WILLITS, 4/22/20 — Just a small brief about aircraft today. With the statewide shut-down, the lack of car crashes, and even a significant reduction in commercial air travel, the skies have been unusually quite fro the past few weeks. So this morning when several aircraft were heard above Willits, Brooktrails, north of Redwood Valley and Potter Valley it was somewhat startling to people.
Cal Fire has confirmed that they are conducting a training and are flying their helicopters and potentially fixed-winged craft (airplanes) over parts of the county.
This does not mean every copter in the air today is Cal Fire. If you see something else take a picture and comment here or on our Facebook page.
One additional note, the online aircraft tracker Flight Radar 24, often does an excellent job of showing where most aircraft are. An exception to this are REACH medical helicopters, which often do not appear to show up. On other thing that we’ve noticed anecdotally is that the coverage on that particular app, which relies on a specific kind of public transponder data, is not always reliable for low flying aircraft in certain remote areas, or even around Willits. This could be for lack of a receiver in the area such that the transponder signal is blocked by low hills. Whatever the reason, we do want to point out that these apps don’t always have the information about every aircraft.