----- Original Message -----
To: Johnny Bob
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 2:04
Subject: Fwd: Letters re helicopter noise, esp. news helis, in
Dear Johnny Bob,
Here is a series of letters on the
outrage here in Boston over the helicopter noise problem. They're for your site
if you want them. Having a major paper such as the Boston Globe run a front-page
article on the problem is a step forward.
I think the main thing is to
keep up pressure on our federal representatives, getting dozens of people to
call them daily with the helicopter noise in the background, demanding they
remove the loophole for under-75,000-pound aircraft as far as noise testing
goes, and all the other loopholes that let these people degrade the environment,
and call up the pilots and companies involved to tell them to fly at 2000'
minimum during the day, as demanded by FAA Advisory Circular 91-36D, and to
follow the suggestions in other FAA A.C.s regarding minimizing noise.
Most of all, the medical helicopters shouldn't be taking people to
hospitals when an ambulance can get them there just about as fast.
in general, helicopters are Stage 2 aircraft that should be phased out as much
as possible, as other Stage 2 aircraft were.
Aircraft Noise Action Committee
Alliance for a Healthy Habitat
/color>/color>Copters' roar sets off a
wailing among Fenway residents
/color>/color>August 16, 2005 12:18:04 AM
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, FIacovino@massport.com,
/fontfamily>[ Boston Medflight's
helicopters have been among the worst offenders. They've been driving us crazy
all over Cambridge for years now, as well as Boston, Watertown, etc., etc. A
phone call or a complaint often results in a bunch of "strafing runs" the next
few days, where they shake up your whole neighborhood with high speed flyovers
at a few hundred feet. I've got literally thousands of documented outrageous low
flights over the past years, most of them occurring when they are just returning
to their base at Hanscom Airport in Bedford, MA. They have never made the
slightest attempt to comply with FAA Advisory Circular 91-36D, "VFR Flight over
Noise-Sensitive Areas", which specifies a minimum of 2000' (understood to be
during the _day_) over residential and other noise-sensitive areas.
don't see why such arrogance should be permitted. They need to be permanently
shut down, their pilots need to permanently lose their flight licenses, their
directors need to be declared felons unqualified for any position of public
trust, and they need to pay back the hundreds of million dollars in damage they
have inflicted on our health. Any future helicopter ambulances need to be under
strict supervision for compliance with FAA AC 91-26D; to make sure they are only
doing emergency runs that could not be handled by ground ambulance services,
particularly at night; and that when possible they go to outlying hospitals. --
Chris Young ]
While the Fenway has gone
upscale, like this Queensberry Street building, residents say an increase in
helicopter traffic is eroding the quality of life. (Globe Staff
Photo / David Kamerman)
roar sets off a wailing among Fenway residents
/bigger>/bigger>Say ballpark, hospitals drawing
Lisa Wangsness, Globe Staff | August 15, 2005
The Fenway is
rapidly changing from the home of rowdy students and noisy sports bars to a
fashionable neighborhood that just saw its first $1 million townhouse price tag.
Along with the gentrification has come a new complaint: helicopters.
residents say the percussive roar of airborne machinery has been interrupting
their al fresco dinners, drowning out their phone calls, and disturbing
otherwise quiet afternoons at home, and they have been begging City Hall to do
something about it.
Fenway's city councilor, Mike Ross, has been talking with the Federal Aviation
Administration and the New England Helicopter Council and is planning a
community meeting later this month to air the
beat the skies over the entire city, they flock to the Fenway because of its
famous baseball field and the host of hospitals where emergency cases are flown
in and out virtually every day.
TV helicopters film certain ballgames and
special events at Fenway Park, private helicopter tours bring paying customers
in for a close-up look at the stadium, and /x-tad-bigger>State Police
patrol the skies /x-tad-bigger>/color>[Call
your state rep. and ask him/her to curtail State Police helicopter use; if
possible film the State Police and get noise readings and forward these to the
-- Chris Young]/x-tad-bigger>/color> /x-tad-bigger>During events at
Fenway, choppers may hover overhead for 20 to 40 minutes at a stretch -- making
some neighbors feel, as one resident put it, ''like we're in M*A*S*H."
