I am a commercially rated helicopter pilot with my CFI rating, which means I can teach flying.
Pilots are held accountable to Department of Transportation rules for operations of their aircraft. The actual business being conducted determines to what extent the rules restrict the pilot.
For this discusion, most flights would fall under FAA rules FAR part 91.119 FAR( Federal Aviation Regulations )
read as follows.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:
(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.
(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.
(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—
(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and
(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.
The thing that TopGun posted was an exerpt not from the FAR but from a suppliment called the AIM ( Areonautical Information Manual )
the AIM section is a helpful tool to further explain certain rules and general practices. Its reference was noted by the three numbers spaced apart.
That section is a reference to areas of natural preservation where they dont like nature to be disturbed. Wildlife refuges, Grand Canyon sections, etc. its not a rule but a guideline for altitudes to help assist preservation.
The rule in part 91 is law.
In an emergency, the pilot in command can diviate from any part of the law in efforts to save the ship, crew and passengers. Spotting a big ol bull however doesnt fall under that exception.
long explanation aside.... Get a helicopter pilot to fly you in lower than 500 ft if its in your budget. I personally love flying over my hunting area....just not during season.
I hunt because......
WolftalonID said it pretty well, but you have to be careful of those whirlybird types...we airplane guys have wings, helicopters just beat the air into submission
In Alaska, the hunting guides operate under established "ethical standards" that prevent them from using an airplane to spot and pursue a specific animal and also prevents them from using a GPS to make a waypoint of a specific animal. They can do preseason scouting and population census counts, just can't single out an animal for pursuit. It's hard to enforce however.
You cannot hunt until after 3am following a day that you have flown.
Alaska is generally sparsely population and altitude restrictions don't seem to be an issue. I find that the best altitude for looking at wildlife is around 1000' over the ground. Much lower and you will be beyond them to quickly.
There are federal regulation that prevent harassing wildlife, and those you do have to be careful of.
I've been flying since about 1980, it's about the only real good way to get around up here.
That is sooo misunderstood AK. If we had bats attached to the hub mayyyybe it would be beating the air into submission. We have wings too! They just like to dance instead of just sitting there!
See me pointing to that one tree just beside that other tree left of the first tree? I like that snowflake right there. Ya cant see that from a plane!! Lol
The other shot is from over Granite Lake as we come around from Brundage looking back toward Payette Lake. About 500 ft AGL nearly 8000 ft MSL
Last edited by wolftalonID; 03-12-2014 at 07:51 AM.
I hunt because......
As far as game cameras during season, just because my state has a restriction on it, doesn't mean I agree with it. I don't. I do, however, follow the laws as written.
When I scout I do it in my boots, from my computer, from my truck, from my bicycle, from my horse, and if I had the funds from a plane. These are all advantages I use to my benefit, and advantages the game doesn't have over me.
BB---This whole technology deal can be a real thread and discussion in itself, that's for sure. Many will say the technology has gone way too far with all we use to the point where we'd all be using spears if they had their way, LOL! I'm sort of a moderate or middle of the road thinker on the subject. Since I'm retired I have plenty of time for scouting and see no need for game cameras, while working stiffs probably do with less physical time to spend before a season. As long as it's legal I think we should all agree that whatever a guy does is okay. However, after saying that I'll add one last thing that can really get a few people going and that's this long range shooting that we're seeing more and more of. IMHO when a guy shoots at an animal at 1000 yards it takes all of the hunting away from the game and is really just shooting or killing. The animal has no defense mechanisms for that when it doesn't have any chance for the most part to see, hear, or smell the hunter. The other thing is that IMHO there is a huge risk of wounding an animal in the time a bullet takes to get there at those distances. Even as big as an elk is if it takes a step as you suqeeze the trigger you will either miss, or worse, wound that animal and at that distance a recovery probably goes way down percentage wise.
Last edited by Topgun 30-06; 03-12-2014 at 11:36 AM.
I know, I'm just jealous. No matter how short I can land my supercub, you can land that whirlybird shorter. And, there is nothing finer for managing a pack of wolves than a rotorwing. You just can't use them for anything up here in the way of hunting. Plenty of my friends fly them though.