Chopper on Crown Mt...
 

Chopper on Crown Mtn?  

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Tippi
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December 2, 2009 1:38 pm  

Anybody know why this military chopper is flying over Crown Mtn now for over a hour?

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.


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Bombi
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December 2, 2009 1:44 pm  

On STX the DEA is doing it's marijuana eradication fly overs. They are supposed to be at least 600 feet above your property

optimist with low expectations on STX


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pamela
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December 2, 2009 1:46 pm  

Saw one on STT yesterday afternoon over Annas Retreat for the whole time I was in traffic. About 1/2 hour or so.

Pamela

Fair winds and following seas.
Pamela


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Tippi
(@Tippi)
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December 2, 2009 1:47 pm  

Bombi,

This guy is not 600 feet it's more like 300 feet. He's been hovering up and down the mountain since 9:30. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough otherwise I would have shown you his face.

Tippi

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.


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Bombi
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December 2, 2009 2:01 pm  

Sorry they are supposed to be 500 feet

http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/530/vermont_supreme_court_warrantless_aerial_search_bryant_marijuana

optimist with low expectations on STX


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Ronnie
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December 2, 2009 2:09 pm  

Probably looking for those NORML folks with their medicinal gardens.

RL8-)


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br1k
 br1k
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December 2, 2009 2:16 pm  

He was definitely above 500' when I saw him - my home as it 550' elevation above sea level, and he was higher (but only slightly, so I could look right into the cabin). Didn't get my camera in time, or else I'd have a photo of the instrument panel 🙂


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SkysTheLimit
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December 2, 2009 2:54 pm  

On STX they were hovering over Rust Op Twist for about an hour monday. They were way less than 500 ft.
Yesterday I saw them in Catherines Rest while doing a site survey. When I drove off I passed about 6 cop cars, 1 cop 4 wheeler, and 3 military HumVees. They must have found a crop.

Alan
St. Croix resident since 2000


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stiphy
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December 2, 2009 3:01 pm  

What a waste of our taxpayer dollars...ugh. Helicopters are pretty cool though 🙂

Sean


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Lizard
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December 2, 2009 5:43 pm  

If one lives and works in the usvi, their (the residents) tax dollars are not paying for it. I'm Glad the people of the big island and their tax dollars are helping us out!


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Trade
(@Trade)
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December 2, 2009 7:27 pm  

It was hovering around on the south side as well briefly.

~Trade~


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Marty on STT
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December 2, 2009 8:01 pm  

"Probably looking for those NORML folks with their medicinal gardens.

RLl"

Speaking for this NORML folk, since it hasn't been legalized, nor decriminalized, YET, I wouldn't be caught dead trying to grow it. Once it becomes legalized, maybe (actually, most likely, as I hope to be one to receive an ag permit)...but, not even decriminalization would sway me to try to grow any...I like my money and freedom too much! Haha! It is kind of funny, tho, as a friend called me yesterday to mention that he saw the chopper doing it's thing and if I had anything that I didn't want them to see, I should move it...I was, like, "Uhmm....you know that I won't go near it till it's legal, right?" And he said that he wasn't sure and just wanted to let me know...Haha! No, sorry, this white boy ain't going to jail for stupid stuff!! Haha!

~Marty 🙂
"We're all here...cuz we're not all there!"


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rks
 rks
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December 2, 2009 8:43 pm  

They flew over Country Day School at well below regulation altitude.

Does anyone have any solid information about this aircraft?


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East Ender
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December 2, 2009 8:50 pm  

I thought it was a National Guard helicopter. :S


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rotorhead
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December 2, 2009 9:05 pm  

You should not get the idea that these helicopters must remain above 500 feet AGL. There are no altitude restrictions for helicopters as long as the pilot is not endangering anyone on the ground. There is a 500 foot AGL restriction for fixed wing aircraft. Please check out the referenced court case below and see for yourself.

http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/06/03/052698P.pdf

Page 9-10 indicates that even going as low as 100 feet would have been permissible. You have no expectation of privacy from helicopter overflight as low as 100 feet.

Bombi's article was from a Vermont court. The Supreme Court has upheld many times that only the FAA has airspace jurisdiction over the US and its Territories, local law cannot supersede this.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun...
You know that only the good die young.
BJ


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dougtamjj
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December 2, 2009 9:59 pm  

(td)


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Ronnie
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December 2, 2009 10:25 pm  

And they are the law. The laws weren't written to restrict them from doing their work!

RL8-)


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Bombi
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December 2, 2009 10:50 pm  

The general rule of thumb is the helicopter should be at or above 300 ft. AGL (above ground) in order to allow for a safe auto-rotation landing should the engine fail. That height allows for enough reaction time and descent time to safely convert the energy of descent into the rotor system for creating ample lift just above the ground.

optimist with low expectations on STX


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pamela
(@pamela)
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December 2, 2009 11:15 pm  

Should that be "should the engine FAIL" - 😮 looks like fall to me and I sure as heck don't want to be under than no matter what the height!

