That tanker-truck fire was bad but what about those news helicopters?

Channel 7 overhead/ niXerKG/Flickr

Many residents who live near the 2 and 5 freeway interchange are used to noise. But apparently the nearly constant roar of freeway traffic pales in comparison to the drone of the TV news choppers that converged in the skies over Elysian Valley to cover this Saturday’s tanker-truck fire and subsequent freeway lane closures.

Twitter user Denise R. Be Cotte on Monday morning was among several people to tweet about the noise:

Dear Los Angeles News Stations, The freeway was closed all weekend. It will be closed at least through today. Why does it take 5 noisy helicopters, beginning at 5:30 a.m., 90 minutes to hover over the scene, which also means over the house, to take footage proving the freeway is still closed? Just curious. Give me a call if you’d like an update …I’ve been awake since 5:30.”

Up in Elysian Heights, Charles Gelsinger, a 20-year resident of Altivo Way, said the helicopters appeared to be hovering only 300 feet above his home. Why, he asked in a message to The Eastsider, could they not cover traffic jams from a higher altitude:

I have nothing against channels 7, 5 and 4 filming the ‘disastrous’ traffic on the I-5 and Fwy 2 interchange. However, they could do this from over the freeway or at a much higher altitude, couldn’t they? I closed the vinyl windows, turned up the volume on channel 7 to drown out the chopper noise and to see what everyone else only had to see. Unfortunately, I might as well sleep on the I-5 … It seems all the downtown helicopters (cops, too) seem to use our hill and Echo Park Avenue for their sight lines along the I-5 on their way to other helipads.”

Congressman Adam Schiff has introduced federal legislation  that would help protect residents from buzzing helicopter noise. But don’t expect any relief soon. Last month, during a public hearing on the bill at the Autry National Center in Griffith Park, the Federal Aviation Administration for now supports only asking – not requiring – helicopter pilots to fly at higher altitudes.


  1. Seriously. I used to live in Cypress Park by the Home Depot, and those buggars would hover starting at 5am. It’s not just for special occasions!

  2. There are laws to prevent construction to start before 7am on weekdays and 8am on weekends. Similar legislation should apply to news helicopters.

  3. They were annoying!
    They’re gone now.
    Let it be.

  4. They(news helicopters) have awakened me in the middle of the night many times. I have nothing nice to say about them!

  5. At least w/ channels 9 & 13 no longer independent there are only 5 local news choppers. I remember seeing & hearing the seven copters from the seven then-VHF channels covering fires & freeway troubles more than once.

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