Since residents have started a petition, that may be all you need to know. Whoever is head of the petition drive will gladly tell you all about it--you might have trouble get away once they get started!
Another thing to look at is comparative house prices. Houses with the most noise are more likely to look like bargains. People who live near airports pay less for their house than those in quieter areas, then once they move in, they may decide to complain about the noise.
Also--it's not afternoon noise that may be the biggest problem. Watch for early morning noise that can awaken you, and seasonal variation in noise patterns. Weather will affect how planes land on any given day.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
New York NY
212 688 1000 x146