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I live in Newport Beach which is located in Orange County, California. I recently moved to an area where helicopters fly once in a while at 2-3 am above my house. Since I live on a hill, the sound is pretty loud and it wakes me up at night.

I was wondering where can I find more information about who controls the airspace in my area in regards to helicopters and how I look up the rules. I've googled a few things but can't find any answers. I'm not sure if it is the FAA or the county or the city or the state. Any pointers in the right direction would be appreciated.

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    $\begingroup$ Not many pilots will take commercial or recreational flights at 2 or 3am. As Zeiss said, these flights are likely military in nature, or possibly Flight-for-Life / Air Ambulance flights. It is extremely unlikely you can do anything about them. $\endgroup$ – abelenky Aug 15 '18 at 15:09
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Like others said, if it's military you're probably out of luck. If it's police, they don't fall under federal jurisdiction, so it'd be up to whatever department is operating the helicopter, city, county, etc. At 2am it's unlikely to be civil aircraft, but if it is and they are operating out of John Wayne Airport, their noise abatement rules are published here.

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Given that you're near a couple military bases, there's every likelihood (especially if the choppers you hear are heavy models like Chinooks or Apaches) that they're from one of those bases. There is little chance a complaint will change anything if that's the case; training exercises that don't cause a hazard to civilians are pretty well immune to civilian comment.

To start, you'd have to be able to positively identify the craft type (likely to be very difficult in the dead of night) and give exact time and location.

If they're non-military, you'd have to determine if they were in violation of FAA altitude, noise abatement, or restricted airspace limitations, or flying unsafely before a complaint to FAA authorities would stick -- once again, difficult to manage at that time of night.

Sorry to say, this might be why your new home was for sale.

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    $\begingroup$ yeah, i was wondering why the house comes with stingers. $\endgroup$ – jason Aug 15 '18 at 13:45
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You can use a service like FlightRadar24.com to see whether the flight is civilian or military. The military ones don't show up, but if military there is little you can do anyway. If it is civil you will see where it came from and where it is going. That might give you the airport to which you can complain.

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  • $\begingroup$ What category does the local police fall under? and does that website track helicopters? I see commercial flights. $\endgroup$ – jason Aug 15 '18 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ Helicopters on commercial flights -- charters, commuter flights -- ought to show up. Unlikely to be instruction of private pleasure flights at 2-3 AM. Police might not, but they only fly a couple types with rather distinctive rotor noise patterns, neither of which is used in common military operations. $\endgroup$ – Zeiss Ikon Aug 15 '18 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ @jason Anything non military will show up, including police in helicopters. $\endgroup$ – Pilothead Aug 15 '18 at 15:30
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These 2 sites may be able to help you track them:

Many here in New York and Long Island are faced with constant commuter helicopters. They seem to have all the freedom to destroy the public's quality of life. Over 80 000 complaints have been filed to our local officials, yet they have not done anything to re-route them!

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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a source for these complaints? $\endgroup$ – Bianfable Apr 29 at 14:34
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Looks like SOCAL Approach. I don't see a phone # on the chart tho.

https://skyvector.com/ Click on World VFR, then pan around to Los Angeles.

Try https://www.faa.gov/ for a phone number.

If you click on LA East Heli, you will also see quite a few H in a circle, those are heliports. I see several for Police or Emergency use, I doubt you'll have much luck getting those curtailed. And would you want to? What if you needed that service some day? enter image description here

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