Featured Letter: Keep up the good helicopter fight

To the Editor:

It’s apparent that many North Fork residents are still getting bombarded with various aircraft noise. The newest helicopter regulation approved in August simply pushed the helicopter flight pattern farther east.

All towns east of Manorville would be considered “transition” areas, which would permit pilots to cross to East Hampton Airport, the Southampton heliport and Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach. This should have never been approved.

For years, North Fork residents have requested helicopter pilots to fly over the Sound and around Orient Point, or on the South Shore route. Due to FAA and JFK airspace regulations, the southern route is very limited. According to the Eastern Region Helicopter Council, one major helicopter company, Liberty Helicopters, has signed an agreement to use the South Shore route.

If one company is permitted to take that route, why can’t others? The North Fork cannot continue to be used for entry and exit points to the South Fork.

It is critical that residents contact their elected officials. Question why these helicopters have to fly over our schools. What is this doing to our environment?

Inquire as to why the county is not enforcing a 2009 law making it illegal to fly a helicopter “in a manner that creates a hazard or undue hardship for persons and property on the surface.” It carries a $1,000 fine for each violation.

To file complaints via the Web, please go to [email protected] or call 537-loud (5683) or 1-800-376-4817. Details should include your name, address, town, phone number, date and time of occurrence, direction and any description of the aircraft. A tail number (NR#) is best.

If you get the tail number, go to faa.gov. There is a box on the opening page which reads “N-number inquiry.” All aircraft details will become available to you.

The FAA also has a noise complaint line at 718-553-3365, but those reports are not investigated or responded to. To file a complaint about an unsafe aircraft, call 755-1300. You can also join the Quiet Skies Coalition at quietskiescoalition.org. Federal aviation regulations can be found there.

Teresa McCaskie, Mattituck