Brickell residents worry tour helicopters fly too close to buildings

Brickell residents said they were worried about tour helicopter pilots who appeared to be flying dangerously close to highrise buildings.

MIAMI – Brickell residents said they were worried about tour helicopter pilots who appeared to be flying dangerously close to highrise buildings.

Other residents said they felt like the helicopter was way too close to their living rooms. Idi and Hateisha Ohikhuare, of Brickell Key, watched one of the videos and couldn’t believe it.

“That could be dangerous,” Hateisha Ohikhuare said.

The couple said they are used to seeing helicopters flying along Biscayne Bay but not in between the high rises and so close.

“It’s amazing, but also intimidating.” Idi Ohikhuare said.

Brickell residents worry tour helicopter pilot is flying way too close to buildings.

Tom Pendas is the owner of Tour Helicopter, the company that runs the service out of the North Perry Airport. He saw the videos and said that what the pilot was doing was perfectly normal. He said it was a photoshoot and he has been doing it for decades.

A helicopter pilot who saw the videos said that if the pilot was operating below airspeed and altitude in the height velocity curve — while experiencing engine failure — it would be impossible to land safely.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.