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Local Law Enforcement Surveillance Plane Circling Overhead

A local law enforcement agency is regularly flying a white unmarked plane low over the Portland metro area, for hours at a time, just circling in repeated patterns. I have been witnessing this late at night and in the wee hours of the morning. It may be occurring during the day as well. It is time to put an end to this, for many reasons: our right to peace and quiet on summer evenings, nights, and early mornings; our right to privacy; our right to no warrantless searches; stopping wasteful city spending; and cutting air pollution and CO2 emissions.

If anybody has witnessed this too, your documentation and support in stopping this will be appreciated.
Last summer in the evenings I witnessed an unmarked white plane circling repeatedly overhead. This was late at night. I called and emailed the FAA about it, but got no response.

So on early Saturday morning, July 17, 2009, at approximately 1:45 am, I was sleeping on my back patio but repeatedly being woken by this same plane circling low overhead, going away and coming back in various patterns throughout the metro area, but mostly concentrated on inner Portland. So I got on the phone and called the FAA emergency number for the region, which happens to be in Seattle. The guy who answered the phone asked me to hold while he called the FAA in Portland. When he got back to me, he reported that the Port and FAA here were aware of this plane and that it was authorized to be circling low up there. When I asked who was flying the plane and why, he told me that he didn't know and that if I gave him my number, the Portland office would call me on Monday about it. I also sent an email to the Port of Portland's representative and aid for the Citizen Noise Advisory Committee, with requests that the message be forwarded to the citizen reps for Multnomah County and Portland. The plane did not finally land until after approximately 4:30 am.

On Tuesday, I was finally able to speak with people from the Port and the FAA about the problem. They said that it was a local law enforcement agency that was flying the plane, not a federal agency, and that they have been receiving numerous complaints about it, but that when they inquire with the agency about it, the agency either refuses to acknowledge or deny their responsibility, or they refuse explain what they are doing up there and why. So I requested from the FAA and the Port that, when they investigate on my behalf, they let me know again what response they get. If they get the same response as before, then I will go to whoever oversees whichever rogue agency it is and demand that they put an end to this bad behavior, stating in no uncertain terms that it is completely inappropriate, that no excuses for it will be accepted. This may be the Portland police commissioner (Dan Saltzmann), or the County, or the State level, or a cooperative action on the behalf of all three agencies. As I said, both the FAA people and the Port said that is not the Federal government who is doing this (i.e., not Homeland Security).

Are you witnessing this plane circling low overhead as well? Are you equally disturbed about it? If we can't get any action to stop it by directly contacting the agency or elected officials directly responsible, then what next steps should we take?

A bit more info 23.Jul.2009 09:02

One Witness

I forgot to add a couple other things:

Last night when I was writing this piece, the same plane was circling low over N/NE.

The Port of Portland and FAA said that they don't get flight path info on these trips. But the Port of Portland rep just called me this morning and said that he has been listening to the recording of the tower on the night of the incident that reported and was able to hear them speaking about the plane, and he said that he is going to do some more investigation on my behalf. He did say speculate that it could be in response to some of the shootings that occurred recently. I commented that this is a strange way to conduct law enforcement for such things, if that is true.

At any case, I hope to learn more and engage in discussion with the Citizen Noise Advisory Committee about this, as well as about the increasing number of small planes criss-crossing the sky over the inner city area, many going in very low for landings.

surveillance plane flying for hours in circles 18.Feb.2010 15:23

Neil Perry farwellp@yahoo.com

I, have just read an article about this very plane and I, too, want it stopped. It drones on for 3 hours at a time and, now, today, it has done it again from 12 to 3 pm. I don't feel like supporting this foolish expenditure or letting it contribute to the high emissions. The TRAM was the last straw for me as far as waste is concerned and it was unilaterally decided by the uppers in the city's admin. PEOPLE...... TAKE A STAND AGAINST THE CITY ON ITS PROFLIGATE WAYS, ESPECIALLY IN AN ECONOMICALLY HARD TIME. MORE WASTE MEANS HIGHER TAXES.

