Residents want to propel amusement ride out of business

The new Myrtle Beach attraction, Helicopter Adventures, has only been in business for a few weeks, but complaints against the company are beginning to pile up.

More than twenty Palmetto Point residents showed up to Thursday's Horry County Public Safety Committee meeting to express their frustration with the noise made by the company.

"It's like I live near a MASH unit," said resident Michael Rose.

Rose, a former pilot, addressed the committee and the company's owner, Freddie Rick.

"Being a pilot myself, I have my own airplane. I know the noise that thing creates over the tree line and toward people's home. You had to know."

But Rick said his company is doing nothing wrong, and he's operating under the law.

"We're as a company in compliance with all state, local, city, county ordinances," said Rick and thus far the county is in agreement.

Helicopter Adventures was allowed to set up because it fell under the commercial amusement zone but Planning and Zoning director Janet Carter admits the zoning law hasn't been changed in some time.

"What you're dealing with is an ordinance that was written in 1987 and still in effect with regard to this property," said Carter. "This was the hand we were dealt."

Committee chair Brent Schultz said he wouldn't want the company near his home but at this point, there isn't much he can do.

"That's the problem with this whole thing," said Schultz. "We're in a corner."

Schulz asked Planning and Zoning to draft a change to the current law. But Helicopter Adventures would be grand-fathered in if a change was made.

"I would imagine my home and the homes sitting near the waterway and that antenna would almost be impossible to sell," said Rose.

Also, the problem with issuing a noise violation in this case is that the noise is coming from the air, which is out of the county's jurisdiction.

That would be an issue with the Federal Aviation Administration.