Helicopter Noise in LA

There has been a lot of “buzz” lately (pun intended) about helicopter noise and it’s negative impact on Los Angeles residents. I would like to shed some light on the issue and give some insight from a tour operator/pilots perspective.

A few months back I read a great article on Vertical Reference written by an EMS pilot. His point was that people always see helicopters as an annoyance until they actually need them ie: their child is in need of immediate medical care. I think he had a valid point.

There is a new bill on the table introduced by Rep. Howard Berman to force the FAA to regulate altitudes and routes of helicopter flight in the Los Angeles area. This was a result of a high concentration of helicopters covering the “Carmagedon” closure of the 405 freeway earlier this year. View Article There is some opposition form both the LAPD and LAFD as there is not exceptions written in for their required operations. The authors of the bill have said that exceptions would be made for the government entities, but the Police and Fire departments are not convinced.

I would like to point out that the Police, Fire, and Medical helicopters are for the most part the only helicopters flying at the low altitudes. They also typically fly larger and louder helicopters. These invaluable services save lives and protect people!!! I am in no way criticizing the way that they fly, but I think they are responible for a large portion of the noise. I think that tour operators would be hurt the most by such a bill.

As a tour operator in LA, we have always had the policy of maintaining as much altitude as possible! We do this both for safety and in consideration of Los Angeles residents. There are of course a few “bad apples” out there that do not hold themselves to this standard. I firmly disagree with the way some of the tour operators conduct their flights.

Do I have any immediate solutions?… No, other than asking my fellow pilots out there to fly safely and considerately. I would just like to point out that there are helicopter operators out there that understand the issue and that we do our best to be neighborly!

Griffith Observatory form LA Helicopter Tour

Helicopter ride Griffith Observatory

View of the Griffith Observatory form a Los Angeles helicopter ride

Here is a nice example of the sites you will see on a Los Angeles helicoper ride. This picture was taken on one of our flights today. We also saw a crazy amount of dolphins along the coast! There were at least 10 pods wih 4 to 10 dolphins each.

Dolphins California Helicopter tour LA

Dolphins surfacing seen from LA helicopter tour

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The downtown LA obsession continues

Los Angeles helicopter aerial

I have been fixated on taking pictures of downtown Los Angeles from the helicopter lately.

Here is yet another picture of Downtown LA taken on one of our tours. I don’t know why I have been so obsessed with downtown lately. I guess it is because when I fly over the city I get caught up in the moment and feel the need to take a picture.

LA helicopter tour downtown view

View from down la helicopter tour as the sun is setting

I took this picture over on a helicopter tour over Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles. It was almost sunset, LA looks amazing with the twilight and the city lights together! I clearly added a filter that boosts the saturation. There is no way that a photograph can compare to the experience of a helicopter flight over downtown LA on a Los Angeles Helicopter Tour !

Incredible sunset on a 45 minute LA helicopter tour

Helicopter tour sunset helicopter flight los angeles

Beautiful lighting and definition of the clouds over Los Angeles

LA Helicopter Tours had been blessed with beautiful weather lately. This photo was taken while over Hollywood looking west toward the coast on a sunset helicopter tour. With the days getting shorter this time of year, the optimal time for the perfect sunset helicopter tour is 5:30 pm.

Flying in LA

Helicopter in Los Angeles

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

Los Angeles Helicopter Tours October 2011

Check out this video clip: Malibu Coast Helicopter Tour October 2011

October started out with some beautiful weather here in Los Angeles! We have been very busy here at Lite Flight. The clip shows a section of the 45 minute signature Los Angeles helicopter tour The weather and lighting at the time made this flight almost surreal! Because of the calm water and crystal clear visibility we were able to see a lot of dolphins! I would say we saw 6 pods of over 10 dolphins each! Call Today!

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On the way home from a Sunset Tour

Passing by a police helicopter on the way home from a sunset tour. Not a bad view.

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I've been on helicopter tours before but your flight was special. You managed to give us the feeling of thrills, comfort and safety-- I didn't ever want to land.”

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