91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Salty, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Two questions on this topic.

    1. Is this action in compliance with 91.119?
    2. Do you personally think this action is safe and acceptable?

    Here are the facts:

    1. A helicopter is operating an Easter egg drop
    2. The drop zone, and landing area is less than 1 mile from a public uncontrolled runway.
    3. The airport is a residential airport community with houses lining the sides of the runway. The drop zone and landing area is just outside the residential/airport area.
    4. The flight path of the helicopter from takeoff to drop and landing occurs alternating between flying over the houses and into the downwind for the runway varying from 0 to 500 feet AGL
    5. More than a dozen drops occur over the course of 4 hours.
    6. The pilot occasionally, but does not always, announce he is "orbiting on the east side of the field"

    My main complaint is the constant flights at 300 feet above my house. I've lived here for years and this is the only aircraft that I've ever had fly over my house and he's doing it every 20 minutes.

    But, technically, he's mostly "taking off and landing". When he's directly over my house at 300 feet, it might be an altitude not allowing an emergency landing without "undue" hazard to persons or property on the surface in case of power failure, but that's largely a judgement call. Personally I think there is hazard to what he's doing, but maybe I'm just mostly annoyed by it.

    What says the collective?

    So far I've managed to keep myself from getting on the radio and chewing him out, but this is the second year he's done this.
     
  2. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Sounds like your user name is appropriate...
     
  3. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Have you ever had a helicopter circling 300 feet over your house for 4 hours? Much lower than a police or news chopper.

    Just curious. Maybe I am just being cranky. But, I love the sound of aircraft, I live on an airport, and this drives me nuts.
     
  4. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Line Up and Wait

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    I’d say it is one day a year, brew a pot of coffee, fill up a cup n go watch kiddos scramble to find eggs and enjoy the excitement it brings em.
     
  5. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Get off my lawn! ;)
     
  6. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    So no direct regulations are being violated and you want to shut down...or complain about and create problems for an annual event utilizing aviation because you are personally annoyed for a few hours once a year.

    Pretty damn selfish in my book especially coming from someone IN aviation. There are enough complainers out there, go participate and celebrate aeronautical activities.


    ...ands yes, I live in an area where my neighborhood is inundated with special events every other weekend. I am the one that thinks they are great, not the one complaining to the city.
     
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  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Perhaps airpark life is not for you.

    I've got blackhawks hovering over my property.
     
  8. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    1st, I'm not convinced it's not a violation of regs flying that low over the house. Maybe though.

    2nd, he could "orbit" the other direction and fly over cows instead of our houses, and be flying in the direction of the downwind to boot. It's not me being selfish in my eyes, it's him being inconsiderate.
     
  9. rocketflyer84

    rocketflyer84 Line Up and Wait

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    If it’s one day a year and it really bothers you maybe just take a nice day trip somewhere for the day?
     
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  10. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Literally directly over your house at 300 feet? I think not. Blackhawks land here at least once a week also, and it doesn't bother me a whit. But they don't circle directly over my house, for hours, low enough I could almost hit them with a rock. He's probably lower than 300 feet, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    There's just no good reason for him not to orbit the other way "with" the pattern and not over the houses at low altitude.
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Low enough that the downwash blew over all Margy's sunflowers. So why don't you discuss it with the event organizers rather than venting at us?
     
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  12. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Because venting at you is less "pretty damn selfish" than discussing it with the event organizers.
     
  13. Bell206

    Bell206 Cleared for Takeoff

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    For a helicopter, yes. I think one of the 91.119 sub-parts addresses this and they can operate below the stated minimums.
    Safe? Sure. Acceptable? He not not flying very neighborly which has been an on going issue for years with helicopters and there are a few references about this out there. After today talk go to him. He may not know he's being a nuisance to you.
     
  14. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Can’t form an opinion based on the info given. Have no idea if there are safe landing areas to eliminate the “undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.”

    91.119 (a) is so ridiculously subjective anyway. Over cities or residential areas, there’s no way to insure that you won’t harm people or property during an auto.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  15. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Like you said it's very subjective. I don't think I could convince any authority it was a violation unless they were predisposed to doing it for some other reason. This is not a dense neighborhood. Odds are high he could auto to a clearing large enough. But there are definitely points in his flight path where he would not be able to. He's going over my 2 story house with large oaks surrounding it. If he lost the engine at the beginning of my property, he'd be hitting a tree or my house for certain. If he lost it directly over my house, he'd likely be fine.

    PS> I never even considered contacting an authority about this, just trying to add perspective by making the above statement. The urge to get on the radio and tell him to knock it off was very high, but for the second year, I managed to suppress it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  16. rtk11

    rtk11 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I’d have to agree with the others to just put up with it a day out of the year. Or get involved in the planning so you can redirect traffic that is more amenable for you and the rest of the HOA. Or best yet... get an endorsement to fly the helicopter and you can buzz your neighbors next year! :p
     
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  17. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I thought about doing that last year, but it would be a pain in the butt. It's a cow farm next door that I don't know how to contact the owner; They aren't putting on the event, so they'd have to forward me to someone else, who probably has no idea how the "helicopter thing" works....
     
