By Ben Blackledge

ABINGDON residents were left with headaches this week after Royal Air Force transport aircraft conducted ‘tactical’ training as late as 10pm.

Residents spotted C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemasters, two of the R.A.F.’s largest aircraft types, making low approaches over Wootton village in preparation for landing at Abingdon Airfield..

Pilots reportedly flew tight patterns around the airfield before landing on the pitch-black runway using only night-vision goggles to guide them.

The exercises, which were conducted between 5pm - 10pm and will continue into Wednesday evening, were aimed at helping pilots hone their night flying skills.

See the video above to get an idea of the noise from these aircraft 

Some residents took to social media to complain, whilst others enjoyed the spectacle. Rosie Jane Gama said: “It’s very loud, we’re hearing every little bit. I’m hoping they stop soon.”

John Crocker reported hearing the aircraft as far away as Berinsfield at 8pm, Tuesday evening, whilst others in Wootton joked that the aircraft were flying ‘about 20ft’ over their heads.

Residents claim activity at the airfield has been on the increase since November when C-130 aircraft began carrying out regular flying training from Abingdon including night flying and parachute dropping of equipment. Military helicopters from R.A.F. Benson also use the airfield.

Resident Jessica Ebberson said: “We really like them using the airfield because it prevents them putting houses on it. We moved to the countryside to be in the countryside.”

She said some neighbours were less happy about the extra noise and complained that the extra noise kept their children awake.

She added: “But really, if you’re sat with the television on, you don’t even hear a rumble.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “The Civil Aviation Authority outlines that a continuous noise level in excess of 57 decibels, similar to that of normal conversation, would be ‘significantly annoying’ to the local community.

Concerned residents can contact RAF Brize Norton on 01993 896500.