Re: Local Law Enforcement Surveillance Plane Circling Overhead 23.Apr.2010 18:31

Annoyed Resident

Friday, April 23rd, 2010. The white plane is circling over part of North Portland, north of Lombard and probably just east of Kenton Park. It's very annoying. This is the second time I've witnessed it. The first time was late at night. I called the Portland police thinking it was a drunk pilot to see whom I should contact. The dispatcher told me to hang on. She got back on the phone a few moments later to tell me it was police business but she couldn't say anymore, like it was a big secret. She said I could make a formal request to some city agency later to inquire what it was about but I just told her that I was trying to sleep and it was keeping me awake.

If losing peaceful enjoyment bec. of circling plane.... 01.Jul.2011 21:27


.... call or write Willamette Week (or other paper) about this flying object. I've done some reading on this and it appears to be an FBI surveillance plane looking for terrorist activity via cell phone or internet.... why they have to circle to accomplish this seems bogus. People, we are losing our freedom to the the George Orwellian nightmare that is slowly becoming a part of our lives. Roll over and die or TAKE A STAND AND MAKE A PUBLIC STATEMENT ABOUT IT.

Still circling... 11.Apr.2013 17:45

JeremyPDX jlsells@gmail.com

This white Cessna 182 is and has been circling my neighborhood for several years and it is super annoying. It is circling overhead as I type this! I am in the Montavilla/SE Portland area and I can see that it it making a clockwork pattern from I-205 in the west out to probably 162/182nd area at about the 1500-2000 foot level. Did anyone on here ever get a response from anybody about what this is all about? Did local law enforcement ever make a statement? I am so sick of this annoyance. Any tips on who to contact to express my frustration? I have a pilots license... maybe one of these times when its circling overhead, I'll fly up there and fly formation with it and see if I can figure out what they are doing...

Police Plane in tight loop over SE Pdx 23.May.2014 06:27

greg in SEPdx pdxdogsblog@gmail.com

I been calling about this guy(s) for years. This is the first time I've found, on the internet, that anyone else has noticed; great, we need to join forces!!

Awakened today at 4:30 AM on my day off (so much so sleeping in) by the MAN in the plane above. Tight circle over east side of Mt Tabor to NE neighborhood. Goes overhead about every 45 to 60 seconds; I am not kidding. Loud enough to where ear plugs and headphones don't help.

Here's what I do:
- Call the downtown PD precinct (503.823.0097) to see if any police action in the area that might warrant a police plane; 98% of the time it's no.
- Call and leave a complaint message at City of Portland Air Support Unit (503.823.4106). These are the guys who put the planes up there. They most likely won't call you back so give them an earful! Supposedly they changed their flight patterns to alleviate complaints, but it never seems to stick.

BTW: what they're doing up there is "training". That's right, just sitting up logging flight time in their log, at our expense, both in terms of $$$ and our right to enjoy peace and quiet at home!!

Other things you can do:
- Call Police Review Division and complain (503.823.0146). Here's the online link:  http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=26646
- Complain to the Mayor's office; city council members, etc.


Thanks for this site.

FBI aircraft 02.Aug.2014 09:58

David Elkins fomerly of Beaverton

Go to You Tube, videos by "Jack Sprack" FBI air craft N-6460T, N-6350T, Portland Police, N-739MR, N-2163J Ongoing litigation concerning surveillance by Portland Police and FBI during 2004-2008 US District Court Tampa,FOIA 8:12-cv-2009,FOIA US District Court, District of Columbia 1:14-cv-00476. Far to much to add attachments

Surveillance 02.Aug.2014 10:33

David Elikns

Portland Police air Support Unit Dan Slausen, Josh Goldshmidt aircraft N-739MR , N-2163J base at either Evergreen, Vancouver, or PDX international. They will also fly out of there county jurisdiction because nobody's watching them

FBI used to use Auroa field until FBI aircraft collided with a lamboginni, Marlo Triet v FBI, US District Court, Portland May 2007, (FBI lost, over $100,000 judgment against DOJ in this Federal Tort claim)
Jack Sprack videos-You Tube
My "You Tube Video's" you will see one of the FBI pilots taking it easy

The Oregon National Guard ferrying around two county sheriffs with camera's on their neck in a military Helo, (KIOWA)

