Strafing run at Salt Pond Beach

SUBHEAD: Lifeguards on duty thought the military helicopters were a clear danger to the public.

By Juan Wilson on 9 December 2017 for Island Breath -

Image above: Attack helicopter traverses Salt Pond Beach Park at low altitude from east to west as beachgoers watch. Note the chopper is right over cars parked at the far side if the beach. See image below for close up of cars. Photo by Juan Wilson.

This is the second time I have witnessed what amounts to practice strafing runs over an occupied county public beach park on Kauai, Hawaii. It is not welcomed.

Below are images and a short video that caught on my iPod as two military helicopters flying low and hot in at least four passes from east to west and back over Burns Field.

Burns is an unregulated airstrip at Puolo Point shared by small private civilian and commercial aircraft. There is no control tower, personnel or traffic regulation at the fields.

Image above: Vehicles park along fence of Burns Field for access to beach for swimming and fishing. Photo by Juan Wilson.

These maneuvers brought them over the Salt Pond Beach area including a sandy beach and ocean swimming area occupied by tourists and locals that often park near the end of the Burns Field runway.

one of  the helicopter's passed was higher from west to east. See video below.

Image above: The two  helicopters heading west over water of Salt Pond Beach Park in one of at least four runs at Burn's Field. In most they approached the area and dropped to lower strafing altitude. From (

I spoke to the lifeguards on duty at the time. They were appalled by the risks of flying so low over a swimming area. They thought it clearly a danger to the public.

One aircraft appeared to be a UH-60 Black Hawk and the other a Bell Cobra attack helicopter, both used by the US Army.

The Navy operates two 7,000 foot long runways with a control tower, fire trucks and safety equipment just a few miles from this beach. Why can't the Army make what look like strafing runs there? Is it because they would have to ask permission of the Navy and might be turned down?

These copters likely flew from Oahu - Probably from the US Army's Schofield Barracks airfield.

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