  18. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is simple - It is legal. Been there done that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  19. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Beer, lots of it. It’s 1700 somewhere
     
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  20. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Was that a one time thing? The reason I ask is that the amount of times that I've flown in and out of 14A and flown by Long Island, I have never seen any of them around there.
     
  21. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    That sounds pretty cool!!:heli:
     
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  22. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    @Salty
    It could possibly be a violation of 91.119(a) unless he could safely make the runway or other open area if his engine quits. One would need to know the performance numbers of the helicopter, his actual height above the houses and the distance to the runway or other open area to make a determination.

    On the other hand, he may intentionally be operating in a manner such that he is in compliance with 91.126(b)(2) avoiding the flow of fixed wing traffic at the airport. Flying low would accomplish that but he would still need to be in compliance with 91.119.

    He might also be choosing to operate over the airpark homes in hope that its residents will be less likely to be annoyed by his presence than would other homeowners in other nearby neighborhoods and I believe that would be a safe assumption on his part. So as long as he is operating at an altitude to be in compliance with the regs then I’d cut him a break especially if it is a rare event. However, if you truly believe he is too low to safely land if he loses power then I’d push it.
     
  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If it’s a private air park, they shouldn’t even be there unless they have permission from “appropriate authorities.” Even then, to use a private strip for missions and blowing over flowers, ain’t exactly flying neighborly.

    But, if the residents don’t mind hearing “the sound of freedom,” that’s all that really matters.
     
  24. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's definitely a private airpark and I really doubt if the HOA would give permission for them to fly in and out of there though anything is possible. I know I'd be against it if I lived there.
     
  25. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    As long as he was dropping me some large bags of Reese's peanutbutter eggs I'd be fine with it. But they'd have to be very large bags, and several of them. Otherwise, helos are ugly and weird and the drivers sit on the wrong side. They do have high wings, though, so they get one point back.
     
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    All depends if they’re using the strip for landing and taking off. You can hover by private property and be legal without having any permission. The problem is, they supposed to comply with any noise abatement procedures and also “fly neighborly.” No way in the world would I consider flying a Black Hawk near someone’s house on a private strip so low as to blow their flowers around. That’s just a noise complaint and PC (PIC) orders suspension waiting to happen.

    If military helo operations occurred there in a regular basis, the residents should at least charge the govt to lease it to them. If my sleep is being compromised, might as well get some $$$ out it!
     
  27. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The other side of his drop zone / landing area is nothing but cows for miles. The side he’s orbiting in is a row of houses. That’s my beef.
     
  28. ZeroPapaGolf

    ZeroPapaGolf Line Up and Wait

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    If there was a helicopter flying over my house all day at 300’ I know what I’d have. A neck ache from watching him all day like a giddy kid.
     
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  29. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Then he is exercising poor judgment albeit not the kind that the FAA would necessarily take action on. I do however feel that you have a right to bitch about it and even seek some sort of remedies. I wonder if he has an issue with the airpark or one of its residents. That could be an explanation for his behavior. Otherwise, I see no need for him to be operating over you when he has pasture land that is available as well. At minimum, I'd have a talk with him if I were you.
     
  30. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Wouldn't have the neck ache if he orbited the other way. :p
     
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  31. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    You bring up an interesting situation, but chewing him out on the radio is not the thing to do. Also keep in mind when you are executing an instrument approach you too can be flying 300 ft above someone’s house.
     
  32. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Even flying repeated missed approaches you aren't going to be circling literally above my house for 4 hours.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  33. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s how FSDO will handle it. They will ask which rule do you believe he’s violating and how or why. And your ideas of what should be or what ought to be won’t enter into it. Is he high enough to not cause a hazard in the event of a power failure? State your proof or take pictures to make your case.

    But I promise you all of your neighbors will soon know you put an end to it as son as the helicopter pilot tells them next year he can’t oblige them because you threw water on the fun.

    Oh the gnashing of parental teeth that will ensue! You’ll be lucky if anyone ever waves to you again.

    tex
     
  34. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The event is not related to my neighborhood in any way. I’m not the only one that isn’t thrilled with it.

    But I guess you didn’t bother reading this either
     
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Uh. Lets focus on #1. "Easter egg DROP"??????

    What says the 'collective'???? nice touch
     
  36. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The collective says 1) full down, 2) throttle off, 3) cushion for landing.;)
     
  37. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    But venting at us will have zero effect on your problem unless someone here is one of the event organizers.
     
  38. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    I'm just making sure I've got this right...

    This happens ONE time per year?

    I live in Southern California. Try having a police helicopter orbiting overhead for two hours every other night. Rest assured, they are no higher than your neighbor.
     
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  39. compute42

    compute42 Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah um ONE day a year? For the kids? And you live on an air-park?!
    Yeah LAPD Aerostars circle about 200’ Yeah I get could be annoying but really I’d just suck it up.
     
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  40. IK04

    IK04 Line Up and Wait

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    Helicopter sound= the sound of freedom!
     
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