Fighter jets startle Honolulu with 1 a.m. wake-up call - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Fighter jets startle Honolulu with 1 a.m. wake-up call

Image Source: 138th Fighter Wing Facebook Page Image Source: 138th Fighter Wing Facebook Page
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

If you live in Honolulu or Waikiki, you probably heard them: Fighter jets roaring through the sky early Tuesday, jarring residents out of bed.

"It was so loud for so long. It kind of felt like there was a war happening," said Rachel Baker, of Waikiki.

The fighter jets belonged to an Air National Guard crew, part of the 138th Fighter Wing out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. They were flying four F-16 Fighting Falcons and a KC-135 Stratotanker.

The crew is deploying across the Pacific and had to stop at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam to refuel.

So why the early-morning rumble?

Officials said the planes took off about 1 a.m. with additional fuel tanks, which make the planes very heavy.

And because of the extra weight -- thousands of pounds -- the pilots had to use after burners to take off. That's what caused the deep, resonating rumble through Honolulu. It lasted about 15 minutes.

"It happens quite frequently," said Kamakana Kaimuloa, of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii-Military Affairs. "We're in the middle of the Pacific. If they're doing ... exercises that may be not in the general area of Hawaii, they need to refuel."

Kaimuloa says the military usually warns the public about upcoming exercises that may disturb residents.

But because this was a crew from Oklahoma, local officials might not have gotten advanced warning.

"It probably would have been respectful for them to let us know it was going to happen ahead of time," said Baker. She also wondered why the crew couldn't wait until after sunset to take off.

But, she added, "I fully back the military... they got to do what they got to do."

Hawaii News Now reached out to the 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa, but because of the time difference did not immediately get a response.

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