No, he didn’t buy next to the airport. But for this property owner, he might as well have.

I thought I’d write to you, what do I have to lose at this point?

These tour helicopters "buzz" my property 7 days a week. I’m literally losing it. Highest count so far, 42 flights in a 6 hour period.

I’ve contacted the FAA, DOH, DOT, EPA, my local representative, the mayor, the Governor’s office, and the individual tour companies via e-mail. NOTHING has been done.

I live 12 miles from the airport and 30 miles from the volcano, the helicopters still fly in a half mile corridor creating a nuisance that to me is unacceptable. EVERYONE in my subdivision is irritated by it but NO government agency is willing to address the issue, the tour companies hide behind FAA rules that only address safety but not noise.

I don’t want to go on and on about this, I’m just hoping you’ve handled cases like this before and I can get some help.

I feel like I’ve lost the enjoyment of my property, my peace of mind, I’ve lost sleep and my anxiety attacks have come back after 2 years of being relatively free of it.

I realize that you primarily represent people who have been involved in crashes however it just boggles my mind that these companies are allowed to operate with little or no impunity and can conduct business in such a way to cause this kind of annoyance."

(Name withheld)

Unfortunately, it’s an uphill battle, as far as I’m concerned.  Some years ago, a property owner complained that a tour operator was not only driving him crazy with the noise, but was flying dangerously low over his property.  He reported the problem to the local Flight Standards District Office, which did essentially nothing.  The owner escalated the complaint to a mainland FSDO.  The mainland FAA inspectors came out a few times to watch from a hillside.  Funny thing – every time they came out, the overflights stopped.  

Seems that the local FSDO was tipping the operator off. 

Shortly after that, a Big Island Air tour came through, flying too close to the terrain. 10 people were killed when the aircraft crashed onto the northeast slope of Mauna Loa. 

We sued the FAA for failing to enforce the minimum altitude requirements.  Unfortunately, the FAA asserted its various immunities to block the suit. 

Let’s face it.  The tour operations are big business.  And the FAA seems more inclined to promote that business than to regulate it. 

I’m not exactly sure what it will take before there’s some sanity brought to the industry.