Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

non-stop helicopter and other flights over central munich

64 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

Just curious since I was not able to find any information online either in forums or German news.

 

For the last two-three years or so, there has been a very large amount of flight traffic over central Munich

(e.g. clearly very audible and observable across at least Schwabing and Unterföhring areas, since they

fly across the English gardens from north towards south).

 

The flights are non-commercial and with very low altitudes (aroun 500-600 meters), and they appear to be

mostly rescue helicopters as well as some other "amateur-like" small planes. The helicopters are especially

noisy (exactly because of the very low altitudes..), and they don't seem to be associated with any specific

events (they seem to be making rounds around Munich and Oberpfaffenhn airport.. so it looks like some

kind of "routine"). So this has absolutely nothing to do with the Munich international airport.

 

Especially on days with good weather (and obviously around summer months), we are having around

15-25 flights over our heads on an almost daily basis, and the associated noise that goes with it.

 

It seems rather strange that there is no mention of this anywhere, especially since it clearly impacts

very expensive (and otherwise extremely quiet!) Munich neighbourhoods. Quite honestly having 15

flights over our heads even once would be alarming (I'd think there's a forrest burning somewhere..)

let alone this happening on a routine basis and noone even blinking an eye about it. It feels like we're

living inside an airport runway.

 

Anyone knows anything about it, or any ideas how to find more information on why this has been happening?

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be VIPs, footballers just coming and going quite normally.

 

I live in a small town, the hospital has a helicopter pad, it can be used throughout the hours of daylight at least. I do not fancy living near the hospital.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I doubt this has anything to do with VIPs, since the flight routes appear circular and repetitive, but who knows.

 

I have seen before in the news complains about police helicopters during night hours around Schwabing area,

which apparently was indeed due to some incidents there around the clinic (I think). But those are rare occassions

and justified rather than frequent and daily routines.

 

I'd also not like living near anything that has a landing pad.. which is why I have been living peacefully for many years

in those Munich neighbourhoods, before the flights started going really frequent during the last few years. Now it looks

like the whole "heart" of Munich is plagued with those flights, yet no mention of it anywhere (even pre-covid...)

 

Most of those flights can be tracked and identified (with sufficient patience...) through https://stanlytrack3.dfs.de/st3/STANLY_Track3.html

although there is still really no explanation for it.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in Schwabing and don't hear any daily or regular helicopters. Occasionally, we hear one on the way to or leaving Schwabinger Krankenhaus. When one comes close to our building, it looks like they are searching for something in the Olympiapark area. Sometimes, military which is probably training. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I'm in Schwabing and don't hear any daily or regular helicopters.

 

I suppose it depends on your proximity to the regular routes. I meant mostly Schwabing-West and parts of

Schwabing-Freimann that are the closest to the Gardens (not sure if there's a more specific name or that

region).

 

I'm living on the other side of the Gardens, and just yesterday and today there have been constantly flying

across, visible and audible within and across the Gardens. If they were occassional then one would not even

observe it. But when it becomes 15-20 flights within the same day.. it becomes disturbing.

 

At least the noisiest ones impacting us here seem to be flying on a straight line across above Mauerkicherstrasse

all the way to the south (at least until Ismaninger Str).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Simon Pic said:

 

I'm living on the other side of the Gardens, and just yesterday and today there have been constantly flying

across, visible and audible within and across the Gardens. If they were occassional then one would not even

observe it. But when it becomes 15-20 flights within the same day.. it becomes disturbing.

 

 

There were two at the same time about an hour ago, one was an ADAC rescue unit, the other was an Interior Ministry rescue helicopter coming up from the Allgaü, both straight to the Schwabinger hospital. Fortunately there are many more rescue helicopters nowadays, so more people have a chance to survive their injuries - when it's serious of course they need to go to major hospitals. 

 

Police helicopters have also increased in number and size, Bavarian Police are in the process of introducing 8 new 4.5 tonne all-purpose choppers (big!) that can take a contingent of special forces but also even do alpine night rescues (can carry up to six injured!), firefighting and more. About a third of flights are to look for missing persons.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, kaju said:

 

There were two at the same time about an hour ago, one was an ADAC rescue unit, the other was an Interior Ministry rescue helicopter coming up from the Allgaü, both straight to the hospital. Fortunately there are many more rescue helicopters nowadays, so more people have a chance to survive their injuries - when it's serious of course they need to go to major hospitals. 

 

Police helicopters have also increased in number and size, Bavarian Police are in the process of introducing 8 new 4.5 tonne all-purpose choppers (big!) that can take a contingent of special forces but also even do alpine night rescues (can carry up to six injured!), firefighting and more. About a third of flights are to look for missing persons.

 

Thanks for the info. Yes indeed the majority seem to be ADAC rescue units, but it wasn't obvious what their destination was.

 

May I ask how you found out such specific information (e.g. Interior Ministry rescue helicopter?)

 

Also, I don't get what changed through the last few years. Did they change routes? Is there a new closeby destination? To which major hospitals are those ADAC units actually headed so that they have to cross above Mauerkicherstrasse and at such low altitudes?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Simon Pic said:

 

Thanks for the info. Yes indeed the majority seem to be ADAC rescue units, but it wasn't obvious what their destination was.

 

May I ask how you found out such specific information (e.g. Interior Ministry rescue helicopter?)

 

Also, I don't get what changed through the last few years. Did they change routes? Is there a new closeby destination? To which major hospitals are those ADAC units actually headed so that they have to cross above Mauerkicherstrasse and at such low altitudes?

 

I'm truly out of touch with Munich although I used to live in Thalkirchen, I'm in Austria nowadays, although a move to Bremen is likely pretty soon.

 

Don't know why they fly low but I could guess it will be flight rules relating to other aircraft that keep them reasonably low. As I write there's a small light aircraft at 3500ft over Kreuz München-Nord, coming from the Austrian Alps, no idea where it's going, but I’d guess to Flugplatz Schleißheim. I imagine it’s been allocated a safe flight level, maybe helicopters are often going under that height for separation purposes ...but I have no idea really! If the rescue helicopters are landing locally then they will be low, as they will likely be descending slowly (smoothly) and coming straight in.

 

I can't give you specific aircraft information, although if you want to check aircraft details live, which generally show route, aircraft owner etc, I use flightradar.24.

 

I’m guessing there has been an increase in private flights over the last few years, here: https://www.flugplatz-schleissheim.de/ (especially outside winter) but also more rescue flights. Each Bundesland contracts out helicopter rescue and mostly ADAC has won the contracts. The rescue helicopters nowadays are bigger so as well as medevac and rescue flights they can also be used to transfer intensive care patients (the quicker the better, of course) This was less of an option some years ago. In addition, there are still 12 rescue bases scattered throughout Germany operated by the Interior Ministry.

 

Talking about that airfield, it’s also already a base for Federal Police helicopters and if not already will be a permanent home for the new Bavarian Police helicopters too, apparently. I think there are 3 of those in Munich, not sure. So they may be going in and out already...

 

DRF helicopter rescues from Munich (Großhadern) have increased by about 20% over the last 10 years : https://organisation.drf-luftrettung.de/de/zahlen-und-fakten 

 

The ADAC seems to operate out of Harlaching. The München Klinik in Bogenhausen has better than one rescue flight arrival per day averaged over the year too, they have the biggest emergency care department in Munich, but of course people will be taken to whichever hospital they need, etc. 

 

So red and yellow helicopters are rescue, blue and white is the police. I think the interior ministry rescue units may be orange.

 

15 Rescue helicopters in Bavaria, 6 in Upper Bavaria:

https://www.merkur.de/bayern/rettungshubschrauber-oberbayern-anzahl-einsaetze-landung-standorte-ausstattung-90093076.html

doing maybe 20,000 missions a year! https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/muenchen-harlaching-rettungshubschrauber-geschichte-1.4831486

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@kaju many thanks for the detailed info and resources! I think you're spot-on even without being present in Munich :-) In particular, it seems like an "unfortunate" combination of all of what you've mentioned. It just seemed relatively sudden change and not gradual - I think we first observed it during summer 2018 or 2019. I had even contacted DFS which is supposed to be overseeing all airspace traffic, and they had no explanation for it. Anyway.

