Billionaire helicopter pilot and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in trouble with neighbors of the East 34th Street Heliport, who say hizzoner repeatedly breaks curfew when flying chopper in and out of the city-owned landing pad.
"To utilitze that heliport when it's supposed to be closed is just disrespectful," Ron Sticco, who decided to film the mayor's exploits, told ABC.
A court-ordered curfew was issued at the Heliport more than 10 years ago, after neighbors claimed there was too much exhaust and noise. It's open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and closed on the weekends. In just the last 6 months, however, Sticco and his wife have recorded pilot Bloomberg breaking curfew 16 times -- and WABC aired footage of the mayor taking off and landing.
Perhaps the best part of ABC's expose on Choppergate is this quote from Sticco:
"[Bloomberg's] being a little bit hypocritical. If you're concerned about the quality of life of the citizen in this city, like don't smoke a cigarette in Central Park, then don't land a two thousand pound helicopter in front of my apartment with the choking exhaust and intolerable noise when it's closed."
Snap! You gonna take that Bloomy? As Daily Intel puts it, "Louis the XVI and Julius Caesar never had to deal with this bullshit!" Surely this Sticco guy's just never felt the sheer thrill of piloting a whirlybird, right? Maybe take him for a ride to your humble Hamptons home? Fly him to a U2 concert? Buy him and his wife their own V-22 Osprey? That will shut them up.
The Mayor insisted he didn't know about the curfew, which is posted on the FAA website.
Update: A City Hall spokesman said Mayor Bloomberg would no longer be flying from the heliport on weekends. Spokesman Stu Loeser also explained, "While the heliport’s waiting rooms are closed on weekends and you can’t get fuel, we always thought that pilots could still take off and land — a courtesy that, it turns out, had been extended to mayors over the years."
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more