April 25, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 16

Sorry for helicopter intrusion at lodge

I want to apologize to Mosquito Lake residents who were surprised and upset about a helicopter landing at the Funny Farm on Monday.

First, we appreciate your support in the last decade of the heli-ski industry here in Haines.

Secondly, Southeast Alaska Backcountry Adventures and Last Frontier Air Ventures do not condone any helicopter activities or business practices that go against keeping the peace, especially in a constricted residential area like Mosquito Lake. Monday’s landing was not authorized, planned, and was not a good idea.

  We realize that people have a right to make a living. But they must take into consideration the rights of residents to enjoy a lifestyle that meets their ideals. We recognize that heliports are a concern in this valley. This action was in no way an attempt by SEABA to promote the future use of the Funny Farm as a heliport. 

We feel strongly that a commercial heliport used by the heli-ski industry needs to be in an area that has no departure or arrival paths over residents, operates during normal business hours, and is surrounded by a majority of residents who support the activity, like 18 Mile.

  In the pilot’s defense, most non-commercial landings of a helicopter on private property in Alaska are legal. The only area in the Haines Borough this is not allowed is in Mud Bay.

  If anyone has questions or concerns about our industry please come by our Main Street office or call 907-314-0445.

Thank you for listening, your support and have a good summer!

Scott Sundberg