Residents to Helicopters: Please, Fly Higher

Some residents are demanding that hundreds of  helicopters coming out of Torrance Municipal Airport every week fly higher.

The residents want to reduce the amount of clattering noise that reaches the beach. Richard Root told the Daily Breeze that he plans to present the Torrance  City Council on Tuesday with an online petition about the noise caused by the  Robinson Helicopters factory at Torrance Municipal Airport.

As many as 8,000 overflights occur yearly from the airport, where the  piston-driven, small choppers are built. Robinson Helicopters is Torrance's  fifth-largest employer, and people from around the world travel to the airport  to learn to fly and pick up their birds, which retrail for $243,000 and up.

"I'll be the first one to say not everybody is bothered by it," Root told the newspaper. "It reached the tipping point for me a couple of years ago  because the volume (of helicopters) seemed so high."

The Hollywood Beach resident estimates there are as many as 8,000  helicopter flights leaving Torrance Municipal Airport, adding that the worst of  the problem is confined to an area some longtime locals have dubbed the Lower  Hollywood Rivera, a triangle-shaped area bounded by Pacific Coast Highway,  Palos Verdes Boulevard and Calle Mayor.

Root told the Daily Breeze that helicopters are supposed to follow  Pacific Coast Highway as they head out to the ocean often take a shortcut  directly over the residential neighborhood.

"I sat in his yard with him," Roberta Blowers, co-president of the  Hollywood Riviera Homeowners Association, told the newspaper. "You couldn't  keep a conversation going. You had to stop every time a helicopter went over."

Kurt Robinson, vice president of the Robinson Helicopter Co., told the  Daily Breeze that flying at a higher altitude would increase the risk of  helicopters colliding with aircraft.

"We're not an arrogant company; we try to work with the neighbors," said Robinson, adding that his company's flights exceed the altitudes  recommended by an industry trade group.

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