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Landing a helo on a public street??


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#1 Goldy

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 22:45

Tommy Lee Really Got a Lift to Concert, and L.A. Isn't Pleased
Authorities file charges against the helicopter pilot who landed on a public street to take the rocker from a residence to see Nine Inch Nails.
By Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writer
August 1, 2006


Faced with a Friday evening trek from Hollywood to Irvine to attend a Nine Inch Nails concert, bad boy rocker Tommy Lee didn't have to handle the rush-hour traffic on the roadways.

In true rock star fashion, he was picked up in a helicopter.

The chopper landed July 7 in the 1800 block of Wattles Drive, outside a residence in the Hollywood Hills a strategy that put the Motley Crue drummer and ex-husband of Pamela Anderson on the wrong side of Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

On Monday, Delgadillo said he had filed criminal charges against the pilot of the helicopter.

Lee, who is infamous for a life of sex, drugs, rock 'n' roll and police run-ins, but has lately tried to clean up his image with a highly publicized return to college, is not facing any charges for the incident.

Neither he nor his representatives could be reached for comment.

Although helicopters buzzing across a hazy sky are a familiar sight above Los Angeles, officials say it is highly unusual, illegal and dangerous to land one on a public street. In the city of Los Angeles, helicopters are allowed to take off and land only at airports and, with permission, at helipads.

City officials said the only other incident they could recall of a celebrity landing on a public street happened decades ago, when neighbors complained to the West Los Angeles police substation about helicopter visits to Frank Sinatra's home. Officials couldn't recall what, if any, punishment was meted out to the singer or his pilots.

This isn't Lee's first brush with chopper trouble. In 2004, the Los Angeles fire marshal forbade Motley Crue from landing their "Red, White & Crue" helicopter at the Hollywood Palladium for a concert, according to a statement from a public relations spokeswoman. Instead, the band arrived in a hearse.

The pilot in the latest incident, David Keith Martz, 49, was charged with one count of reckless operation of an aircraft, one count of landing an aircraft on a public road and one count of landing an aircraft without a permit. He couldn't be located for comment. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.

Officials said the LAPD's Air Support Division, alerted by calls, spotted the chopper hovering above the home and tried to contact the pilot without success. Officers watched as the pilot landed on the street and went into the house, they said.

Other officers went to the house and told Martz that he had illegally landed on a public roadway, according to the city attorney.

Martz, Lee and two other passengers then got in the helicopter and flew south, officials said. Two hours later, authorities said, the party returned and landed again at the residence.

Delgadillo's office alleges that Martz landed the second time even after authorities specifically told him not to do so.

"The public perception is yeah, if I had enough money I could just go here and there in my helicopter. But it really doesn't do you any good, because you can only go from airport to airport," said Larry Harris, a senior pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department.
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OK, so some pilot decided to land on a public street to pick up a few bucks....while I agree this is REALLY not a good idea, I did not realize that the FAA had turned over authority over all aircraft flights to LA City !!! Wouldnt this be better handled by the FAA ?

I didnt realize that L.A. actually had a law against landing on a public street...I've looked but have not located it in the Muni code...maybe a LE pilot can quote verse on this ? Is there an exemption in this law for LE/Fire operations ?

Also, for discussion, the article states that it is illegal in LA to land on private property without a permit. Anyone know where this one is found ??

Safe flying, Goldy

Fly Safe !!

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#2 brushfire21

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 23:13

I hope the pilot was tipped well for the crap he is in now.......
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."

"Quid Clarius Astris"

#3 DFWFlyer

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 10:57

No doubt, I hope the money was good, cause it's likely he could get his card pulled for that one.

#4 Guest_pokey_*

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:46

Be intersting to see what the pilot gets. I dont think the FAA cares, as it is a "town" ordinance--uless they hit him w/ the ole 91.13,,,,,,,,, which basically says "we gotcha" :P

I heard not too long ago on the news in Connecticut that an EMS pilot violated a town ordinance prohibiting the landing of helicopters & the town filed charges,,, dunno what happened in the end tho. Here in NJ theya have a state law banning off-airport landing of aircraft--but? the state police do it all the time ! :o

There is one other state out there that has banned off-airport landing of aircraft, ANYONE know which one it is? i have heard it is illinois, but not sure.

#5 klas

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 11:54

...There is one other state out there that has banned off-airport landing of aircraft, ANYONE know which one it is? i have heard it is illinois, but not sure.


I had heard shortly after Herr Daley closed Meigs that a helo landed at the former airport field (now an 'off airport' landing) because of some trouble. Heard the Chgo PD and FAA were involved and the city was pissed, but not sure if anything happened to the pilot.

#6 Nat3hCFI

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 12:51

My understanding is it is not uncommon for some cities and counties, especially in large populated areas, to have ordinances prohibiting off airport landings. I know a pilot years, who years ago ago got nabbed for landing in a field in, as I, recall in San Bernardino County California. I always tell my students to check the local government regulations before landing at their homes or those of others.

