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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
UPDATE June 25: Military planes in Roanoke-area skies break Air Force record
No, Southwest Virginia, you didn't imagine those lights in the night sky.
The lights and loud noises noticed by many people above parts of the region Monday evening were from 19 military C-130 airplanes performing training exercises in formation, according to Roanoke Regional Airport spokeswoman Sherry Wallace.
Social media websites including Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with reports of the planes' pulsating strobe lights and their engines' loud whirs. Some posters said the behemoths were spotted as far south as Henry County.
Wallace said she wasn't sure which branch the aircraft were from. Military pilots often use the mountains of Southwest Virginia for low-altitude and nighttime training because it resembles the terrain found in regions where the United States has missions abroad.
Particularly notable among the branches who train in the area are members of the U.S. Air Force's 89th Airlift Wing. The group maintains the presidential aircraft (known as Air Force One when the president is aboard) and can often be seen performing touch-and-go landings and takeoffs at the Roanoke airport.
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM