Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 2015
Source: Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA)
Copyright: 2015 Appeal-Democrat
Author: Tony Lee


Thank you for the news. The Yuba County Sheriff's office is 
unresponsive to citizens complaints of dangerous helicopter flights.

Last week during very gusty high winds, a helicopter made an 
extremely low flight, estimated to be 150 feet just above the trees 
over my house. It was traveling 30 to 40 miles an hour and made an 
extremely steep turn directly over my house. The blades were slapping 
the wind at an incredible, ear-splitting volume. With the wind 
blowing the chopper sideways and it being banked so steeply, I was 
certain it would crash. To my relief, it slowly recovered from its 
turn and continued off in an easterly direction gaining altitude.

This was clearly an irresponsible maneuver on the pilot's part, 
endangering himself and any passenger in addition to myself and my 
animals and property.

My assumption is this was a surveillance flight for marijuana 
gardens. I learned later others in the neighborhood observed the same 
behavior at other locations.

This must stop as there is no reason for a helicopter to make such 
low passes. Normally, aircraft are to keep a 500-foot altitude, which 
is plenty low enough to observe gardens and get plant counts; in 
fact, flying lower would make this job more difficult, if not 
impossible. My suspicion is that this is done to intimidate.

I have emailed the sheriff twice about this matter and have received 
no reply. This is not acceptable, and I would ask the Appeal-Democrat 
have one of its reporters call the sheriff to get a statement.

Tony Lee

North San Juan
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom