Helicopter Target Practice Irks Neighbors

Residents in a North Texas neighborhood have voiced concern over a gun range that allows shooters to target practice while hanging out of a helicopter.

Michael Lauer and his wife who live near the shooting range in Aubrey, Texas, say their tranquil surroundings at times seems like a war zone. “The first time they were hovering right over our two acres, shooting at whatever,” said Lauer. “You really didn’t know, were they shooting at me?”

But Dan Claassen, of Helicoptersniper.com, who supplies the aircraft, disagrees. “It’s not like we’re endangering anybody’s life with our flight patterns or our techniques. Everything is totally safe in that regard.”

According to Claassen, his operators only fly over the gun range, not the neighborhood. And he claims they don’t fly that often: every other week at 15 minutes per shooter.

“It’s not like we’re hitting this every day,” said Claassen. “So it’s not noise pollution. So there is no noise. It’s the world safest and quietest helicopter.”

Nevertheless, the Lauers and their neighbors are worried about the possibility of ricochets. “You just know, some day, one of them is going to hit the house or do something,” said Mr. Lauer.

Despite residents concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration and Denton County say Big Boar Tactical, who runs the gun range, is operating within the law. Frustrated neighbors say they may take their complaints to the courts in order to stop the helicopter borne shooting course.


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