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Illegal helicopter flyover and illegal camping.

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  • #16
    Trail Boss on one of the ADK hiking related Facebook pages an article about a helicopter tour group making low passes over the High Peaks, lakes and trees, that was raising everyone's ire. There are some letters to the editor to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in June and September that pop up on a search for this. Here's a link to the article:
    Last edited by gebby; 09-06-2017, 02:25 PM. Reason: found the article to share.


    • Trail Boss
      Trail Boss commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the link.

      I have to give credit to Go Aviation for creativity. They flew a few yards above Duck Hole because they thought they saw the light of a signal mirror. It's plausible yet you wonder if it's truly necessary to descend so low to see there's no human attached to the alleged "signal mirror".

      FWIW, Go Aviation's white copter isn't the one we saw so it was some other tour operator ... investigating a "signal mirror" on Marcy. Ahem.

  • #17
    Interesting article on the topic of helicopter tours...


    • #18
      I wonder how many of the social justice warriors on FB who are raising hell over this picture are old enough to realized that companies have been offering helicopter tours in the ADK for 20+ years, and they actually do periodically try to assist with SARs. I doubt anyone likes the idea of them buzzing summits or being at low altitudes, but this seems to be a very small number of isolated incidents over a pretty long span of time. Anecdotally, I see and hear far more airplane traffic over the peaks than helicopters each year; maybe a 20:1 ratio.
      My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.


      • #19
        Speaking of anecdotal, the summit steward shared this tidbit with us: she mentioned an incident where a helicopter landed on Boundary. Her description suggested it wasn't official business but another tour operator. I don't know anything else about it and couldn't find any mention of it anywhere so ... there it is.

        ​Regarding "isolated incidents over a ... long span of time", the Duck Hole and Marcy sightings occurred in July and August. One might say that's a recent "upward trend". If your 20:1 ratio is correct, that would put helicopters way ahead of single-engine aircraft (for recent violations of the 500-foot rule).

        ​I have no problem with helicopter tours in the High Peaks so long as the playing field remains level and they respect the rules observed by single-engine aircraft. However, the two recent incidents suggest they are using the helicopter's maneuverability to provide their clients with an extra thrill at the expense of violating minimum ceiling. There's a market for that kind of thrill (and how many customers know anything about how low their tour operator is legally permitted to fly?) and therein lies the problem.

        If there's no penalty for regularly flying close to the surface, helicopter tours are likely to do it because there's a market for it. The losers in all this are the people who walk miles into a "no motorized equipment" zone to discover a helicopter on a joy-ride at ground level.

        Looking for Views!


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah I agree that they need to stay up where they belong. I just don't advocate the pitchfork and torch rallies that follow trending social media complaints. They tend to start with a single or very small group of legitimate concerns, and then quickly blossom into a group-think mob calling for an outright ban of XYZ.

      • #20
        Perhaps the summit stewards should be equipped with SAMs.
        Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter.


        • #21