City Cracking Down on Chopper Noise

The City’s Economic Development Corporation, owner of the Downtown Heliport, has begun serious efforts to enforce the agreement made last April concerning the number and flight paths of helicopters using the Heliport.

New York Post: Aviation authorities have quietly started cracking down on hell-raising helicopters breaking new city flight restrictions for sightseeing aircraft, The Post has learned.

The Downtown Manhattan Heliport, the chopper hub owned by the city Economic Development Corp., began scanning radar systems last month to kill the buzz from pilots incessantly circling over residential areas in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

According to the Post story, the Heliport’s operator, Saker Aviation, has appointed a “safety officer” who checks all flight plans and logs to assure that pilots are obeying the rules. State Sen. Daniel Squadron is quoted as saying: “This is a big deal … Residents can’t continue to suffer from the scourge of helicopters”. The story also quotes Brooklyn Heights Association Executive Director Judy Stanton as saying the BHA maintains as its goal the elimination of all non-essential flights.

According to the story, there have been 444 complaints, many from “downtown Brooklyn”, logged on to the city’s 311 chopper noise hotline.

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  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Forget the noise; overflights are dangerious. The Helos are a
    wonder of modern air design, materials and production. But
    they are not winged craft. If something goes wrong with the
    power train (engine, transmission etc.) a helo has all the
    aerodynamics of a footlocker. Any malfuction and you HOPE
    that there is altitude for autorotation to slow the crash. Good Luck.
    The helo industry, like a lot of industries, have been plagued by
    a lot of conterfet or defective parts sold as new-genuine. There
    was a major chopper crash in LA when I was visiting that was later traced to “relabeled” fraud parts. And when a chopper blade
    lets go its like a huge bullet with say, a 12 inch caliber. Remember
    what happened at the Pan Am building? Guess how much aviation
    FUEL is on board a chopper? Want THAT down over the Heights?

    And then there is the police-military overflights. Two years ago,
    there was a major incident where a difficult to identify helo was
    stationary for like 35 minutes outside of the 100 Henry where
    residents of the top floors could see directly into the chopper.
    (This was prior to you tube. Otherwide this incident would be viral
    nationwide.) What was that about…anyone want to think of the safety issues involved?

    Forget the noise everyone, better start seriously thinking of the
    deadly SAFETY issues involved.

  • Larry
  • Jazz

    Mr. Smith why do you feel the need to provide your email address with every (loooooong) comment? New to the internet?

  • David on Middagh

    This is good news!

    @jjs: YouTube was launched in 2005, not 2009. And the noise issues bother us more than the safety issues, thank you very much.

  • Eddy de Lectron

    @ J.J. Smith,

    Actually, Helicopters are “winged aircraft”, technically they are rotary winged aircraft. The rotor uses the same principal (Bernoulli’s) to generate lift as fixed wing aircraft.

    As for safety, nothing is absolutely safe and helicopters do occasionally crash, however, their usefulness far outweighs the danger. That is what is called an acceptable risk. The chances of a chopper crashing into the Heights or any neighborhood are extremely slim. The PanAm crash happened because the chopper was landing on the roof of the building and the landing gear broke, it didn’t fall out of the sky. Two aircraft crashed over Brooklyn back in 1960 and killed over a hundred people, dose that mean all aviation should be banned over NYC?

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Re Jazz and David. I try to concentrate on substance not style or
    minor points. But at the time of the still unexplained 100 Henry
    incident, which was very disturbing, You Tube simply had not
    become what it was and personal recorders/cell cameras did
    not exist, otherwise you would have seen the earthquake over
    this incident. Again, the helo was stationary easily in excess of
    25 Min. But it is not alone. I was at the meeting on circular
    wing aircraft concerns a few years ago I think it was held at Betsy Gotbaum’s office. The BHA People came with well done Clear photos of helos over the Heights at altitudes at which autorotation is NOT going to avert a very very serious incident. If you think there is no difference between power train failure between a winged craft and any kind of circular craft well, there is no historical or scientific basis for a view like that. Helo’s are not aerodynamic they are not gliders. As far as the; it’s a balance of benefits view. Helos have saved the lives of what have to be hundreds and hundreds. As I said,they are a marvel of design, materials and construction. But they have very serious dangers. The Helo industry is highly competitive and there is always
    strong pressure to control costs. So like any great technology
    which has very serious possible dangers, we need to maintain
    very serious standards and limitations on thier use. The history
    of the helo industry has a long disturbing history of conterfeit
    parts, wrong parts installed, other amazing inporper maintainence
    and a long history of very lax safety inspections.

