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"Mysterious" loud noise traced to AAR engine test

Liz Burleson / Red Dirt Report
AAR has facilities at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – If you live on Oklahoma City’s southwest side, adjacent to Will Rogers World Airport, and you heard a window-rattling noise sounding like a jet engine, you are not alone.

As News 9 reported this morning, people were startled by this roaring sound for approximately two hours, beginning after midnight Friday. A neighbor interviewed by News 9 even recorded the loud, roaring engine sound on her smartphone.

Red Dirt Report decided to investigate further and went down to Will Rogers World Airport looking for answers.

But not before we made a few calls first.

Lynn Lunsford, at the Federal Aviation Administration, told Red Dirt Report in an email that a McDonnell-Douglas MD-80 was “dong an engine run-up during that time period in a designated area for such activity, consistent with the airport’s policies.”

Karen Carney, the media contact at Will Rogers World Airport confirmed the FAA information and said a client on the airport property, AAR, is a 24/7 operation and they were running the engine of the MD-80, which is a “family of twin-engine, short-to-medium-range, single-aisle commercial jet airliners.”

The testing was being done on the far, southern end of the airport where this sort of testing is normally conducted. Carney added that when this policy, allowing this type of testing to be done, was written, that land was fairly undeveloped, with few homes in the area. However, more housing developments have been built in recent years.

Asked if it is policy to allow such deafening engine testing at night, when many people are asleep, Carney said that, again, it has always been allowed but that with increased complaints, the airport may have to reevaluate the rules.

“It sounds like the policy may have to be rewritten,” Carney said.

An aircraft of that description could be seen in a hangar near the main office of AAR when Red Dirt Report went to the airport to investigate further.

After searching for someone at AAR to give this reporter an official statement, we talked with someone in human resources who informed us that someone could be contacted after lunch.

According to their corporate website, AAR is a leading provider of diverse products and services to the worldwide commercial aviation and government/defense industries. Learn more at

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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