''Since the All-Star
Game [in 1999], you've had Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett; we're going to have
the Rolling Stones -- not to mention the Red Sox winning the World Series, not
to mention speculation about new ownership and do they or don't they move," Ross
said. ''All of that has led to so much air traffic over Fenway Park, and
residents have started to say: /x-tad-bigger>'Are there any
controls, and what can be done to alleviate the noise?' /x-tad-bigger>/color>"
FAA says federal law prohibits the agency from releasing the number of flights
over the neighborhood and from disclosing who is flying./x-tad-bigger>/color> /x-tad-bigger>[Unbelievable
arrogance, but par for the course.]/x-tad-bigger>/color> But residents say they
have noticed many more choppers in the air over the last several years,
especially during big events at Fenway Park.
the ones that just kind of sit there -- park there -- for 20 minutes or a
half-hour," said Steve Chase, a realtor who lives and works in the
Getting something done about the problem is no easy matter, some
residents have found. Lisa Simon, 50, a choreographer who lives in the Fenway,
recalls trying to eat dinner with friends on the patio of a cafe last year when
a chopper essentially stopped over their heads, emitting an ear-splitting drone./x-tad-bigger>/color>
/x-tad-bigger>''We couldn't talk to one another at
the table," she said. ''Finally, I asked someone for their cellphone and called
the police. They could hardly hear me on the phone. The police said, 'It's not
our jurisdiction, it's the FAA or somebody.' I said, 'Well I can't call them,
you call them and tell them to move.' "
have to get permission from Logan International Airport's control tower to fly
through Fenway airspace. But the FAA usually gives the go-ahead to any pilot who
follows federal regulations, said Jim Peters, a spokesman for the FAA's New
regulations aren't too restrictive, either. As long as pilots are licensed and
follow safety regulations, they can basically fly wherever they want -- and as
low, as long, and as loud as they want, Peters said./x-tad-bigger>/color>
''The resulting noise that
may occur from that event we don't regulate," Peters said.
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the airspace within 3 nautical miles of
Fenway Park has been off-limits to aircraft from one hour before baseball games
to one hour after they end. But the Transportation Security Administration
grants waivers on a case-by-case basis, and public safety and medical aircraft
are exempt from the prohibition./x-tad-bigger>/color>
said a 1982 federal law prohibits the FAA from releasing the identities of
companies that request permission to fly into the airspace. But there are
clearly plenty of operators. Several Boston tour companies advertise helicopter
rides offering sky views of Fenway
State Police runs a helicopter patrol, but a spokesman would not comment on when
-- or whether -- that unit monitors Fenway Park./x-tad-bigger>/color>
the major local television networks also boast helicopter coverage. Fox25 has
SkyFox, WBZ-TV (Channel 4) has Sky Eye 4, WCVB-TV (Channel 5) has Live Sky 5,
and WHDH-TV (Channel 7) has Sky
Publicists for channels 4, 5,
and 7 said they send helicopters over Fenway to cover only big events, such as
the World Series and Opening Day.
''We do try to be considerate of the
neighborhood," said Ginny Lund, director of public relations for WHDH, adding
that the station's news director, Linda Miele, would be happy to meet with Ross
if he asks.
Charles Steinberg, a spokesman for the Red Sox, said that
neighborhood associations cited helicopters as a hot issue a few years ago, but
not lately. He said that when concerns arose previously, he relayed them to the
news directors of TV stations with choppers, and the complaints quickly
dissipated. If residents bring the issue to the team's attention again, he said,
''we would try to use our imagination" to find a way to help.
know that the news organizations are the culprit," he added. ''I don't
necessarily know who's flying a helicopter on what day."
said that when Mission Hill residents began complaining about helicopters
traveling to and from the Longwood Medical area a few years ago, informal
meetings among hospital officials, residents, the FAA, and helicopter pilots
helped alleviate the problem. Now he hopes the New England Helicopter Council,
an advocacy organization for the ''rotorcraft community," can help address
Fenway residents' concerns through informal conversations with the companies and
organizations that fly helicopters in the neighborhood./x-tad-bigger>/color>
example, he suggested, media covering big events at Fenway Park could pool their
footage. ''It's a tremendous thing to coordinate, as I'm finding out," he said./x-tad-bigger>/color>
Raynaud, 36, thinks that's a splendid idea. An independent consultant who works
out of his apartment at the corner of Park Drive and Queensberry Street, Raynaud
spends much of the day trying to ignore the swooping choppers that render his
phone conversations inaudible for 30 seconds at a stretch./x-tad-bigger>/color>
conversations that should last 10 minutes often turn into 15- or 20-minute
calls, he said, because he spends so much time asking people to repeat what they
said. On a good day, he said, five or six choppers come by; on a bad day, there
is at least one an
Raynaud was once on a
conference call with people from all over the country when someone joked about
all the noise coming from the New York City office.
