Trip along East coast US - Suggestions to land with chopper

Discussion in 'Cool Places to Fly' started by Lownslow79, Aug 25, 2021.

  1. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Hi all,
    In a few weeks a friend and myself will be flying a Bell 505 from tip of Florida to East coast Canada.
    Strictly VFR, so intend to fly below or outside the TMA's most of the time.
    Planning to spend approx 2 weeks on this part of the trip, where we plan to remain coastwise until past NYC.

    The only real cool thing on our list so far is the Manhattan VFR route (found the sectional for this in Foreflight), but it would be great to find spots where we can land and get good food and lodging along the way. We would like to avoid as many "big" airports as possible so that we can avoid wasting time in the mornings on taxis, security hassle, follow me cars, fences and all of that. I'm just thinking that there must be hotels that have a helipad area along our route?

    We have ferry tanks so we can fill approx a total of 150+ gallons to give us 6 hours endurance, so fuel at overnight stops is not strictly necessary if we plan ahead a bit.

    Thanks a lot, tickets are booked and we are starting to realize what an epic adventure this will be, but we are planning like hell just now.

    PS: We both live in Norway, but we are able to enter the US despite the current strict immigration policy (fully vaccinated, tested - I'm a US citizen and my pal has a proper visa).
     
    Randomskylane likes this.
  2. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,553
    Location:
    KRDU

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    Through GA and NC, these are my recommendations.

    KCRE - North Myrtle Beach, SC. It’s a class-D so requirements are few, but close to great restaurants and hotels.

    KILM - Wilmington NC has some nice hotels and is quiet. Of the 2, I pick CRE

    For food only, KSSI, St Simons Ga. 10 minute walk away is one of the best southern bbq joints around, Southern Soul.

    Also food, some hotels, Ocracoke Island, W95. There’s no 5 star anything here but the food is authentic NC coastal.

    no lodging or food, but I hope you’re planning on stopping at FFA First Flight in Kitty Hawk.
     
  3. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Thanks a lot Brian, this is exactly the kind of advice I was hoping for!
    Reg. the 5-star stuff - despite the pricey chopper, my friend and I try to stay away from "fancy" places in life - we hope to sleep in hammocks in the wilderness at least a few nights on our trip.
    Authentic, family restaurant places are absolutely more our style. Saying that, we would stay in a luxury hotel if it makes a leg of our trip a lot easier.

    One a sidenote: Are there generally any rules in the US for landing in remote spots in the wild (state forests/parks) and spending the night there? In Norway it is fairly restrictive, no heliskiing and such permitted.
    We wouldn't land on obvious private land or in a clearly marked bird preservation marsh area or something, but we're thinking perhaps some barren knoll in the Appalachians (if weather along the coast is rubbish and we decide to go further inland) or perhaps along some endless beach up the coast?
    It's an adventure for us, so we're hoping to make the very most out of it and avoid it becoming efficient "routine legs". Camping gear is part of the plan, along with bear spray.
    Again, many thanks!
     
  4. Pugs

    Pugs Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2018
    Messages:
    913
    Location:
    Maryland

    Display name:
    Pugs
    William Pete Hodges likes this.
  5. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Thanks Pugs! - Wasn't quite sure about the stretch before NYC, so that is a great tip!
    Haha, misunderstood what you meant by "dry" - Lunch stop it is, save the beer for the evening!:)
     
  6. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    4,652

    Display name:
    Bell206
    While there are no FARs that prevent landings off-airport there are a number of other federal, state, and local rules/laws that regulate off-airport helicopter landings especially when it comes to dedicated wilderness areas, forests, parks, and reserves. Some of these areas also have minimum altitude requirements specifically for helicopters. If you plan to land anywhere off airport, wilderness or not and especially in the New England area, you may want to check with the local authorities for availability and if permission is required for each spot.

    Surprised you could find a ferry pilot to make the Yucatan – Florida hop this time of year. Is the aircraft “N” registered?
     
  7. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    14,285

    Display name:
    eman1200
    I hear there's cold beer in eman's hangar fridge which is an indiscernible detour from the coast. I'd gladly share some if you'd be willing to share a quick local scenic flight of Charlotte in the 505. :heli::happydance:
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  8. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,500
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    I’ll would be there with cigars and whiskey but I’m busy that day. Or not…
     
  9. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Thanks for that feedback, we'll need to check this out closer and look into specific areas.
    If we are flying along the coast and were to see for instance a suitable piece of grass/gravel in the middle of nowhere, would it be considered acceptable to land in your opinion or do you think every touchdown should be cleared in advance?

