GPS system shows helicopters stick to route - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

GPS system shows helicopters stick to route

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Concerned parents want Horry County Council to look into flight restrictions over local schools, but council members say they'd have a tough time making them a reality.

"Once they get off the ground, we can't really do anything," says Horry County Councilman Gary Loftus. Loftus says temporary flight restrictions, or TFRs, are regulated by the FAA and hard to come by. He says some parents have approached the council expressing fears over helicopter tours flying over local schools.

"The main concern is safety," Loftus says. "29th Avenue to 38th, between Oak and Grissom, that's all schools!"

But local helicopters say they don't fly over that area of Myrtle Beach anyway.

"We just want to be good neighbors," says Helicopter Adventures owner Freddie Rick. "Call us, let us know if someone has an issue. We'll see if we're flying over where they say we're flying over."

Rick says he's installed a sophisticated GPS tracking system on his helicopters to make sure they don't fly over disputed areas. A thin, blue line tracks each flight. Each one in the system stops before 29th Avenue North or Robert Grissom Parkway.

"We've spent thousands, tens of thousands on this tracking system," Rick says.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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