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August 6th, 2014 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Who pilots those small planes that buzz Northeast Portland at dawn?

drknow-allisonkerekILLUSTRATION: Allison Kerek

Am I correct in assuming that the small planes that buzz Northeast Portland at dawn are piloted by bourgeois joy riders and not heroes on humanitarian missions?

—Sleepless in NE

I can tell by your dyspeptic mien, Sleepless, that, like me, you grew up in that long-ago age when shit just happened. In our day, figuring out who was buzzing you in a Cessna was about as likely as figuring out how to sue God for striking you with lightning.

But this is the 21st century—an era that future historians will recall as the Golden Age of Entitled Self-Pity. These days, the ability to assign blame for trivial annoyances is one of our highest technological priorities.

Don’t tell Al-Qaeda, but you can find almost every plane befouling Rose City skies using the WebTrak tool at the Port of Portland’s website (webtrak.bksv.com/pdx).

This map of greater Portland shows you every plane in the air—it’s like air-traffic control for unemployed stoners. Police and military planes don’t show up, but bourgeois joy riders do.

You can click on each plane to find its ID number and calculate its time of closest approach to your house. That’s not all: You can also cycle back through time itself to see what planes were overhead at, say, 6 am last Saturday morning. (Suck it, NSA.)

Best of all, there’s a button on each plane’s pop-up menu to log a complaint about that aircraft. Your report will be whisked to the Port at literally the speed of light, where it will be printed out on a state-of-the-art printer.

Unfortunately, it will then be carried approximately 8 feet across the room and placed in a state-of-the-art paper shredder.

On the plus side, though, I heard the guy who walks it over makes, like, $120,000 a year. (OK, maybe not.)


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