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Subject: Law Question: air rights rss

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This has been bothering me all day.

How far does one's property extend above the roof of their house. Is it reasonable to assume that there is a distance below which helicopters (and small planes) should not be allowed to fly, without an invitation? Can I get all "Patton" on them if they do? After all, it would be a violation of private property.
 
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Chief Slovenly
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Property was one of the classes I didn't do so well in, so I can't pontificate and annoy everyone here in this thread. Thank God.

Anyway, I think the wiki article you're looking for is here. Basically, it's understood that you have a certain area of air above your property than you can develop for reasonable uses, but it's commonly understood (and backed up by Supreme Court opinion, at least from the wiki article) that you can't interfere with air traffic.

I think an interesting intersection of individual property rights and public interest occurs in:

1. "Reasonable use" kinds of cases, where say one neighbor wants to build his McMansion 5 stories high and block another neighbor's view/beach access/water or mineral rights

2. "Public nuisance" kinds of cases, where an industrial site/feedlot/concert venue/etc has a far-reaching effect on the surrounding area through the use of its own land

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Cool. Thanks.
500 fet from the top of any structure. Now that is interesting.
 
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I wish we could have had a McMansion guy have to go before the town board afore he decided to cut down all of the trees around his property -- in a heavily wooded area -- and put up a half dozen artificial ponds in their place. Dropped the whole area's property values. He is real lucky that the people around him, most are fairly well-armed avid hunters, did not accidentally shoot the "most dangerous game".

As for me, I never understoon the appeal of hunting avids. Not much meat on their bones.
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Steve Vondra
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Koldfoot wrote:
Complete aside, although tangentially related, that some may find interesting or not.

In this state property owners have no mineral rights. The state reserves all mineral rights in the state constitution. The feds control mineral rights on Federal land, but that is all.

A prospector can dig up your wife's flower bed if he is legitimately looking for gold. He has the courts on his side.
what if you find the gold?
 
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That is really f'd up, Koldfoot.
If such a situation happened would drag the guy inside, then have a nice heart-to-heart talk with him about how much I value my privacy.
 
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Marco Grubert
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Osiris Ra wrote:
How far does one's property extend above the roof of their house. Is it reasonable to assume that there is a distance below which helicopters (and small planes) should not be allowed to fly, without an invitation? Can I get all "Patton" on them if they do? After all, it would be a violation of private property.

Property rights are defined by the states if I remember correctly. It's part of realtor training so if you are really curious call a real estate agent and they should be able to tell you.

FAA regulations prohibit airplanes from flying lower than 1000 feet above ground in towns or lower than 500 feet in rural areas. Not sure what helicopters are allowed to do. If an aircraft comes too close try to read its tail number and report it to have the pilot fined / license suspended.
 
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Clinton Smith
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How far below ground does one's property go? Not that I have any jars buried in my back yard, or anything like that.
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Christopher KrackerJack
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Cross_ wrote:
Osiris Ra wrote:
How far does one's property extend above the roof of their house. Is it reasonable to assume that there is a distance below which helicopters (and small planes) should not be allowed to fly, without an invitation? Can I get all "Patton" on them if they do? After all, it would be a violation of private property.

Property rights are defined by the states if I remember correctly. It's part of realtor training so if you are really curious call a real estate agent and they should be able to tell you.

FAA regulations prohibit airplanes from flying lower than 1000 feet above ground in towns or lower than 500 feet in rural areas. Not sure what helicopters are allowed to do. If an aircraft comes too close try to read its tail number and report it to have the pilot fined / license suspended.


All airspace extends from the surface up. Class 'G' airspace is considered uncontrolled and typically extends from SFC to 500'. All that means is that no one is watching what you are doing at that altitude. Controlled airspace will extend to the surface, but this is typically near airports or military bases.

Helicopters have to abide by the same rules and regs as any other aircraft, so if they are flying below 1000' over your house you have the right to file a complaint. If it is a military aircraft, and there is a military airfield nearby, call the duty office and file a complaint. Trust me, the pilots will hear about it and be reprimanded. Noise complaints are taken seriously.

If you cannot identify the aircraft, call 1-800-WxBrief. That will connect you to the local Flight Service Station (you'll have to navigate a menu to talk to a person). Tell them the time and location (have a lat/long for your house) and they will attempt to identify the aircraft and file a flight violation.

Some aircraft may have a legitimate reason to be flying low over your house (Life-Flight, Police, etc), but repeated low flights definitely warrant a phone call. If you don't complain, nothing will be done.

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Marco Grubert
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I think I'll just follow Osiris' suggestion and the next time one of those Marine Corps helicopters is buzzing our company site at less than 1000' I will go all "Patton" on them. That'll teach 'em !

Christopher, I looked it up in Part 91 and it's 91.119 (d) that I had in mind which makes an exception for helicopters. Us fixed-wing folks have to abide by 500' / 1000' above obstacle.
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Chief Slovenly
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Damn. And my carefully-constructed plans for a live-action version of Kaboom! fall through once more.
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Mark Mahaffey
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Just watched a video that addressed this in passing today. That's a remarkable coincidence. http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/187
 
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Ed Sherman
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Koldfoot wrote:
Complete aside, although tangentially related, that some may find interesting or not.

In this state property owners have no mineral rights. The state reserves all mineral rights in the state constitution. The feds control mineral rights on Federal land, but that is all.

A prospector can dig up your wife's flower bed if he is legitimately looking for gold. He has the courts on his side.


It is the same here in Colorado. I think it's this way in more states than people think.

P.S. Also, in Colorado I don't have water rights on my property either. (Heck, it's illegal to put a rain barrel under a downspout here.
 
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