    The ferry pilot didn't seem to have any objections, so hopefully it all works out. It's now on a Norwegian reg (LN) and it's cleared for ferrying irt FAA / EASA.

    Note that I'm just a passenger here, I fly Cessna's. But I'm kind of responsible for the detailed route planning and comms. My friend who bought the chopper is the one who's piloting and dealing with all the paperwork before and underway.
     
  10. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    14,698

    Display name:
    weilke
    That sounds like an epic adventure.

    I'll second the recommendation for Ocracoke, NC (W95). The airport is a bit out from town, but there are ways to get transportation either from the closest bar/seafood-joint or a local informal cabbie.

    If you go futher up the coast and cut across the Chesapeake bay, Cambrige, MD (KCGE) has a good restaurant right on the field. Dont mind the restricted area, that's higher than what you have to worry about.

    Ocean City, NJ (26N) is a nice little beach town.

    Going up the coast looks like a jumble of restricted areas. Its not as complicated as it seems, often the areas are 'cold' and you can get permission to cross. Look on the margin of the chart and find the respective controlling agency. ATC will hand you off to the military controller (who may have a reassuring station callsign like 'giant killer') who can clear you through.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  11. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,240
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    In the US, every state is different in where you're allowed to land off airport. In New Jersey, it's flat out prohibited, or at least it used to be. Other states, on private property it's trespassing if you don't have landowner permission (sadly, no "right to roam" here), though once you get far enough from populated areas people are less likely to care.

    Landing in state parks is generally prohibited in the eastern states. Out west it's a lot looser.

    You might contact the Recreational Aviation Foundation (https://theraf.org/) for suggestions.

    Kobelt Airport (N45), about 50 miles north of New York City, is a nice little field with a good restaurant. To the east, Goodspeed Airport (42B) is right on the Connecticut River, has restaurants (and a musical theater!) a short walk away, and camping is allowed on the field. They also have loaner bicycles.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  12. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    We really appreciate this, thank you all! Will contact the recreational aviation foundation regarding landing "in the wild" possibilities, if any.

    Also appreciate the tips you provided for stops north of Chesapeake, looks like we're covered all the way up to NYC now.

    I just realized one hour ago that my US Passport expired last year, so that's the next hurdle:(. Always something..
     
  13. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    2,057

    Display name:
    3G
    Good luck with that, seriously. I’ve had to use the expedited US consular renewal process in embassies before and it can be turned quickly (like overnight) if you have enough horsepower.

    Follow the instructions for emergency appointment here: https://no.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/passport-services/
     
  14. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Once the kids are in bed here I'll be right on it thanks a lot. Think there might be a lucky break due to COVID as well that allows travel on a recently expired passport, but will need to talk to embassy tomorrow
     
    TCABM likes this.
  15. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    4,652

    Display name:
    Bell206
    No such thing as “middle of nowhere” when landing a helicopter. Seems no matter where you’re at someone will pop out of nowhere and complain about a helicopter landing. Your call but I would make sure you can legally land there especially with a foreign registered aircraft.
    Don’t quite follow what you mean by “cleared for ferrying” but make sure the Norwegian Airworthiness and Registration Certificates or their equivalents are onboard and current. Otherwise you may need a Special Flight Authorization for your trip through the US. And while I don’t know about LN reg aircraft there are some foreign registered aircraft that require additional Customs documentation to operate in the US. Given you mentioned the initial flight is a “ferry” flight be sure to verify the permission to operate in the US does not end with the ferry flight in Key West.

    And as an FYI, unless your buddy is also a mechanic if you were to need any maintenance support be sure to stop at the largest airport possible as you'll will more than likely have to fly someone in given it is a 505 AND LN reg.
     
  16. Arnold

    Arnold Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Messages:
    1,388
    Location:
    Philadelphia Area

    Display name:
    Arnold
  17. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,553
    Location:
    KRDU

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    Just occurred to me - if your timing is lucky, you might get to see a space launch from Wallops Island. It's on the Maryland Eastern Shore, east of Tangier Island (which is slowly sinking into the bay)
     
  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    27,581
    Location:
    Michigan

    Display name:
    Ed Frederick
    1600 PA Ave. You'll be a Legend.
     
