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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:38 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 766
Location: Florida--JACKSONVILLE
where i kite 99% of the time is on the beach at a navy air station. I've been watching the helos doing SAR training for years while I was kitesurfing. One helo even retrieved my board once while i was on my other board, going out for it. THEY KEPT IT..but that's a different story. this particular day i was flying a PL Venom15...three helos came out and started their usual formation of flying long ovals up and down the beach, 1/4 mile out. One particular chopper of the three kept getting closer to me with each pass. after 3 times, I realized what was going on and headed for the beach as quick as i could before he came back. i was not quick enough. I made it in and had just kicked my board off...kite was low to the ground, head high...i was watching the chopper and just before i was to send the kite to the leash, the chopper banked really hard with the prop wash catching my kite and sent my flying up the beach on my back. No damage except for road rash on my shoulder. a half dozen or more onlookers had written his tail number down and offered up in reporting this guy. there was nothing to gain by reporting this--RickI knows why. Since that day, I immediately pack up and go home when they come out for training.


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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:52 am
Posts: 419
Location: Tennessee
If this is a common problem in your area (I am assuming this is in Jacksonville), I would say it is probably worth a call. The helicopter is most likely out of Mayport or NAS Jacksonville. I would just let Base operations at both places know what happened and what your concerns are. I am sure that they will be concerned and can put out a message to their pilots to maintain a safe clearance from kites. They are good people there and I am sure they do not want to get anyone hurt.

If the area in question is right off the shore next to Mayport, that might be another problem. That is controlled airspace very close to their airfield so there may be a need to stay clear of that area. Either way, a call can't hurt to let them know your concerns and you can know what areas they need to use close to shore.

Obviously I don't know all the facts with this situation, but a little communication could prevent a dangerous situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:38 am
Posts: 17
I agree with above post. As an ex military pilot I know that the base/ Navy would like to know how badly they could injure a kiter with such actions. That would lead to bad press which neither party wants.

Send a message to the Base ops and just the facts; they will sort it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:21 am
Posts: 167
2 weeks ago the lifeguards were demonstrating a rescue with a heli at our spot for a tv station.
They flew pretty close to the kites but nothing happened.
Maybe the size of the heli matters that much?


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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 766
Location: Florida--JACKSONVILLE
the helo incident was a few years back so no need to address it with the base at this point.
Way back when--1999/2000-- when we were all learning at Hugenot park, just 1/4 from NAS mayport runway, someone turned us in for violating airspace. (we believed it to be a windsurfer) FAR # (i don't remember) prohibits kite flying with in 2 miles on a military air field. We were riding in the approach zone...helos and jets 250', right over us. i talked to the base commander/wing and they had no problems with us on our 100 ft lines. many of us had the down wash hit us and we knew what to expect before hand. But this one instance was isolated and i did not want to risk losing the privelege of kitesurfing on base--and that would have happened as a result of the investigation that i would have caused. there has never been a kitesurfer on base mayport beside me, until this year. and I make it a point to inform any kiter i see about the helos and to save our spot, land the kite when the helos come out for SAR training.


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 Post subject: Re: Seaking helicopter incident leaves kite surfer injured
PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:52 am
Posts: 419
Location: Tennessee
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2011-t ... art101.pdf

Above is the link to FAR part 101 (US regulations) just so you can see what the FAA regs say about kites. This reg obviously was not written with kiteboarding in mind, so it won't cover all the specifics you might need. If you go specifically by what this says, you actually can't kite within 5 miles of any airport. There are specifics like a "5 lb kite weight", and "connected to a rope or cable", but my guess is that if you ask for further clarification, you won't like the answer.

As Arcsrule is doing, if you have permission, or no one is giving you a hard time about where you are kiting near airports, it is probably best not to ask the question and stay clear of aircraft. Everybody will stay happy happy.

As for the rest of my pilot buddies, come on, it is just too easy to avoid kites regardless of where they are.


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