''The people in New
York City said, 'It's as quiet as it can be here,' " he said. /x-tad-bigger>/fontfamily>
Date: /color>August 23, 2005 2:06:24 AM EDT
Cc: /color>PlaneTalk <PlaneTalk@yahoogroups.com>, South Shore Jet
Pollution Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Alliance for a Healthy Habitat
/color>Letters re helicopter noise, esp. news helis, in Fenway, Boston
are letters to the Boston Globe about the helicopter noise in the Fenway section
of the city, where the news copters hover over Fenway Park and other areas for
hours on end.
We're also getting pounded daily in West Cambridge by WBZ's
news helicopter out of Allston. They make no attempt to fly at 2000' over
residential areas as demanded by FAA Advisory Circular 91-36D. You see them
flying flat for miles at 500' or even 300' over residential areas, hospitals,
nursing homes, parks, etc. How would ascending to 2000' slow them down enough to
matter? Where is any sense of civility or decency?
The other news
copters behave similarly. I've seen WCVB hovering over residential areas for 6
hours after one minor robbery in Somerville.
helicopters fly everywhere at 700' or less at 7 AM in the morning./x-tad-bigger>
noise of these things is like a freight train 50 feet away. The low-frequency
pounding of the blade-slap will go right through a two-foot thick wall. In the
middle of the night, when the medical helicopters (Boston Medflight mostly) make
their routine flights back to base at 1000' or so, you feel like they're landing
on the roof.
We need to eliminate the loophole that totally exempts
aircraft under 75,000 pound from any noise constraints, and we need to get back
local control so our state representatives can restrict the abuse by these
blatantly inconsiderate pilots and organizations. -- Chris Young]/x-tad-bigger>
to the Boston Globe re helicopters over Fenway section of Boston
A ONETIME resident of New York City, I chuckled as I read the story ''/x-tad-bigger>Copters' roar
sets of a wailing among Fenway
residents/x-tad-bigger>/color>" (Page A1, Aug. 15). When I
saw that their complaints centered on the disruption of their patio dinners --
while other residents eat inside their sweltering apartments --I laughed out
is a fact of life in the city, and the Fens was dominated by Fenway Park and the
Longwood Medical Area long before these people moved in. It is the height of
chutzpah to move to a neighborhood and then demand it be changed to suit your
/x-tad-bigger>A. DAVID BROWN
/bigger>/bigger>/bigger>August 22, 2005/x-tad-bigger>/fontfamily>
IS UNFORTUNATE that A. David Brown of Newton finds the complaints of Fenway
residents amusing (''/x-tad-bigger>Chutzpah in the
Fenway/x-tad-bigger>/color>," letter, Page A12). Despite the
prospect of a developer asking a million-plus for a townhouse, the Fenway is
primarily a middle-class neighborhood. We're not a bunch of gentrified,
Aug. 15 article that Brown was responding to failed to distinguish what types of
helicopter noise are the problem (''Copters' roar sets off a wailing among
Fenway residents," Page A1). /x-tad-bigger>This issue arose
because of the constant practice of television news stations flying helicopters
above our homes for up to an hour or more for what is known in the business as
''beauty shots." These are the /x-tad-bigger>three-second/bigger> aerial
pictures shown as the program moves to a commercial.
Nobody in the
neighborhood is complaining about a med-flight rushing wounded people to the
hospital or broadcasts of legitimate breaking news. And despite the quotes
attributed to the news people as willing to be cooperative, their actual
behavior has been quite the opposite, as many people in the neighborhood will
tell you. The television stations considered it their right to be up
Brown is wrong in his statement that the Fenway ''was dominated by
Fenway Park and the Longwood Medical Area" long before we moved in. Fenway Park
was a lyric little bandbox with just 10,000 showing up for Ted Williams's last
game. Does anyone remember organ music between innings?
Medical Area is a monster run amok, as office parks are squeezed into every last
inch of open space. Most of this development happened only in the last decade.
Many Fenway residents have lived here for a lot longer than that.
noise is a fact of life in the city, there is plenty of it, which is why
unnecessary noise is so unforgivable.
Fenway Civic Association/x-tad-bigger>Boston/x-tad-bigger> /x-tad-bigger>/fontfamily>