Air Force Helicopters Too Close to Ocean Beach Residents

by on August 20, 2014 · 9 comments

in Environment, Media, Military, Ocean Beach

A local OB man has complained to the media about low-flying military helicopters.  Jim Baird sent a video to Channel 10News and was interviewed by their reporter.

Baird claims the helos are flying under 200 feet, whereas experts say the aircraft must be no closer than 500 feet to vessels, people or buildings.  His video confirms his observation.  Baird told the station:

“They were scary close. I mean, you could feel the pulsation of the blades on your body. And I was just standing there with my palms up and my hands out like this asking them, ‘What are you doing?!’ And they flew by.”

Baird described how his lawn furniture were moved around and knocked over. Baird didn’t want to waste  his time complaining to the military, so he contacted the media after seeing a TV report on a helicopter in La Jolla flying too close to  swimmers at the beach.  Channel 10 reported:

Public affairs officers for the Navy and Army Reserve told 10News the helicopters belong to the Air Force.

 This is not the first time that OB and Point Loma residents, particularly people living close to Sunset Cliffs, have complained about low-flying military helicopters.  Both in August 2011 and in February 2012 there were posts on this.

Thank  you, Channel 10, for reporting on this. You have the resources to follow up on this, we don’t.

OB helicopters toolow JBaird Aug2014

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Graham Wellington August 20, 2014 at 10:41 am

That’s pretty low but i’ve seen a couple if chinooks fly lower than that recently. The DHS copter flys pretty low too.


Pointer August 23, 2014 at 9:16 am

Was that the same chinook with the cargo deck down and a person on the end strapped on and recording a video while the chinook flew less than 200 feet from the cliffs.

I know the helicopters can be annoying. But what is really starting to annoy me is the “re-routed” airplanes that fly right over Point Loma. It use to be just 1 or 2 a year. But now I am see and hear them a few times a week.



UNWASHEDwallmartTHONg August 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Yea, one of these racket jackets flew right over Clairemont Mesa Blvd today at 4:05. Way too low & way too noisy. If war weren’t such big business, then we wouldn’t have to put up w/ the racket jackets, the jets, & other military aircraft. “Employ ‘merikans. Start another war” (or just continue what was started a decade ago; your choice.)


obsurfer August 20, 2014 at 11:22 pm

I was jumping off the arch when they went by I have good video. They were obviously practicing for something because there where two of them guys with guns and all. They waved. We all thought it was pretty cool. Not something you see very often if ever. people are complaint happy. I would estimate them at about 500 ft or so.


G2G August 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm

They did not have weapons on these two specific Air Force Rescue helicopters. They were conducting “water training”. Whereas, the guys in back are deployed and recovered from the helicopter while over water. My guess would be they, the pilots used the approach to the beach as an in-gress into a simulated combat area. And seeing as the short-haired hippy is complaining as if someone blew out his birthday cake candles, then he would be the “combat area”. He got his 15 minutes of fame over the little black helicopter. Fo shizzle!


Katie August 21, 2014 at 8:17 am

Hey there, I saw the news segment, and even it acknowledged that the video did not “confirm” his observation, due to the inability to accurately measure from an iphone video – “10News showed the video to a military aircraft expert who said it was hard to tell exactly how close the aircraft came to shore.” Military helicopters can be annoying, just like police helicopters can be annoying. I guess I don’t feel the need to rant on local tv about something operating to keep me safe…


G2G August 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Thumbs up to you, Katie.


Kat August 22, 2014 at 5:41 am

I don’t think the guy was looking for attention at all. For him to throw his hands up in the air, shows that he was genuinely concerned. I understand that noise is a small price to pay for return, however I think they should notify citizens in the future, so as not to create alarm. Just because the helicopters don’t bother you, you should never assume that they don’t cause great distress to others. Sufferers of PTSD, like myself and many war veterans, are known to have hypersensitivity to noise and sounds. Something that might seem harmless to you, can be quite disrupting to others.


Christopher Field September 6, 2014 at 7:48 pm

Could they be doing recon?


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