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Police chopper in entanglement with kite line

| 20/03/2017 | 28 Comments

(CNS): The line of a tethered kite, which was believed to be flying well over the legal height without permission, was struck by the police helicopter Friday, while the RCIPS Air Operations Unit was on patrol above the West Bay area. Although no serious damage was caused to the chopper’s flying capabilities, it sustained multiple scratches as a result of its entanglement with the fishing wire line and the swivel that was attached. Police said the incident is now being investigated as officers try to determine the kite’s owner.

Explaining the chain of events, an RCIPS spokesperson said the kite’s line had become entangled in the main rotor head of the chopper and snapped but the helicopter crew did not spot the kite itself during the flight. Immediately aware of the encounter with the line however, the crew completed emergency checks in accordance with their training and immediately returned to the airport and landed without incident.

“The crew were not injured, and a subsequent inspection by the helicopter’s engineers revealed the aircraft to be fully airworthy,” the spokesperson said. “It was returned to service at 5pm Sunday. The body of the helicopter sustained multiple scratches in the incident, which does not affect its airworthiness. This will be subject to ongoing assessment and costing for repair.”

The police added that under air navigation legislation, flying kites over 100 feet is prohibited without authority from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Cayman Islands, and no such permission had been given. Numerous warnings relating to such activity have been issued by the authority and the RCIPS.

The RCIPS has already notified the CAACI and a mandatory occurrence report will be submitted as part of the investigation. The government aviation insurers have also been notified.

Anyone who may have any information about this incident or has come across what appears to be kite debris should contact the West Bay Police Station at 949-3999. Anonymous tips can be provided directly to the RCIPS via the Confidential Tip Line at 949-7777,  via the Miami-based call centre of Crime Stoppers at 800-8477(TIPS) or online here.

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Category: Local News, Police

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Really?!…..a legal limited for kite flying? Wow …is there a legal limit to how much you cough or how hard you sneeze too or the amount of rocks you can use to skip across the water at the beach? Everything under the sun is on the law…..geez poor kid………maybe for future find a different spot or don’t fly the kite so high. And the person flying the helicopter should of flown so close to the kite either.




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  2. Unison says:

    Seems like everyone is against the kid who was flying the kite. :/




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  3. Anonymous says:

    A more interesting question is who would use “fishing wire line and the swivel” to fly a kite? That seems very much overkill for kite flying.




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    • Anonymous says:

      give the kid a break. at least he was doing something constructive like we all enjoyed growing up doing and not smoking dope or some other criminal act.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Who said it was a kid. The last time I tracked one of those irritating things down it was and unemployed Cayman on Elizabeth road the kite was up over Boggy Sand.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Never heard of kite fishing?




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  4. Anonymous says:

    These homemade kites are a regular feature of West Bay, esp in and around West Bay Primary/Baseball field and Cricket Pitch. It wouldn’t be hard to hear and see static buzzing kites if there were actual community patrols relaying aerial hazard info to the helicopter. You can easily hear them from West Bay Town Hall.




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  5. Sharkey says:

    The stupid person who was flying that kite knew why he / she was flying the kite so high up in the air , but too stupid to know that if the wrong kind aircraft had got tangled with that kite and line it could have came crashing down on him or her . Not smart .

    I would say just because of this stupid act , Government should ban kite flying beyond 75 ft , and if you fly a kite over 75 ft then you’ll be fined $1,000. and 6 months in prison .




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    • Anonymous says:

      I have never heard of a kite bringing down a air plane or chopper. Me thinks much to do over little.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    I blame Mary Poppins




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  7. Anonymous says:

    Generally flying a Kite serves as a warning to nefarious individuals the police are around.




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  8. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone explain what these kites are for. Why are they put up and then just left. Seems pointless, when I flew my kite, it was with me holding on. And about 30 feet.




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  9. Please Stop says:

    Please, please, please ban kites! Or at least ban people from putting up a kite and leaving it up day and night with the most annoying whining sound! That’s all I can hear on a windy day. Hearing chickens and dogs I can live with, but those dang buzzing kites drive me nuts!




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    • Anonymous says:

      I heard that they are called Cayman singing kites. Well named ?????




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    • Anonymous says:

      What? I haven’t ever seen a kite left up on island…. is this a thing?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh and while we are at it lets ban, oh I dont know, maybe jetskis, motorcycles, fast boats and anything else you can think of you don’t. Kill the mosquito with a cannon ball and move towards a nanny state.




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  10. matt fry says:

    please read page 6 of http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN04059/SN04059.pdf

    this is a uk government booklet with laws from the CAA the CAA here are supposed to follow the uk anyway

    no helicopter within 60 meters (200 feet) so how low were they flying, any commercially avalible kite has less than 200ft of string for this reason.

    how is the helicopter in town allowed to operate from the waterfront site clearly breaking the 200ft limits. (these are limits and cannot be waved.

    Specifically on helicopters, it states that a helicopter may fly below 150 metres (500 feet) above the ground or water or closer than 150 metres to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure if it is conducting manoeuvres, in accordance with normal aviation practice, within the boundaries of an aerodrome, a permitted site, if the operator or pilot-in-command of the aircraft has the written permission of the CAA. However, when flying in accordance with this permission the helicopter must not be operated closer than 60 metres to any persons, vessels, vehicles or structures located outside the aerodrome or site.7




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    • Anonymous says:

      Fly your kites people, and enjoy your lives.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t think this was a commercially available kite considering they mentioned it was fishing line. It also says it was tethered so I’m not sure what the purpose was. Either way, everyone here is aware of the heights the mosquito plane fly at so should always be considerate.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The article on another online news states they hit the “kite” at 400ft.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, CNS didn’t include the kite height, but the police said that they were “well over” 400ft




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    • Anonymous says:

      String was replaced with fishing line. Therefore kite could achieve heights far greater than 200ft. Heights of well over 300ft could be easily achieved.

      Area in town on the waterfront is an approved helipad. Obviously you have to get below 200 feet in order to land so I cant see how this is a breach of the rule.




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  11. Sharkey says:

    I hate to believe that this was not done willfully. I think that if someone know who was flying that kite that night or day should tell the Police.
    This issue could have been a real tragic where lives could have been lost .




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  12. Anonymous says:

    And the point of the kites is what exactly anyway. Lucky it wasn’t the mosquito plane, it would have been in a heap on the ground.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    ?? I’d like to know more about this tethered kite. I hope the results are reported.
    Tired of reading a partial story with no follow up. That’s all the news we ever get in Cayman.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    Good Lord, must be the only time in West Bay’s History that there wasn’t someone with a machete in the vicinity of the RCIPS to “help” them out…




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