(It's still happening. I heard it around 9pm June 30th up in Saanichton near the water and about 150 people in the Victoria area clicked through to the first or second article the next day.)
Are military jets louder than commercial jets? Yes. The Growler (EA-18G) like other fighter jets uses turbojet instead of turbofan engines. The latter are efficient and contain noise in a sheath of forced air but they add weight. The earliest commercial jets were once this loud but no longer. Whidbey Island residents are suing to get some sleep at night as the Navy practices touch and go landings. As one resident, Paula Spina, says it is "destroying our lives" and the accompanying story in The Whidbey Examiner explains that Navy planes are practising pretend carrier landings, especially at night.
How loud are jets? Depends where you measure from. This downloadable chart shows relative ranges (It's a comprehensive spread sheet of all flying machines and the tab called Military Aircraft Averages has the image.). This chart shows the sound envelope at takeoff is directional and varies from second to second. Every ten decibels is roughly a doubling of perceived volume at the ear.
|Relative sound volumes of flying machines|