CALEDONIA COUNTY — A twin-propeller aircraft resembling a helicopter flew overhead in the area Sunday night rattling homes near the Caledonia County Airport in Lyndonville.
Exactly what it was and where it came from is currently a mystery, but someone who has lived near the airport for over 40 years knows it was an unusual experience.
Kathy Pearl, a resident on Lussier Lane, has lived there for 42 years, and she said what she heard about 11 p.m. Sunday was no ordinary helicopter.
“We’ve heard many helicopters,” she said. “They sound totally different than what this one sounded like.”
Pearl was in bed but not yet asleep when she felt the aircraft approaching. It rattled her bed and items on the dresser.
She got up to take a look and saw the aircraft. She could see two propellers illuminated by green fluorescent lights. She couldn’t guess how low to the ground the craft was flying. “It was low enough that it was disturbing to me,” she said.
Pearl estimated the time the aircraft was in the area to be at least 30 minutes.
Many people heard and felt the aircraft. Some saw it. Local resident Ashley Van Zandt shared a video of it on the Burke Area Community Forum social media space. She also included her supposition that the aircraft in question was a V-22 Osprey, which is described online as a military aircraft that “is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.”
Charlie Delany also supported the idea that the aircraft was an Osprey. He wrote on social media, “I watched it from my house on Bean Pond, it was a V-22 Osprey, likely the guard doing some touch and goes. It was pretty cool when it flew over, but I’d be pretty annoyed if I lived any closer to the airport!”
Typical helicopter traffic in the area is for medical transports, mostly to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Local emergency dispatch confirmed that there were no medical flights in the area at that time Sunday night.
It was reported that Vermont State Police were in the area, but they have no helicopters and when a search chopper is needed they seek assistance from Border Patrol. That didn’t happen Sunday night.
A public affairs spokesman for the Vermont National Guard said there were no Vermont Guard aircraft in the area. He did say that the description may match an Osprey and said a Marine base in North Carolina does operate the Osprey.
A call was made to Marine Corps Air Station New River in Jacksonville, N.C. Lt. Gaby Mogollan, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, said she tried to determine if the aircraft was from the base, but was unsuccessful.
“I’ve asked around about your request regarding the said Osprey that was in the local area yesterday,” she said in an email. “Unfortunately, there’s no way I can confirm the flight path or find out if that aircraft belongs to us.”
Several people commented on the experience of the aircraft in the social media space.
Local resident, Tim Kirchoff wrote, “Keeps flying in and out of the airport. Running with only greenish bottom light. Flying significantly harder than the guard typically does when they go in and out. Shaking the windows in the house.”
Wrote Dayna Schartner, “It has past above our house now 9 times….it’s loud too.”
Nathan Davis commented on seeing at the airport. “That thing was awesome I watched it take off from the airstrip,” he stated.
Cathy Boykin, who lives on Diamond Hill Road, said she could feel the aircraft near her home. She said while it was annoying to have the flight buzzing around at a time she was trying to fall asleep, it’s also annoying not knowing exactly what it was and what it was doing.