  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    13,125

    Display name:
    Velocity173
  20. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    7,553
    Location:
    KRDU

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    A “landing in parks” question I’ll call out. Landing in a national wildlife area is restricted by federal law. The covers a great deal of the NC coast. You can fly over it at 2000’ or above, but landing is a no-no
     
  21. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,240
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    Another one I was just reminded of is Basin Harbor (B06) in Vermont, right on Lake Champlain. There's a fancy resort there (https://www.basinharbor.com/) and I think there's also a campground nearby. I've never been there but friends have.
     
  22. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    578

    Display name:
    Albany Tom
    I don't know of a spot in this area where you can land a helicopter and walk to much of anything, except food. Albany (ALB) may not be a bad spot. Yeah, it's a class C, and has landing fees, but the FBO is friendly, and the airport is close to the Central Ave strip, with plenty of hotels and places to eat. I don't know where they park helicopters, but the fixed wing transient parking is just outside the door of the FBO, and have never had any issues with security there. I'd check with FBO on use of uber/lift...used to be some sort of spat between the airport and those services, not sure if it's still true. Schenectady, South Albany, Columbia County are kind of in the middle of nowhere in terms of lodging, from my memory.
     
  23. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    KBIS

    Display name:
    KaiGywer
    I just want to know how many times you'll be asked to repeat your tail number when talking to ATC. Lima November versus simply November :D

    God tur!
     
  24. wrbix

    wrbix Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2013
    Messages:
    2,306

    Display name:
    Pilot Lite
    KCDK on the Gulf Coast of FL has plenty of eating and lodging possibilities………but PLEASE keep your distance from the airplane tie downs, I’m tired of getting my plane sandblasted by thoughtless roto pilots.
    (and yes this IS directed at other roto pilots inbound to Cedar Key).
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  25. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Hi, based on yours and other comments after you, it seems like we shouldn't get our hopes up for "helicopter camping". Will ask the Recreational Aviation Foundation that was mentioned here though; there might be a few designated spots along our way - who knows. Once in Canada I presume nobody cares in the vast wilderness, but then there's the added risk of getting eaten by a bear or something. (My friend worries about nothing, I worry about everything - so combined we make a good team:))

    I see I should have written "permit to fly" rather than "cleared for ferrying. My buddy is bringing all the paperwork with him - hopefully it will work out well.

    As for mechanical issues, we are bringing basic tools, grease, etc. but we are hoping it will hold up without major snags for the total of 50-60 flight hours to get to Norway. (Lets say 80 hours to account for wind - impossible to say for sure). It's fresh out of service with total hours in the low hundreds, so fingers crossed there won't be anything really bad happening. The '78 C172 that I co-own is pretty darn reliable, so I've got high expectations for this chopper. That being said I don't really trust things that fly without fixed wings:D
    But great advice - think we'll have a plan of having larger airports as alternates in case we encounter some concerning midair snags that need checked out properly.
     
  26. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Had a look at the map, it's a bit inland, but if the weather is crap along the shoreline and it fits in with our legs then we'll get in touch, no bull
     
  27. Paul V

    Paul V Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2020
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ

    Display name:
    Paul V
    Download the app Helipaddy and signup for the subscription. There are assorted restaurants and b&b along the east coast you can land at with prior permission.
     
  28. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Thanks for tip, we had that app. It's got a million registered pads in the UK, bit not so many in the US yet. A few interesting ones though!
     
  29. Paul V

    Paul V Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2020
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ

    Display name:
    Paul V
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  30. Tapestes

    Tapestes Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2019
    Messages:
    5

