Several members of the Bellvista Community Association Management Committee met with Chopperline’s Chief Pilot Mike Hayes this morning. The purpose of the meeting was to formalize contacts between the two groups and ensure there was a clear and open communication channel.
Chopperline’s Chief Pilot is extremely aware of the Bellvista Community and endeavours at all times to plan training flights over the estate to cause the least ‘pain’ to all involved. This includes strict instructions on where to fly so as to cause the least amount of disruption. It is impossible for repetitive helicopter circuits not be of any disruption to residents, but minimising these disruptions is in everyone’s best interests.
Safety is a major concern for everybody and Chopperline is required to adhere to CASA requirements. CASA sets minimum flying heights to 500′. Chopperline aim for a minimum height of 800′ but have preferable height of 1200′. Following today’s discussions, Mike will investigate other areas to practise a certain landing procedure to lessen impact on Bellvista residents. This will occur if it is at all safe and possible to do so.
Currently Chopperline have between 6 and 8 students undergoing flying instruction. The main helicopter used by Chopperline is the white looking machine with the pyramid shaped fuselage between the body of the aircraft and the blades. It is similar to the helicopter in the photo left.
A helicopter doing repetitive circuits over the estate around 9 am this morning (Monday) was not from Chopperline. It appears this helicopter was not based at Caloundra but used the Caloundra Airport to practise its circuits.
Mike says that Redcliffe Airport may be banning all pilot training practice at its airport by non Redcliffe Airport based users. This may have an impact on the use of Caloundra Airport and in turn on Bellvista residents.
Chopperline has requested that the two groups meet again to further ensure an open communication channel is maintained between their company and BeCA.