In his letter, Mr. Stanley L. Ronell one again voiced his concerns about helicopters flying over Port Washington. He objects to my characterization in a previous letter of his complaints as ridiculous and I stand by that description. Now Dr. Geoffrey Gordon, superintendent of schools, has added his voice to support Mr. Ronell. As much as I respect Dr. Gordon and his efforts to maintain the high standards of education in Port, his fears about helicopter traffic are simply unfounded.

I don't know what qualifies either of these gentlemen to pass judgment about air traffic safety but let me just say that I am a professional Industrial Designer, holding three engineering degrees. I have been an aircraft enthusiast my whole life and am president of a local radio control model aircraft club that flies in Port Washington. I have designed aircraft for over 30 years and know a bit more than the average person about aerodynamics.

I know Mr. Ronell doesn't like to let facts get in the way of his opinions, but let's look at a few facts. First of all, I simply do not believe that the windows on Mr. Ronell's home rattle when a helicopter flies overhead. If that is true, have your windows repaired; the problem is there, not in the air. I live less than a half-mile from Mr. Ronell and my windows certainly do not rattle when helicopters fly overhead. In my 30 years of living in Port, I have never been awakened by a helicopter, nor disturbed in any way by its noise. My three were educated here and my two grandchildren are in the schools now. None of them have ever had a class disturbed by helicopter noise.

While a crash of any aircraft flying overhead is certainly possible, helicopters are the safest of all aircraft in that regard. When a fixed wing aircraft loses engine power, there is very little time to pick a spot to crash land, but a helicopter is capable of a maneuver called auto-rotation. This basically is allowing the roter to free wheel while the aircraft descends, providing considerable lift and slowing the descent to what may be a bumpy landing, but controlled indeed. Personally, I would rather have a helicopter in trouble overhead, than a fixed wing aircraft.

The FAA requires that helicopters fly at least 1,100 feet above populated areas and I have never seen a helicopter violate that restriction in Port, with the exception of police helicopters and medical emergency helicopters. I stand by what I said in an earlier letter, "there simply is no helicopter menace in Port Washngton."

Roy Coniglio

LongIsland.com Logo
An Official Newspaper of the
LongIsland.Com Internet Community

| antonnews.com home | Email the Port Washington News|
Copyright ©2007 Anton Community Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.

LinkExchange Member

Farmingdale Observer Floral Park Dispatch Garden City Life Glen Cove Record Pilot Great Neck Record Hicksville Illustrated News Levittown Tribune Manhasset Press Massapequan Observer Mineola American New Hyde Park Illustrated News Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot Plainview Herald Port Washington News Roslyn News Syosset Jericho Tribune Three Village Times Westbury Times Boulevard Magazine Features Calendar Search Add An Event Classified Contacting Anton News