    Display name:
    Tapestes
    Second KSSI. Uncontrolled (can get a bit busy, but not too bad), food within walking distance. Nice FBO. KHXD (Hilton Head) is nice, class D, but their fees are high.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  31. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Hi all,
    New approach here to the trouble with landing elsewhere than airports & heliports.
    Just to clarify - The way I interpret the comments above; if the landowner agrees to us landing and it's in uncontrolled airspace then we're all good and the FAA won't drop the hammer on us?? The described would be allowed in Norway as long as it's not an obviously stupid place to land.
    After looking on tripadvisor & google maps we thought we'd kindly ask local farmers nearby restaurants / hotels a bit out in the sticks if they own the spot of land which we'd like to land on.
    Requires a bit of contemplation & "ground support"- we need to make sure that kids and other curious beings can't get too close to our tail rotor during landing and take-off.
    We don't mind ending up in the local newspapers as long as it's not for all the wrong reasons, hence asking you guys here! Thanks again, trip is getting closer now - starting to tingle a bit:)
     
  32. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    2,240
    Location:
    CT & NY

    Display name:
    Dana
    Correct, the FAA won't care... but if state or local rules apply, the state or local authorities may have something to say.

    People often don't realize that although the US federal government controls many things, others are up to the individual states, which in some ways are like independent countries.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  33. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2017
    Messages:
    4,652

    Display name:
    Bell206
    FYI: its not so much the FAA will drop the hammer as it is the local authorities. Even with landowner permission they might not be aware of local/county/state rules that prevent such landings. Keep in mind a lot of people aren't thrilled by helicopters and tend to complain when they operate around their space. If you go this route ask the landowner if they are aware of any rules or if not ask which local jurisdiction his land is under and check with those people. For example, I know of one county ordinance in a certain east coast community that required a fire truck to be on physical standby any time a helicopter landed in the county off-airport. The rule had zip to do with safety and more to do with stopping a certain individual.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  34. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Ok, apologies for being a slow learner here, but it's gradually sinking in now. Appreciate your time answering.
    Even though we have a planned route, the weather and other factors will likely lead us to detail planning the following days leg the night before, so I doubt we'll be able to find out state/local laws and regulations as we're passing through.

    So far we're thinking Daytona-St.Simons-Savannah-Grand Strand-First Flight-Tangier-American Helicopter Museum (Pennsylvania - we can land there BTW:))-NYC "Hudson river exclusion" (probably spend night at White Plains, possibly Manhattan as a very expensive bucket list)-Connecticut-Montreal. This is generally based on all your great tips in this thread and others. Weather will likely screw it up so that we move inland here and there, but we hope to follow the coast sightseeing at typ. 1000 feet. It could all be done in the course of a few days, but we plan to slow things down and enjoy the trip.
     
  35. Albany Tom

    Albany Tom Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2021
    Messages:
    578

    Display name:
    Albany Tom
    If you're going to Montreal, you might look at sagamore resort, lake george. They're high end enough that I thought they might take helicopters, and sure enough their website lists optional helicopter charters. I don't know if that means you can land and stay there, but couldn't hurt to ask. Lake George is a little touristy town, but kinda nice, and the scenery from there up to Montreal is nice.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  36. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    23,700
    Location:
    DC Suburbs

    Display name:
    Bill S.
    Alternate to SSI is 09J (Jekyll Island). Hotel, restaurant, tortoise rehab center.
     
    Lownslow79 likes this.
  37. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Hi! Just quick update. We are well on our way, KSSI and Southern Soul was excellent as lunch break today. We're in Savannah now for the night, First Flight tomorrow! Thanks for all tips here earlier. Track us as LN-OML if interested!
     
  38. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    First flight today. Surreal experience. Manhattan coming up, time to up my communication game, I've heard that NYC controllers have no time for ********

    Small digression, but ATC keeps asking if we are a medivac chopper, turns out that our LN tail reg is used in the US for medivac choppers.

    Oh, and a very very big thanks from myself and Lars for all the tips to make this an adventure of a lifetime. Give us a shout if you are flying in Scandinavia and we'll try to return the favour.

    LN-OML
     

    Attached Files:

    Albany Tom, Pugs and eman1200 like this.
  39. Paul V

    Paul V Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2020
    Messages:
    62
    Location:
    Hoboken, NJ

    Display name:
    Paul V
    Watch out for the upcoming TFRs over NY for the UNGA.
     
  40. Lownslow79

    Lownslow79 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2021
    Messages:
    36

    Display name:
    Lownslow79
    Thanks for heads up! We might give E34 a miss and bank for wall street or the other one on the west. Will join the NYC helicopter club thing tonight and absorb all the good stuff there. Tomorrow morning American helicopter museum, landing on front of the Osprey, how cool is that! Living the dream here