'Mystery copter' in Greenbrier

Greenbrier residents and police were baffled Saturday afternoon by a helicopter pilot that apparently tried to land in town.

The helicopter was described as small, maybe only a 2-seat machine, painted blue and white. According to a Greenbrier PD radio dispatcher it was unclear whether the helicopter landed or just hovered near the ground.

Greenbrier police were going to report the issue to other authorities as a precaution. Generally speaking, helicopters may be operated over congested areas at low altitudes “If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface [and] provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA” (Federal Aviation Regulation § 91-119(d)).

This is in contrast to FAA regulations prohibiting fixed-wing aircraft from flying under 1,000 feet over congested areas except during takeoff and landing 

However, landing a helicopter on private property without permission may be trespassing and other factors, like zoning, may make landing a helicopter illegal.

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