airport out of control
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 11:07:38 EST
Topic: Investigative reports

HELICOPTER PILOTS BEHAVING BADLY - the dark secret putting the public at risk


Note that the cameraman had to hide under a tree to catch these events on film since helicopter pilots are very keen on spotting cameras as you will see during the last few buzz attempts in the video... where N44XL suddenly changes course when he sees the camera pointing up at him. The owner of this craft is listed at the end of the short segment.

With a juvenile attitude behind the controls of a half million dollar aircraft, this pilot (piloting N44XL) can't resist buzzing a neighborhood recklessly endangering the public below on what he would call “an approach.” One third of all aircraft maneuvering crashes occur while buzzing.

And he’s not on any correct pattern for any approach… he’s just using his made up “approach” as an excuse to disturb the public below. This became obvious as this aircraft was reported numerous times since December 2009. But between the training school and the student/instructor/pilot …no corrective action was taken to insure this pilot wouldn’t be flying in an unsafe manner putting the community below at risk.

Likely the reason no corrective action was taken is because sometimes instructors themselves are the ones doing the buzzing or instructing the student to do it. (Buzz = unusually very low flight over homes, boats, cars, structures, objects or individuals). Imagine the example set by such instructors… of contempt for public safety and making it seem okay for pilots to disturb the public below.

I believe this characteristic behavior of many helicopter pilots, is the very reason why helicopters mixing with residential communities has become a world wide problem from Okinawa and Hawaii, to the USA all the way to London. And the story is always the same “…these pilots think they can fly anywhere, anytime, as low as they want and the pubic be damned.”

Although you might think that flight training schools would teach pilots the right way to fly... think again. As this investigation discovered, helicopter pilots at Lantana airport routinely ignore the county’s efforts to gain compliance with measures designed to give the public relief.

In fact, when LWM visited Lantana Airport, there wasn’t a single scrap of paper, or a posting anywhere on the airport reflecting 15 years of county efforts to gain compliance with common sense flying procedures to protect the public. It was as if the public just didn’t matter to airport operators. When LWM asked where the noise abatement postings were, we were directed to an old 90’s diagram that had nothing to do with good neighborly flying and noise abatement procedures.

For the first time ever, in this video and ones forthcoming, you will get a glimpse of the dark side of helicopter pilots, instructors, students, operators and government at their worst.

It all has to do with a small airport in Florida that exists in close proximity (1300 ft) to densely populated residential areas. And this small airport (Lantana Airport) is half the acerage of Palm Beach International but has at times, two and a half times more flight operations per hour primarily due to all the flight training schools the county allows as tenants on the airport.

As this investigation unfolds you will see some of the most incredibly inconsiderate and unsafe flight behavior you could imagine behind the controls of aircraft that may be flying over your house someday. And this problem is not limited to one or two pilots as the HAI (Helicopter Association International) confirms by its very existence to counter the world wide negative perception of helicopters.

Some observers agree that training schools and instructors are breeding a culture of entitlement mentality making some airports in the country hot spots of contention over the incompatible use of public land (the airport) to house hundreds of repetitive training operations per day that end up over various neighborhoods creating problems for residents. The situation is further aggravated by non existent or completely ineffective government monitoring and regulatory enforcement.

In the upcoming reports, you will see pilots routinely landing and taking off on different runways simultaneously, helicopters all over the place annoying people, buzzing homes and marinas, doing engine out (and other training) maneuvers in the flight pattern over inhabited areas, flying non standard traffic patterns of their own creation, landing and taking off on inactive runways, and using a helicopter to intimidate those who stand in their way.

You will also see airplanes deliberately trying to annoy neighborhoods by low flight over them in complete disregard for public safety and well being. I’s total mayhem and a huge public safety issue that has slipped through the regulatory cracks primarily because of "regulatory laziness."

The attitude seems to be "...we are entitled to fly anywhere we want, when we want and how low we want." But the HAI (Helicopter Association International) strongly disagrees with that entitlement mentality as do the good pilots who observe safety and common sense standards of civility. But as always, the good suffer the same indignation as the bad.

In this video, you will see N44XL, a half million dollar helicopter, deliberately buzzing a home sometimes at less than a hundred fifty feet. It is a Robinson R44 helicopter that was requested for months to stop flying over homes at low altitude.

It is dangerous to fly low and slow over anything especially over people and their homes. The HAI (Helicopter Association International) frowns on this reckless activity and was actually formed as a PR tool to counter the world wide negative perception of helicopters that developed from events such as you will see in this short video.

This home is not in the flight pattern but as usual, helicopter pilots pick and choose what they want to do and become indignant when complaints are made.

This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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