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Helicopter Hazard

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dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Twice this week while at the beach with my family a helicopter has violated FAR Regulation 91.119 (a) putting many people in danger. This is one of many times I have seen this occur on St. Croix but this was by far the most blatant dangerous behavior I have seen to date.

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Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2008 12:59 am
terry
(@terry)
Expert

What was he doing? I don't have the regs.:S

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Posted : June 11, 2008 1:01 am
KLJ555
(@KLJ555)
Advanced Member

I wonder if it is the same guy that buzzes Coakley Bay. He comes over the beach way to low, usually on the weekends. The other day, he was hovering maybe 5 feet over the top of the hill behind the Coakley condos (the land there was recently cleared and graded). It is quite noisy and for those of us with 911 PTSD, it's unsettling to have a helicopter/plane that close to the condo.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 1:52 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

is this the idiot in the green one?i've always hoped he'd smash into the rocks and die, just like the people on jet skis, they need to die as well

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Posted : June 11, 2008 1:53 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

I have the green helicopter. I have been flying it here on St Croix for 8 years. I do not violate the FARs. Helicopters are given much more latitude when it comes to the regulations regarding altitude than are airplanes because of their unique operating characteristics. See FAR 91.119(d). I am not sure which beach you were at or what you think that I was doing which violated 91.119(a).

Some people don't like the noise, others just don't like for me to fly when they are not. It's a lot like Jet Skis and Motorcycles some people like it and other people don't. I am just trying to enjoy my hobby. I also fly for the US Coast Guard and the VIPD.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 2:38 am
Ms Information
(@Ms_Information)
Advanced Member

There is a poster here using the name "Roterhead". Maybe he can comment and tell us about appropriate helicopter safety on St Croix.

Oh my gosh...I hope that he isn't the one in the green helicopter !!

Roterhead, tell us it isn't you.....:-(

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Posted : June 11, 2008 2:39 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Roto (d) only applies to (b) or (c) not (a).

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

Roto, I did not mention your name.

You know the rules. Post b, c and d. I have a sick kid right now and don't have time. Educate the message board. If you don't violate then you will have nothing to worry about.

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Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2008 2:54 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Sec. 91.119 - Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 3:06 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

When operating an aircraft for hire the following applies.

§ 135.203 VFR: Minimum altitudes.

Except when necessary for takeoff and landing, no person may operate under VFR—

(a) An airplane—

(1) During the day, below 500 feet above the surface or less than 500 feet horizontally from any obstacle; or

(2) At night, at an altitude less than 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 5 miles from the course intended to be flown or, in designated mountainous terrain, less than 2,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 5 miles from the course intended to be flown; or

(b) A helicopter over a congested area at an altitude less than 300 feet above the surface.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 3:11 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

Ok, sick child finally asleep for now.

"When operating for "HIRE" the following applies."

Sorry I just don't remember that under 135.203 VFR MINIMUM ALTITUDES. Maybe I am tired. Doesn't 135.203 have something to do with operating limitations and weather requirements

Do you have helicopter flotation devices? Just curious.

Again Roto, (John), I didn't mention you or a green helicopter. Jumped up to the plate awfully quick on that one didn't you?

Any other pilots out there? Just have to have the right amount of arrogance to be a good pilot. Too much is deadly.

Goodnight all.

Tam

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Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2008 3:59 am
aschultz
(@aschultz)
Advanced Member

My jaw hit the floor when roto said I have a green helicopter. This is funny, lets not kill anyone.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 4:54 am
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member

Hi Tam,

135.203 places additional minimum safe altitude restrictions on aircraft operating for hire. I fly under part 91, so 91.119 applies to me.

I do have flotation devices. My helicopter is a Robinson R-44 Clipper with factory installed floats.

I speak up when someone mentions helicopter on St Croix because as far as I know I am the only pilot flying a helicopter on St Croix except for occasional transients.

I'm sorry if you felt that I was being arrogant. I was only speaking up to find out if you were talking about me and to find out what you think that I was doing wrong. I'm always willing to learn, I never want anyone to get hurt as a result of my flying.

My posts often seem short but I am not trying to be curt. My computer is a tablet pc without a keyboard so it takes a long time to input text.

John

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Posted : June 11, 2008 4:59 am
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

John, again I did not implicate you or a green helicoper in any way. A certain amount of arrogance and extreme self confidence is necessary to be a pilot and also something I do not have to tell you as you are a pilot. Be safe.