Surveillance over Vancouver Blvd and Columbia blvd( confirmed by a FOIA request)

How to make a FOIA request: Look up FAA Renton Washington FOIA ATC Group. When asking for info, allways say "Records" the FAA does not create records but extracts them from the radar tape. Under title 5 USC sec 552, of the Freedom of Information ACT, I am requesting the following records: Sample- Around 12:00am over Sandy blvd and 71st st, at about 2,500ft to 4,000ft, a high wing aircraft was circling for about 1 hour. The requested records: The N-number of aircraft, The law enforcement agency operating this air craft (or tactical control), the radio telephony call sign of aircraft, inflight radio communications between PDX and aircraft, altitude, all records an ongoing investigation shared with the FAA, All non-privileged communications or agreements between FAA and law enforcement agency about this flight. Requestor is willing to pay $25.00 for search fee's

Police Plane Still Disturbing NE Neighborhoods 11.Apr.2015 10:03

Roseway Neighborhood

Portland Police have had an aviation unit since 1990. This aircraft has circled over our neighborhood for hours at a time on many occasions. I have complained to the Port of Portland about this, but the noise problem seems to be getting worse. Quiet surveillance it is not!

The most recent incident was two nights ago on Thursday April 10th. The police plane was circling overhead from shortly after 7PM to 9PM. The noise in our neighborhood was obnoxious. Even with windows closed it was incredibly loud.

The chief pilot from this unit will be at Citizen's Noise Advisory Committee at the Port on May 15th.

Example of the mysterious circling airplane... 25.Jul.2015 00:23

Frank K2NCC k2nccathoutlookdotcom

I noticed a circling plane tonight. Washington County Sheriff's Cessna. The address N575RW is registered to at least.

Attached screen snips is one of what I picked up directly, and one via a website, showing some history.
Google "ADS-B" for one of many ways to track planes.


Seems to circle other locations too. Still no clue why they do this\\\?

Don't know if this helps any. Good luck in the pursuit.


Stop the noise/lack of privacy 24.Sep.2015 23:34


I am not in Poetland I am in AZ. Everywhere I go I hear either a helicopter or a plane. Lately it's a shite plane (Cessna plane). I know this from Flightradar24.com. When I learned of this website I opened it and seen FBI Surveillance right where I am I even have a picture that says "FBI Surveillance". I am tired of the lack of privacy and the noise is horrible. I wish it would stop. Not to mention the tax payers money spent. I want my kids to have quietness.
This is what I saw on Wifi
This is what I saw on Wifi
This wasn't orange at all it's a selfie of person getting in my phone
This wasn't orange at all it's a selfie of person getting in my phone

at it again 09.Apr.2016 21:56

pdx dog pdxdogsblog@gmail.com

They're at it again.. flying over my neighborhood on the east side of Mt Tabor
disturbing the peace and preventing our right to enjoy our homes..

March 30, 2016: From about 3PM on.
March 31, 2016: From about 3PM on.
April 02, 2016: Flying higher and wider circles but was heard up till midnight.
April 04, 2016: Flying low and 2-3 cycle time circles to the NE and SE of Mt Tabor; from 7PM to about 9PM.
April 05, 2016: Flying low and 2-3 cycle time circles to the NE and SE of Mt Tabor; from 7PM to about 9PM.
April 09, 2106: at it again; started around 8PM; who's know how long it will last.



Call Sgt Josh Goldschmidit of Pdx Air Support Unit to complain; give him an earful. They'll try to say it's not them; don't fall for it.
Air Support Unit: 503.823.4106 or 503.451.0009

Complain to the Pdx Mayor, city council, etc.

Circling Plane in SE Portland 30.Aug.2018 21:50


I'm witnessing an nonoccurence of plane circling over head this evening in SE Portland. Very curious about the reason why?

Low flying Cesnas 09.Sep.2018 14:03


Yes, I've seen this plane circling my neighborhood in Lents for hours on end over the past few years now. Even seen one circling the Sandy River just over the treeline for a couple hours at a time.

It's both annoying and unsettling. I wish some organization would give us a proper explanation. PPD admits they have 2 Cesnas for assisting police in certain cases but that doesn't explain hours of circling and surveilling specific areas.