#7 delorean

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 14:35

Illinois has laws about off-airport landing sites, but only if they're used 25+ times a year. Over that and you need a lighted windsock, 2 app & dep paths, a few other things, and most importantly you're yearly registration $$$$$!

The only states that I knew of that were very restrictive are Vermont, New Jersey, and California. Here in Missouri, the state rules just say that you have to have the land owner's permission--however, six cities (suburbs) around St. Louis have their own ordinances restricting helicopters from landing without approval of the city council.

#8 Guest_pokey_*

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 14:48

and most importantly you're yearly registration $$$$$!


I was going to move to SD year or so ago---(land deal fell thru) BUT?! state has yearly registration too, reason being? they charge ya sales tax on bringing your aircraft into their state ! ( plus the yearly fee, of korse ! ) SHEEEeesh ! and i thought NJ was bad !

#9 Gomer Pylot

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 15:59

The FAA controls the airspace, but the city controls the ground. The city has no control over how high you fly, but if you land, you're in the city's jurisdiction. I've known pilots who got a ticket for landing on the beach, and in parks. You had better be very careful where you land, if you're not on an airport.
Best Regards,

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#10 DFWFlyer

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 16:15

I forget where I read it, maybe one of the articles on this post, or on another website, but one pilot claimed that he had an agreement w/ the city he flew in for various off airport landing spaces (I assume for commercial duties) by filing his insurance information with them. Any comments?

#11 Gomer Pylot

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 16:41

It depends entirely on the city or county or state, whichever has jurisdiction over the landing area. We land off-airport all the time, at customer heliports or our own. These have been approved by the local authorities, and we generally have no problems. Occasionally, though, we are asked to land at a place that hasn't been used before. I'm very careful of these, and make sure someone has checked to insure there are no legal problems. I'm sure some cities will approve landings based on liability insurance, just as there are cities which don't really care one way or the other, and cities which won't approve landings under any circumstances. Every case, every city, every county, is different. One of the benefits of a federal society, in which rights are reserved to the states, and to the counties and cities.
Best Regards,

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#12 Witch

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 21:56

I go to wondering. What if one doesn't land, but merely hovers? Embark and disembark the aircraft without actually touching the ground.

Loophole?

Later.
Chuck Norris was born in a log cabin that he built with his own hands.

#13 Goldy

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 01:30

I go to wondering. What if one doesn't land, but merely hovers? Embark and disembark the aircraft without actually touching the ground.

Loophole?

Later.



Witch- I like it.....ever think about being a defense attorney? Your honor, did anyone actually see my clients skids touch the ground ??? !!

BTW, this is just 2-3 blocks outside of a very busy Class C Burbank airspace. I usually end up circling over this neighborhood waiting for a break in radio traffic so I can make my call and enter.

Fly Safe !!

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#14 techpilot64

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 01:59

Witch- I like it.....ever think about being a defense attorney? Your honor, did anyone actually see my clients skids touch the ground ??? !!

BTW, this is just 2-3 blocks outside of a very busy Class C Burbank airspace.




My CPL checkride examiner related this story to me when I asked a similar question (after he'd signed my logbook of course!):

A pilot was hired by Dennis Rodman to take him and a friend down to his house in Newport Beach, CA to get some photos of his place while a party is going on. For those of you who aren't familiar - this is a very upscale neighborhood - the founder of Yahoo! has a mansion on the same waterfront - and Mr. Rodman is known for throwing very extravagent soirees - and... it's Rodman, so press is everywhere.

He has the photos he wants, so he tells the pilot to land on the beach and they'll get out, rather than have to drive back from the airport.

The pilot refuses, citing all the people on the beach, and proximity to pricey homes.

Rodman counters with "well then get close to the water, and we'll swim to the beach"
The pilot, being pressured by a multimillionaire, can't find much wrong with this idea, and complies.
The paparazzi got shots of the act - and more importantly, of the tail #

3days later, the FAA calls.

The pilot put forth a valiant effort to get himself off the hook, citing that at no time were persons or property on the ground in jeopardy. In FACT - he had stood up for himself and refused to land as requested on the beach, which WOULD have been a violation. It wasn't until he was away from people and over water that he agreed to let them out.... oops

Until this point, the FAA suit on the phone had seemed to be grasping at straws.

"Ah, your passengers got out? and are you Part 135?"
"no sir"
"License please!"

It was a short suspension, only a month or so - more to be able to say they had reprimanded the pilot than for anything else. Chances are that if it hadn't been photographed, and involved such a big name (known for causing trouble in the neighborhood) that nothing would have happened.
Point is, you don't necessarily have to land to be in trouble - its just a question of who you're in trouble with.
Be careful, and aware of who/what is on the ground in the area.

#15 Helo-Pilot

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 10:42

135 or not, how are we to control if a person REALLY wants to jump out of an aircraft? Do they want us to let go of the controls and try to restrain someone?

'Dennis Rodman, badboy, jumped out of my aircraft! I told him not to, and tried to put the helicopter in such a position as to minimize injuries! Sheesh, what an a-hole! Can you believe the things he does ! ?'

#16 klas

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 11:13

My CPL checkride examiner related this story to me when I asked a similar question (after he'd signed my logbook of course!):

A pilot was hired by Dennis Rodman to take him and a friend down to his house in Newport Beach, CA to get some photos of his place while a party is going on. For those of you who aren't familiar - this is a very upscale neighborhood - the founder of Yahoo! has a mansion on the same waterfront - and Mr. Rodman is known for throwing very extravagent soirees - and... it's Rodman, so press is everywhere.

He has the photos he wants, so he tells the pilot to land on the beach and they'll get out, rather than have to drive back from the airport.

The pilot refuses, citing all the people on the beach, and proximity to pricey homes.

Rodman counters with "well then get close to the water, and we'll swim to the beach"
The pilot, being pressured by a multimillionaire, can't find much wrong with this idea, and complies.
The paparazzi got shots of the act - and more importantly, of the tail #

3days later, the FAA calls.

The pilot put forth a valiant effort to get himself off the hook, citing that at no time were persons or property on the ground in jeopardy. In FACT - he had stood up for himself and refused to land as requested on the beach, which WOULD have been a violation. It wasn't until he was away from people and over water that he agreed to let them out.... oops

Until this point, the FAA suit on the phone had seemed to be grasping at straws.

"Ah, your passengers got out? and are you Part 135?"
"no sir"
"License please!"

It was a short suspension, only a month or so - more to be able to say they had reprimanded the pilot than for anything else. Chances are that if it hadn't been photographed, and involved such a big name (known for causing trouble in the neighborhood) that nothing would have happened.
Point is, you don't necessarily have to land to be in trouble - its just a question of who you're in trouble with.
Be careful, and aware of who/what is on the ground in the area.


You ever see the show "Flip This House" on A&E, with the original crew? Evidently, the co. owns a helo, and the owner had the pilot come by a party at a beach house to take the owner of the co. out over the lake, and then the owner jumped form the helo into the lake. All of film. I don't know the reg, but is this different from the Rodman incident you gave because the owner of the co. also owned the helo, and the pilot was his employee?

#17 Phil77

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Posted 04 August 2006 - 15:00

Here in NJ theya have a state law banning off-airport landing of aircraft--but? the state police do it all the time ! :o


The other day I was asked by a custumer of ours if I can fly with him to his house and land in his backyard just for the fun of it and fly him back (no I did not plan to drop him of! :blink: )
His house is in NJ and since I heard this rumors of restrictions on helo landings, I tried to find out details... It took me 45 min of calling different numbers (incl. one of the commanders of the NJ State Police Aviation Unit (!)) until I reached a lady with the DOT.
Upon request you can get permit for $10 (yes, not more) per day for a "temporary helipad".
By the way, the commander told me, that even the EMS guys have to notifiy the state police before any scene call (!).
Next door in PA its a little easier - the PENNDOT grant you about 4-5 Landings a year (if you have permition from the landowner, the county/township) - more than that and they come out and survey the area. If you have two approaches and a nice open field they issue a temporary permit for $25/day. Not cheap but includes their travel time.

Happy flying! Philip

#18 Flying Pig

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 19:50

Pokey....

that EMS guy that got cited for landing in the City.....that case got dropped.


As far as landing outside of an airport....
As far as Law Enforcement goes, at least in my county, we pretty much land anywhere we need to as long as there is a need. We routinely land for enforcement action. We've landed in the middle of the street and Ive got out of the helo to back up a deputy on the ground. Landed and picked up an injured swimmer on the River and flown them to the awaiting ambulance and landed in the street to drop off the patient. Landed to render aid on a traffic accident that was in the middle of nowhere. Landed on the canal banks, on the top of a dam.

Cool

#19 West Coaster

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Posted 05 August 2006 - 22:27

Ain't air law swell.

I've landed on beaches, in farmers fields, on river beds, on uninhabited islands, and once on an long since abandoned air strip.

Take a wild guess which one of those got me in $h!t. :blink:

#20 Guest_pokey_*

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Posted 06 August 2006 - 10:20

.
Upon request you can get permit for $10 (yes, not more) per day for a "temporary helipad".

Next door in PA its a little easier - the PENNDOT grant you about 4-5 Landings a year (if you have permition from the landowner, the county/township) - more than that and they come out and survey the area. If you have two approaches and a nice open field they issue a temporary permit for $25/day. Not cheap but includes their travel time.

Happy flying! Philip



WOW ! :o Phil ! i never knew in NJ you could "buy" a daily permit--interesting..... Also just as "interesting" is that Pa. only allows 4-5 landings per YEAR?! ( MY permit would be invalid, in less than an hour) :blink:

I was under the impression that in Pa, IF you owned the land, you could fly as much as you wanted to,,,,,

Where are you in Pa? I'm just across the Delaware river at sky manor airport.




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