    When helos hit the ground, whatever the reason, the blades can
    and often can become the worst urban nonmilitary projectile
    you can think of. The reason to cite the Pan Am incident is what
    happened in the NEIGHBORHOOD of the Pan Am Bldn….look it
    up and see what happened with the rotors….

    As far as background, my father worked with eniac and geniac
    systems in early 1950’s and i’m sure prior but he woudnt comment
    I built my first computer in 1958. It had 40 tubes. One day my father came home with a envelope marked secret and I looked inside and there was a picture of a glass plate with a blob of epoxy with wires. It was the first generation of the integrated circuits. I remember the prospect of something like arpnet
    being discussed in my livingroom by the various Phd level
    engineers and researchers in 1955. And it all came true for
    better or worse in the early to mid 1960’s (that they admit)

    I comment on some of these issues ONLY when they represent
    very significant issues or dangers for the Heights but more
    importantly for Americans at large.

    sorry for the quick written text

    (646) 670 3703

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    Just got to calls-The BHA was at the meeting, but they were not
    the area residents who brought the photos of the low flying
    apparent tourist helo over the heights. But if you ever saw
    what I and others saw you would have the concern I have.

  • Jazz

    JJS do you know Charlie Sheen?

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    i shouldnt bite on that-but its central to understand this moment
    that with all that is going on in the Middle East, the economy and
    all that is happening in American life, you have people who central concern is the Sheen affair. Its telling though, that the media blitz greatly intensified when Sheen appeared on an alternative radio show which a lot of the media/NGO types I know are driven up the wall by.

    The only Sheen I care to know is Msgr Fulton Sheen…who guided
    a generation.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    You know what’s amazing-there are several branches of aircraft
    design which could 90%= serve the role of helos with radically lower danger. Everytime I hear the helo-over-dense-population- centers debate I want to simply ask the person who is speaking have the EVER heard of Alan Zimmerman?

  • Winstion Smith

    ^ Let me guess, flying saucers? LOL

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    various disk craft always are mentioned. But even with advanced
    digital flight controls they are unstable. There are various circular wing STOL designs which I feel would be with modern power plants and flight controls would be all but 100% vertical landing with all but none of the helo dangers. The designers name was
    CHARLES Zimmerman and the design was the Vought V-173 later the XF-5U without knowing what it was, I saw it in the early 50’s with my father on Long Island.By then it was jet powered. Didnt matter it landed at like 8 MPH. With today’s design and control technologies certainly we can do far better. Zimmerman was an amazing figure who was part of the secret group before the formation of NASA. I know it looks by today’s standards oldish but make no mistake the performance was a real world killer. It occupied sort of the same position in American aero design as the well, the soviet Strela Arrow of the same late WWII era in Russia.

    So how come we arent using something like this?

  • T.K. Small

    I prefer to be transported by being disassembled on the molecular level and re-assembled at my destination. So far, it has worked out well, with the only exception being that one time that Justin Bieber and I were transported at the same time and I accidentally ended up with his hairdo.

  • Big Dave

    I love free speech and also the ability to scroll quickly through long diatribes.

    Free speech on the Blog:
    Everyone writes opinions,
    Some times detritus.

  • bklyn20

    T.K., according to my tween sources, Justin Bieber has changed his hairstyle. So feel free to consider the hairstyle yours and yours alone (or at least to do so when inhabiting an alternate universe.)

  • T.K. Small

    I am not sure that hairstyles are that big a consideration anymore. I used to have a fairly bushy head, but now, not so much. As my girlfriend has observed, “At least you had hair!”.

  • http://Building Jeffrey J Smith

    The helo’s were transversing the heights at very very low alts
    during the late 90’s and early 2000s UNTIL several Manh. law-
    makers were flodded with noise AND safety concern calls/faxes
    AND the Helo coalition on the upper east side began a really
    strong persistant campaign to stop the noise AND the (lack of)
    safety situation city wide. Some of the research by the HC
    showed what really HAPPENS in a downed helo–what deadly
    incidents really have again and again occured especially with some of the types of managements you’ve had in the industry.