September 24, 2020
The pandemic has provided temporary relief from tour helicopters. Prior to the shut down, tour helicopters frequently flew over my home In Olomana at less than 1500 ft above ground level. The overflights occurred at all times of the day, sometimes as early as 7:00 AM.
I’ve been told by Richard Schuman, that sometimes weather conditions force helicopters to fly below 1500 ft above ground level. I’ve observed that this is not always the case. There have been multiple occasions when helicopters have flown below 1500 AGL in clear, cloudless skies.
I can document the low flying helicopters using Flightradar24, which uses ADBS data broadcast from the aircraft, and have multiple screenshots of violations. Although the ADSB data that is broadcast from aircraft allows the tracking the route and altitude of the offending helicopters, it doesn’t always show the aircraft registration number. The registration number is needed to positively identify the offending aircraft and to hold the pilots accountable.
All tour helicopters should be required to broadcast registration numbers as part of the ADSB, to facilitate the identification of pilots violating existing regulations.
In addition, similar to prohibitions against leaf blowers, tour helicopters should not be allowed to overfly residential areas before 8:00 AM, especially on weekends and holidays.
If the tour companies want to be good neighbors, they’ll agree to these stipulations. Mahalo