Good night

Tam

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Topic starter Posted : June 11, 2008 5:44 am
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

roto if you're the guy in the green helicopter that buzzes the beach in cane bay i truly hope you do smash into rocks and die, and i could truly care less about the regulations about height and all that crap, you're an annoying nusiance and i'd like to see you and your copter dead, there is no reason to fly here

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Posted : June 11, 2008 6:22 am
SunshineCruzan
(@SunshineCruzan)
Advanced Member

GEEZ,
I don't know any of you well, but as I tell my 11 yr. old, "knock it off!"
roto, I've seen you too...know lots of people who get angry at you...I wave at you, AND the hurricane hunters, AND the seaplane flying into C'sted, AND kite-surfers. In other words, don't start yelling at me you all, OK? (trying to lighten up the mood here)
roto, I would still wave at you if you were to fly a bit farther away...(I'm saying I'm a wimpy non-committed view here). I just don't think wishing anyone smashing into rocks and dieing is necessary.
(now I'll stop being an annoying nuisance and shut up 😮 )

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Posted : June 11, 2008 9:04 am
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

roto if you're the guy in the green helicopter that buzzes the beach in cane bay i truly hope you do smash into rocks and die, and i could truly care less about the regulations about height and all that crap, you're an annoying nusiance and i'd like to see you and your copter dead, there is no reason to fly here

I believe this is the first time a poster here has wished someone dead ....in writing that is. 😛

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Posted : June 11, 2008 1:38 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

LOL........ sorry but it's been a problem for a few years up here in cane bay,you'll be sitting somewhere nice and quiet and then this thing comes roaring out of no where buzzing the beach, i think someone has a pic of the guy flying and drinking a beer at the same time.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 2:20 pm
jay
 jay
(@jay)
Advanced Member

Is it more difficult to fly while intoxicated than drive???

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Posted : June 11, 2008 3:44 pm
limetime2
(@limetime2)
Advanced Member

trw - that is false and you know it. First of all it is impossible to fly a helicopter holding anything else in your hand. It takes both hands and both feet working independently in order to fly. Secondly, if you knew the pilot at all you would know that he is a stickler for regulations and would never dream of flying within 12 hours of having had a drink, let alone while drinking.

As for roaring out of nowhere and buzzing the beach... yes, 3 or 4 times a week (or less) and typically in the afternoons between 2 and 5pm he makes a trip around the island counterclockwise, for a total time of about 1 hour. This means that he is usually within hearing range and then out again within about a minute. Unless he decides to say hello to the many people on the beach who like him and wave hello. So yes... sometimes its annoying to have your peace disrupted for a couple of minutes. But really, in the big scheme of things???

I don't appreciate people who decide to park their boat on the beach and blare their music full blast at me for hours on end while I'm trying to enjoy a day at the beach myself. I don't like having to listen to my neighbors weed wacker run for two or three hours on a quiet saturday while I'm trying to enjoy reading in the hammock... there are a lot of noisy things I don't like... but I don't wish people dead.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 4:21 pm
trw
 trw
(@trw)
Expert

hey like i said b4 sorry,low blood sugar makes me irrational and crabby, i still don't see the need on this island to have a helicopter flying around recreationally nor do i see the need for jet ski's, they are both hazards to the general public

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Posted : June 11, 2008 4:49 pm
Cory
 Cory
(@Cory)
Advanced Member

trw, this is one of many posts where you completely step over the line. Maybe you shouldnt read the forums when your blood sugar gets too low. Alot of your comments are not worth time time it spends to read them. Maybe you should keep some of your thoughts to yourself instead of spewing hateful garbage on a public forum.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 6:53 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Back to the original discussion. I too have been on Cane Bay Beach when this helicopter has flown by and yes, in my opinion, he flies to low and too close to the beach.

I'd like to see some common courtesy prevail, whether we're talking about a helicopter, a boat, a jet ski, or even loud music on the beach.

Climbing off my soapbox.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 7:34 pm
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

He takes some great pics.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 7:57 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

trw, fer chrissakes relax! You need a couple shots of mamawanna followed by about six bongloads of grass.

As for rotorhead and his helicopter, big deal. Yeah, sometimes he flies a little low, but if I had a $300,000 helicopter SO WOULD I. I don't know rotor personally, but I know some people who know him and from what I've heard he's a nice guy.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 8:03 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

A "nice guy "would not be such a rude PITA on a consistent basis as he has been.

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Posted : June 11, 2008 8:07 pm
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