Quite often I hear a kind of "howling" sound coming from airliners when I'm at a general aviation airport, which is located at 13nm from an international airport. Normally these airliners overfly the general aviation VOR at around 10.000ft and then keep descending while flying towards the international airport. Does anyone have any ideas about what could be the cause of such a weird noise? Could it be associated with any aerodynamic effect?

  • $\begingroup$ It is probably low speed engine noise. If you are 13nm from the airport, the aircraft are probably quite a bit lower than 10,000 feet. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Oct 11 '16 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ I live in the glidepath of DIA's southern approach and I think we're hearing the same thing. It sounds like the pitch of the engine changes, like how the sound changes as you blow over a straw that is dripping water. I don't know how else to describe it, and I've thought about sitting outside with my phone recording in hopes of catching it. $\endgroup$ – Garrison Neely Oct 11 '16 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ If the airplanes in question are BA-406s then it could be flap deployment, they make a weird noise when they are extended. $\endgroup$ – GdD Oct 11 '16 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ I've just been told that spoilers could be the cause of the noise, as they are deployed they destroy the boundary layer, making the howling sound. Could that theory be the correct one? $\endgroup$ – ECJCZ Oct 11 '16 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ I thought the howling noise was passengers looking for their luggage in Denver ... :-) $\endgroup$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 11 '16 at 17:55

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