Hovering for Hours - why?


I’ve noticed a helicopter, tail number N918BS, hovering for hours at a time over my neighborhood. Any idea why? This is not the normal low altitude police helicopter. This helicopter is about a mile up, much higher than helicopters normally fly around here.


Hmmm - judging by the previous flight paths, it is either training or putting in hours of flight time. Previous flight paths include some seemingly random patterns repeated a few times, or going up and down repeatedly. I’m still curious about the altitude, though. I rarely see helicopters that high.


There is another R44 (N440AH) operating about 5nm to the North East of that one, also up around 5000’.


I saw that and didn’t investigate because I thought it was an echo (or whatever the proper word would be) that you sometimes see from multiple transmissions from the same vehicle.


It was showing a different squawk and ID, so no reflection. Could be training flights that are in a stage in the curriculum that involves hovering and slow speed work ‘out of ground effect’ perhaps and hence the operating height?


A neighbor contacted the company and got this reply: “This was part of a DOT contract monitoring morning traffic and evening traffic. This will allow DOT to figure out traffic flows and eventual better roads. As far as noise both helicopters were at 6000 ft hovering. The survey was completed yesterday and only took one day. Sorry for the noise we may have caused. Have a great day. Jose”


Noise at 6000ft! You can hardly hear an R44 at 2000ft.
I can hear the local news choppers (B206 and 407s) at 2000ft but an R44 would make much noise even that low.
At 6000ft I wouldn’t expect to hear anything from an R44.


The sound was definitely drowned out by the workers on my neighbor’s roof doing work on the chimney, but every time their drill stopped, I heard the hovering helicopter.

A low-level sound that persists for hours is more annoying than a passing Huey that lasts for a few seconds.