH FOUR arrival. The course line of this arrival procedure runs east to west approximately 1 mile south of your neighborhood. Aircraft flying this procedure are passing your area at 6000’ mean sea level, or at about 5900’ above the ground level of neighborhood.

I have flown this procedure many times. It is a well established, primary routing for aircraft arriving at those airports from the east.


What you might be hearing is the Seavu1 (sea-view) arrival into LAX. That is the route which comes up from Mexico to LAX. The reason you don’t hear them all the time is because of trafffic or weather.
The arrival goes from south of Lake Elsinore to Lake Matthews before turning westbound just northeast of Corona. They are descending from 16000 feet to 10000. Sometimes they are told to cut the corner for traffic.

The reason you hear them more often on some days has to do the traffic into LAX. When the two main flows from the east (Palm Springs or Big Bear) is real busy, ATC re-reoutes the arrivals from Mexico over towards Vista then out over the ocean to Seal Beach before turning into LAX.

This last week since the weather back east has been so bad, there wasn’t a reason to re-route as many arrival from Mexico to Vista (since the traffic was spread out more and not as many flights) and that is why you have been hearing them more lately.

I live in Oceanside, so when I hear and see at Westbound jet about 14000 over my house, I will know your wife will be enjoying her tranquility. I happen to really enjoy seeing them because I know where they are going.

So if you coud get a glimps of one heading northwest bound it’s the seavu1 into LAX, If they are heading more west or southwest bound from your house it’s the kayoh arrival. Either way there is NOTHING you can do about it…

One more thing, if it’s after 11pm it has to be the Seavu1 into LAX because Orange County airport closes at 11pm.



Lakeview? We’ll be up this weekend! :wink:


I’ve also seen KC-135’s and C-17’s there. And a few years ago, Abex opened a hub there, complete with night DC-9 ops.


Thank you all very much for your explanations. This is starting to make some sense to me now. I downloaded Google Earth and determined our coordinates and that of the KAYOH FOUR ARRIVAL.

It seems that, as noted correctly above, the flight path is a mile or so south of our neighborhood. I think this is why we didn’t really take notice of the planes before recently. However, a number of planes are now passing almost directly overhead. Is there a reason for the deviation? Is there an acceptable ±?

It appears that most of the planes doing such are JetBlue flights headed to Long Beach. Combined with this, there still appears to be a number of planes traveling strictly along KAYOH - a mile or so south of us. As you can all tell, I am now again confused. Again, thanks in advance for your guidance.



Can anyone tell me whether the deviation from the KAYOH4 is normal or a standard operating procedure. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here, I would just like some information.

Like I said, the KAYOH4 ARRIVAL is about 1 mile south of our neighborhood. I plotted it out on a flight path simulator to double check. If that is true, why the flights over our area?

Again, if I am missing something, please correct me so that I do not embarrass myself anymore! I am not a pilot and I am of course not aware of the technicalities that you guys know of. Thanks!




For a non technical reference, see

Please note the third paragraph explaining the width of an airway hopefully this will help you understand that you being 1 mile off the centerline is not a deviation.



Thank you very much Allen - can’t tell you how many days I was scratching my head with this one.



If you don’t like the airplane noise, you can always send your wife up to the roof with a can* of paint…

…By the way, do you have a guest house that FA members can stay in when we visit Disneyland?

* real painters call it a bucket :stuck_out_tongue: