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r22butters

Something to talk about while I eat my free fries...?

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They're all over this on the fun forum :)

Edited by r22butters
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I suppose if the FAA wanted to investigate and pursue legal action, they could get him for breaking 91.119©, seeing as how he's definitely within 500 feet of a vessel on water, and of course reckless operation.

 

He should have covered his rear and kept a couple hundred feet in altitude, at least he would have been above the boat masts and in the event of an engine failure, would still have time to deploy his floats. At his altitude, he'd be lucky if he even thought about the popout floats before he made contact with the water.

 

Everyone has a camera, and everyone is recording these days. An upload to the internet is just a button click away, and word travels fast.

 

Maybe this'll be a good learning experience for him, seeing as how he's garnered quite a bit of attention.

 

He may get his hand slapped for it, but that's about it.

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Not everyone was filming...like two poeple out of twelve were just watching...haha

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He was just paying to take pictures of boats...no big deal.

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,...a bit more

 

The pilot of a low-flying helicopter that flew amid the masts of sailboats outside Point Hudson Thursday morning is being investigated for reckless endangerment.

 

The helicopter was observed flying as low as an estimated 8 to 15 feet above the water before the 6 a.m. start of the second annual Race to Alaska.

 

Witnesses reported its rotor blades were below the height of some of the boats' masts. According to Section 91.119 of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight rule guidelines, the minimum safe altitude to operate an aircraft over "any congested area of a city" or "over any assembly of persons" is 1,000 feet. Over open water, the limit is 500 feet.

 

The second annual motorless boat race from Port Townsend to Ketchikan, Alaska, attracted about 80 boats and small watercraft, a few thousand spectators, and two helicopters.

 

A yellow helo stayed higher while several bystanders called 911 to report a blue Robinson R44II helicopter flying close to boaters gathering outside the Point Hudson Marina.

 

Witnesses reported the rotor blades were disturbing the water's surface, and the helo was described as having flown as low as 8 feet above the water, hovering and moving between boats. Several witnesses submitted photographs and video evidence to the PTPD.

 

 

Bill Corrigan, PTPD officer and a pilot himself, identified the pilot as a 44-year old man from Federal Way, Washington. The pilot told police that he was flying the helicopter for a television news crew, according to a PTPD press release June 23, and that the news crew was encouraging him to fly lower.

 

"The pilot expressed remorse for his decision to fly that low," PTPD Detective Luke Bogues said in a press release.

 

No citation has yet been issued, Bogues said Thursday, because the investigation is ongoing. The incident has been reported to the Federal Aviation Administration's flight Standards District Office in Seattle. The FAA could launch its own investigation into whether any flight rules were broken by the pilot.

,...fries were awesome by the way. I love free fry friday! Edited by r22butters

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The crazy thing for me isn't flying that close to boats. It's the fact that they're SAIL boats. I'm sure the boaters loved all that down wash and extra disruption of the wind.

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The author should have kept reading the rest of 91.119

 

Part D exempts helicopters from those altitude and distance limits.

 

Retarded flying? Probably.

Reckless flying? Probably not.

 

That's no different than someone hovering between aircraft on a ramp. They never flew over any boat and flew slow and controlled. If he did that same pass at 80 knots, I'd definitely consider that reckless.

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A helicopter hovering around an airport is normal behavior for an airport, in between boats on the water, not so much. One could argue that his altitude posed a hazard to persons or property on the surface (the rest of part "d").

 

A good question would be, what would the Boatpix guy say about this, after all it is his "turf"?

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Imho, "normal" is relative. What the helicopter is hovering between is of no importance. Either hovering between objects (airplanes, helicopters, boats, etc) is acceptable or it isn't. If it's close enough for the down wash to cause damage to people or property, then obviously it's no good. That goes for vertical and horizontal separation. I think that pilots error was the lack of planning with the event, not the execution of the filming.

 

But... that's just how I see it. The FAA might see it differently.

 

I'd also be curious to hear what boatpix has to say. I'm sure he gets complaints all the time, regardless if it's justified or not.

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The author should have kept reading the rest of 91.119

 

Part D exempts helicopters from those altitude and distance limits.

 

 

 

 

You should have read 14 CFR 91.119( d ). The overriding guidance for ALL of 91.119, including subparts ( a ), ( b ), ( c), and ( d ), is the opening phrase, "except when necessary for takeoff or landing. Specific to subparagraph ( d ), in a helicopter, the operation must be conducted without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

 

14 CFR 91.13( a ) always applies.

 

 

§91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (B) or © of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

§91.13 Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

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The main thing the FAA normally look for is what would happen if the engine were to fail. It appears that he never overflew any of the sailboats; therefore, an engine-off landing could have been made directly to the water clear of persons or property on the surface. Short of any parts flying off and hitting a sailboat, the sole damage would be to the helicopter. There also didn’t seem to be any damage caused by the rotor-wash.

 

Since this was a legitimate News Operation and not joyriding, at worst, the pilot might receive a FAA Warning Notice. The Warning Notice is a letter to the alleged violator that recites the facts and circumstances of an incident that the FAA says is a violation of the FARs. The letter states that the matter has been corrected and/or it does not warrant legal enforcement action. Although it does not constitute a finding of a violation, it does constitute an official record against the airman. The record is supposed to be erased two years after the action is taken.

 

The height-velocity curve is a factor which is considered in determining whether a particular operation is in violation of certain specific regulations. The regulations most often involved in this consideration are FAR 91.13 (formerly 91.9) and FAR 91.119 (formerly 91.79). Those regulations state in pertinent part.....

 

FAA enforcement actions against helicopter pilots for violations of these regulations have generally involved situations where the aircraft is operating within the shaded area of the height- velocity curve and where, because of the location or concentration of persons or structures on the surface, the likelihood of an engine-out landing without damage or injury to those persons or structures is limited.

 

Ref: John J. Callahan Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel

 

 

Whatever else “undue hazard” may mean, we are satisfied that it embraces a situation in which a pilot’s cruising altitude would not likely permit the aircraft to land without striking or passing dangerously close to, people or property on the surface.

 

To prove a violation of section 91.119 (formerly 91.79), the Administrator did not have to show that it would have been impossible for respondent to have made an emergency landing without injury or damage, in the event his engine had failed. The Administrator had to show only that an emergency landing from the altitude respondent passed through presented an unreasonable risk of such harm.

 

Ref: Administrator v. Kopanke, 3 NTSB 3135 (1980); also see NTSB Order No. EA-3542

 

 

Protecting Yourself Against FAA Enforcement Actions

Edited by iChris

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The FAA will look not only at where the helicopter may have landed following a power loss as seen in the video; boats were moving and whether the helicopter did pass over a boat or not, it still passed well within questionable distance, and for unnecessary purposes. Cameras, after all, have zoom capability. The FAA will look at the pilot's attitude of compliance during, and after the fact. The FAA will look at any statements made by the pilot, including his public comment that he compromised his judgment under pressure of the news crew. The FAA will also look at other hazards the pilot may have created, whether it's downwash, or distraction, as well as the potential hazard that may be created by other malfunctions or loss of control. The pilot may or may not have been directly over a boat, but a loss of tailrotor effectiveness due to a mechanical problem may have put the helicopter in dangerous proximity to surface vessels; this wouldn't have been such a danger had the helicopter been at a safer distance or altitude. In short, the pilot gave up options in order for the crew to get a better shot.

 

That said, it seems ridiculous that people had so little to do that a Robinson generated such interest among those watching (and filming).

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Guest pokey

 

 

That said, it seems ridiculous that people had so little to do that a Robinson generated such interest among those watching (and filming).

 

a 747 would have caused a much bigger commotion. I remember the time i ,,,,,,~~OK mom ! be right down, ~~~

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I'm trying to get all worked up about it, but so far...no such luck.

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That said, it seems ridiculous that people had so little to do that a Robinson generated such interest among those watching (and filming).

I believe they were watching a boat race, as for me...⬆

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One thing to consider is;

 

Is that cameraman actually getting any pictures from that altitude that he could not have gotten from being on a boat himself, or on the shore for that matter?

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One thing to consider is;

 

Is that cameraman actually getting any pictures from that altitude that he could not have gotten from being on a boat himself, or on the shore for that matter?

 

 

Whether he is or isn't, it's immaterial. A good camera shot isn't justification for violating the regulation, or for acting in a careless or reckless manner. The Administrator won't accept "but we got a great picture of a boat" as legal justification.

 

They're welcome to try it, though.

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Whether he is or isn't, it's immaterial. A good camera shot isn't justification for violating the regulation, or for acting in a careless or reckless manner. The Administrator won't accept "but we got a great picture of a boat" as legal justification.

 

They're welcome to try it, though.

I meant that it was something we pilots should consider. If a photographer asks you to go that low, perhaps you should just tell him to get in a boat if he wants a shot from that angle?

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The pilot in command is expected to exercise good judgment. He's also expected to know and stay within the regulation. There should be absolutely no question when a passenger or client asks for something. Clients will keep asking for something until it makes a smoking hole, and most of the time they're relying on the pilot to tell them where the limit is. If the pilot simply acquiesces, then the passenger is in charge.

 

The pilot in command is called that for a reason.

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(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

 

My personal limitation is; if there is even a possibility of creating a hazard to people or property ((d) Helicopters), then I will default to B & C (when applicable)…… Due diligence….

 

Additionally, I've learned, besides me (the pilot ala “pilot error”), the next person who’s going to try to kill me, or get me violated, is the guy sitting next to me…..

Edited by Spike

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The FAA will look at the pilot's attitude of compliance during, and after the fact.

 

This is an important factor. Normally, minor violations do not require the use of legal enforcement action to meet the goals of the FAA's compliance efforts. According to the FAA's internal enforcement and compliance manual, administrative action may be taken in lieu of legal enforcement only when all of the following elements are present.

 

(1) No significant unsafe conditions exist;

 

(2) Lack of competency or qualification was not involved;

 

(3) The violation was not deliberate; and

 

(4) The alleged violator has a constructive attitude toward complying with the regulations and has not been involved in previous similar violations.

 

There are two types of administrative actions:

 

(1) Warning letter - a "don't do it again letter"

 

(2) Letter of Correction - a "don't do it again letter," plus some type of corrective action to be accomplished by the alleged violator.

 

Ref. FAA Order 2150.3B, Chapter 5

Edited by iChris

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The video below was shot form the DJI Inspire 1 drone. Multiple drones in the air, you'll see some in the video. (@ 2:49, 3:35, 3:43, 5:46)

 

An easier, safer, and more cost-effective way to do it. Moreover, it’s much less annoying to the public and drones take great video too.

 

'>https://youtu.be/FWXiswL39zc

Edited by iChris

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Yeah, why pay for a chopper, pilot, and cameraman when you can just show some kids youtube drone footage! Twenty years from now news choppers will be nothing more than museum exhibits.

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And the steady hum of nonstop drones will be the new sounds of silence. Permanent white noise.

 

 

Don't worry, not everywhere...

 

IMG_3103_zpsqhnfq5ok.jpg

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