Fighter Jets over Cent. NJ?


Today while I was in my back yard by my stream, about 3:30 ish, I heard about 3 fighter jets pass over at what sounded like a somewhat low altitude. A few minutes later, I heard another 3 or so. I didn’t get to see them because there were many low lying clouds. Sounded like they were headed south and then did a 180 and headed north. I’d love to find out what this was.

EDIT: Forgot to mention this is in Howell, NJ.


Without identifying the aircraft type it’s almost impossible to answer your question John.

F-16s - might have been the Jersey Devils out of ACY.

F-18s - might have been some USAF or USN visitors out of Lakehurst or McGuire.

Might have been some out of state visitors from any of several locales, including carriers.


I realize how important type can be. Wish I saw them. Usually don’t hear fighter jets. And if you do, it’s usually only one or 2.


How do you know there were 3? (as opposed to 2 or 4)? I see enough fighters that I can usually pick out what they are (at least between 15/16/18’s - the usuals coming through CHS) just by the sound, but if there’s more than one, I couldn’t tell you if there were 2,3 or 5…

Where’s rook and his buddies? :laughing:


I’m not positive, but it sounded like one passed, then another, and then 1 more. But you’re right, it could have been 2 or 4. I don’t have enough experience with fighters to tell what they are by the sound.


My initial reaction is that it’s none of your business.

After further consideration however, the precise movements of US tactical assets while we’re engaged in two wars overseas is not something that should be discussed in a public forum.

I’ll take my tinfoil hat off now.

:laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


I guess I could agree with that.


Sorry - didn’t realize you meant they passed overhead a few secs apart (as opposed to how they usually travel). Must had just taken off from somewhere close - if not, they were probably travelling several miles apart at the speeds they fly.


They might have been from McGuire, that’s somewhat close.


They were the 6 USAF Thunderbird F-16s

I saw them fly over Staten Island and light up some smoke as they did a flyover of the USS Intrepid for Air Force week in NYC.


It’s totally possible to identify the number of aircraft by sound.

I live under the flight path of Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson. The base operates mainly A-10’s and C-130s, neither of which are particularly loud. But the AZ National guard flies F-16s out of TUS airport just across town, and they often visit the AFB as well.

I’ve gotten to the point where I can pick out the sounds of the individual engines on the C-130s (so I can differentiate them from other turboprops) or on a flight of F-16s; I was in colorado for the 4th of july, and there a flight from the Colorado national guard that overflew the city. I wasn’t even near the windows, and had no chance to see them, but I asked my friend, “did we just get overflown by a flight of 4 F-16s?” Spot on.


Makes sense. They did a show in Atlantic City on the 25th. (SCHEDULE)
They were probably enroute from their show in Westfield, MA the day before they flew over the OP’s location.

I’m looking forward to seeing them in Martinsburg, WV a week from Saturday.


I don’t doubt you squigish, I’m just not up to that speed yet I guess. Here at CHS, we have mostly C-17’s, but have various military transients come through so I get my practice at identifying by sound. About a week ago, we had some family over and a C-5 made an especially low pass over the house. One of them remarked that it sounded like a plane was about to crash, to which my girlfriend said without missing a beat “Oh, it’s just a C-5”. Now I know the C-5 is probably the easiest aircraft to identify by sound, but it was one of my proudest moments - I almost cried! :smiley:


Two years later, and the same thing happened. This time I did see them, and can almost guarantee they were the Thunderbirds. They flew over, in formation, probably about 4 or 5 times, probably about 15 minutes apart. My guess is they were going from the Atlantic City Air show, up to NY for Air Force week.