An Empty Sky
Flying|August 2020
The silence is sobering.
DICK KARL

For 20 years, airplanes—big ones— have set a daily cadence. Early departures roar overhead crowing the daybreak as reliably as a rooster. The departure procedure from one runway involves a heading change to avoid flying low over homes, but some airplanes are moving so fast that they thunder over my sleeping neighbors before heading over the water.

The real estate agent who represented our house when we bought it said, “You should know that there is some airplane noise due to proximity to the airport.”

I thought to myself, “Good.” I like airplane noise. Aloud I said, “Oh, I’m sure this defect has been incorporated into the asking price.”

“Of course,” said the realtor. And so, for the past 20 years, I’ve enjoyed living just about a mile and a half south of Tampa International Airport (KTPA) in Florida.

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