Pamela

Fair winds and following seas.
Pamela


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cheryl96s
(@cheryl96s)
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December 2, 2009 11:22 pm  

I was told that it was DEA. They were hovering for quite awhile on the hills above town, and very low making several sweeps back and forth.

~Cheryl


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rotorhead
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December 2, 2009 11:59 pm  

The general rule of thumb is the helicopter should be at or above 300 ft. AGL (above ground) in order to allow for a safe auto-rotation landing should the engine fail. That height allows for enough reaction time and descent time to safely convert the energy of descent into the rotor system for creating ample lift just above the ground.

Actually the only place 300 feet is mentioned is if you are flying Part 135 for hire over a metropolitan area then 300 feet is the minimum altitude. Otherwise the minimum safe altitude is determined by the POH. The Pilots Operating Handbook for all helicopters includes a height/velocity diagram. Old time helicopter pilots call this the dead mans curve. This diagram determines the minimum safe altitude plotted against airspeed, this is the energy management diagram for the helicopter and is incorporated into the FARs. The safe altitude for an autorotation is determined from this diagram. The performance for this diagram is demonstrated by the manufacturer to the FAA as part of the type certification for the helicopter.

The picture at the top is a UH-72 Lakota. This is a twin-engined helicopter so the chances of an engine failure causing the helicopter to do a forced autorotation are minimal. In fact engine failures are rare in modern helicopters because of the maintainence requirements. Over two thirds of all helicopter accidents occur because the pilot runs into something on the ground (wires, towers, trees, etc). I know this because my insurance company makes me take the manufacturer's pilot safety course every few years.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun...
You know that only the good die young.
BJ


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Uttica
(@Uttica)
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December 3, 2009 12:54 am  

Everyone cries about HIDTA, ICE, CBP, TSA and the VIPD about not doing their jobs. Then when they are trying to be proactive...everyone cries about airspace.

Let them do their jobs. I am sure that they are professionals.


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rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
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December 3, 2009 2:47 am  

Just to make it clear, I didn't mean to say that Bombi's recommendation of 300 feet was wrong. 300-500 feet AGL is the recommended cruising altitude for cross country flying in a helicopter over land. I usually do my over water hops at 1000 feet AGL. This altitude gives you more time to react in case of an emergency so you can relax a little bit on a long flight. You can lock the collective and free up your left hand and you can let your feet rest on the floor instead of keeping them on the pedals. Over water the extra altitude gives you extra time to make your emergency radio calls and Squawk emergency on the transponder and arm the ELT.

But helicopters are made for ground observation missions. When I am doing a coastal MOM patrol for the Coast Guard I usually cruise at 300 feet but drop lower if we see anything questionable. It is routine to go below 300 feet in a helicopter. When you descend below 300 you go on alert. Left hand on the collective, right hand on the cyclic and both feet on the pedals. You are also always looking for an emergency LZ. They are very controllable even with a power failure and you can land one practically anywhere. If you do the autorotation correctly you are going less that 5 mph when you reach the ground, unlike an airplane which is doing at least 55 mph when it touches the ground. Larger airplanes are going much faster.

If you can't tell, I love flying helicopters. After 2500+ hours flying fixed wing I switched to helicopters and it renewed my love of flying. I now have 1500+ hours in helicopters and still love every minute. They are amazing machines. They are made to go "low and slow".

All that said, I believe that the marijuana eradication missions are a waste of time and money. They would be better off trying to eradicate tobacco. After all over 400,000 people a year die in this country because of tobacco and there has never been a single death attributed to marijuana.

But helicopters are amazing and the FAA regulations recognize the differences by having different rules for helicopters vs airplanes.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
They say there's a heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
the sinners are much more fun...
You know that only the good die young.
BJ


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rks
 rks
(@rks)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 396
December 3, 2009 11:14 am  

@rotorhead: Thanks for the clarification. I appreciate the unique abilities of helicopters. A quick-thinking helicopter crew saved my father's life. I do wish, however, that the local helicopter traffic would avoid flying directly over CDS which seems to be on a path between north and south shores. It's usually the USCG "dolphin" which rattles the windows. I've never seen you do it, however, so thx for that.

All that said, I believe that the marijuana eradication missions are a waste of time and money. They would be better off trying to eradicate tobacco. After all over 400,000 people a year die in this country because of tobacco and there has never been a single death attributed to marijuana.

Both would be fine with me.


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Bombi
(@Bombi)
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December 3, 2009 11:30 am  

Yes the DEA is doing their mis-directed job and whether it is effective or not is for another discussion. My issue with low flying helicopters has a history. I lived on the North Shore of Oahu and helicopter tours are common as is all the military helicopter activity.

A few pilots didn't respect peoples privacy and peoples right to quiet enjoyment of the beaches and the ocean. A group got together and fought to preserve their rights and had the suggested minimum altitude level changed to 1000 feet. It made a huge difference. People were no longer startled by the sudden appearance and noise of a helicopter.

I see and hear Roto fly by and he generally seems respectful and is very generous with his time and helicopter so no problem.

optimist with low expectations on STX


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