The “small class” Bell 206L4 Helicopter uses Jet A fuel, a highly refined Kerosene.   Due to Jet A fuel having a much higher flash point than other fuel types, Jet A is much safer than the fuel most people currently have in their garages, such as unleaded!


We all produce noise!  Mr. Schieffer does not want to be intrusive to anyone, which is why he proposes “OPTION A” as the best alternative for his helipad.   His current home in Scott County, MN has a private helipad, and his closest neighbors claim that they don’t even hear the helicopter from inside their homes (see link for comments).  And, on the few occasions that they do hear the helicopter, it is only for a couple of minutes and is equivalent to, or less than that of a lawnmower. The maximum noise produced by the “small class” Bell 206 L4 is 90.7 decibels.  However, typical noise levels at the closest neighbors would range from 65-75 decibels. Gull Lake is one of the busiest recreational lakes in MN (see link to Gull Lake video) and is home to 2 seaplane bases, one being in the bay right in front of Mr. Schieffer’s home!


Due to the low amount of emissions from helicopter turboshaft engines, the most widely used, these engines are exempt from Engine Emission Certification requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration and Foreign Civil Aviation Authorities specified in the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARS) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 16 Volume II.

14 CFR PART 87—Control of Air Pollution from Aircraft and Aircraft Engines

  •  87.3 General applicability and requirements.

(a) The regulations of this part apply to engines on all aircraft that are required to be certificated by FAA under 14 CFR part 33* except as specified in this paragraph (a). These regulations do not apply to the following aircraft engines:

(2) Turboshaft engines such as those used in helicopters.

Tony Randall, Bell Helicopter’s Manager of Continued Operational Safety, and former Chief of Flight Safety, provided the following insight on the subject of the “small class” Bell 206L4s Rolls Royce 250-C30 turboshaft engine and its exhaust emissions.

“The concentration of gases as you move away from the engine exhaust is clearly reduced to the point that the federal government through the FAA has determined that engine exhaust does not pose a threat to the health or safety of pilots or passengers in the cabin.  If they don’t hurt the pilot and passengers, they’re certainly not going to be harmful to someone located hundreds of feet away.  Given the millions of cubic feet of air between the engine exhaust and someone located hundreds of feet away, it is highly unlikely that any significant levels of CO or HC could be detected at that distance.  The exposure to CO or HC from turning on the gas stove in their house is almost certainly many times the potential exposure from a single jet engine idling hundreds of feet away.”