 

In particular, I've definitely observed much more private flights of the kind that fly out of Schleißheim (at least I see the same kind of aircrafts that I see in the photos, which I mentioned as "amateur"). Those are a bit less audible because the fly at higher altitudes (3500ft seems right), but still.

 

DRF and ADAC helicopters seem to be the culprit here, especially since they are seen at very low altitudes (as mentioned 550-600m so we're talking less than 2000ft). Surely they must have a good reason for flying so extremely low across such a densely populated area, but it still seems rather odd that this has become a routine rather than an exception. Maybe indeed those are rescue missions related to Großhadern clinics and the proximity to Oberpfaffenhn.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Simon Pic said:

I had even contacted DFS which is supposed to be overseeing all airspace traffic...

 

Not true - the DFS do not "oversee" traffic in airspace Golf & Echo.

According to an old (2019) ICAO map I have for the Munich area it looks as if airspace Charlie starts at 4500 ft MSL.

So anything below that is "E" or even "G".

 

The map also shows 6 helipads for ambulance services within Munich (not counting Oberschleissheim).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, HEM said:

 

Not true - the DFS do not "oversee" traffic in airspace Golf & Echo.

According to an old (2019) ICAO map I have for the Munich area it looks as if airspace Charlie starts at 4500 ft MSL.

So anything below that is "E" or even "G"

 

That's interesting (sorry, I'm really not familiar with airspace and related issues).

 

From an online description:

 

Quote

 

Class G (Golf)

Uncontrolled airspace with three different altitude levels: from the surface up to and including 1,200 feet (365.76 meters) above ground level (AGL); more than 1,200 feet AGL but less than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) MSL; and at or above 10,000 feet MSL up to but not including 14,500 feet (4,420 meters) MSL. You're not required to communicate with anyone when flying in Class G airspace.

 

 

I suppose this sounds right in the practical sense (e.g. anyone can play around with a drone or flying toy at low altitudes, without having to coordinate).

 

But it doesn't make sense to me that anyone can fly an actual helicopter around the city at this range while no authority is responsible for it whatsoever (not requiring communication and coordination doesn't obviate the need for having some authority that is responsible for those altitudes or citizen issues that may arising from flights in those ranges). Some sort of authority must be able to respond to what is going on above our heads on a daily basis - whether this should be the DFS or Stadt Muenchen or whoever is irrelevant.

 

What does that mean that "noone" oversees airspace up to 14,500 ft MSL? Can anyone then just fly some jet or chopper non-stop over the city every day at such low altitudes tyrannizing the residents with no consequences whatsoever?

 

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So glad I left Munich and city life... rescue helicopters on the way to the hospital in Bogenhausen used to fly right over the roof of our house, sometimes so low you thought they'd take the chimney stack off. They were not even at a few hundred meters. Definitely not. The noise was deafening. Cannot imagine what this does to you if it is once an hour. Seriously detrimental to the quality of your life. Sorry you have to endure this.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A nurse told me once that traffic accident casualties are choppered to Rechts Der Isar, whereas skiing accidents go to Garmisch. Occasionally, a medical chopper will drop off on Teresienweise if the patient is transferring to Links Der Isar (for whatever their speciality there is).

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

You're not required to communicate with anyone when flying in Class G airspace.

 

Nor in Class E known as "Echo".

 

I can fly my sailplane cross-country for hours on end without having to talk to anyone.

There are of course areas which I cannot enter without ensuring that they are inactive (such as restricted areas - ED-Rs) which are usually military but these are often inactive at weekends and holidays.  Confirmation is obtained by a brief call to FIS (Flight Information Services).

There are also Control Zones (CTRs) designated Class D "Delta" into which one can only fly with clearance from the appropriate tower - which may or may not be granted.  These start at ground level & don't go very high up.

 

Furthermore around large airports there is Class C "Charlie" airspace above & extending beyond the CTR.  The purpose of Class C airspace is to allow IFR trafic to transit between the CTR and higher altitudes in safety.  Normally in Germany VFR traffic cannot go above 10,000' - exceptions in the alpine area

 

All of this has to be adhered to - but thats what you learn when training.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@HEM thanks, that's all very, very interesting info (makes one want to learn much more about flying!).

 

It still doesn't quite answer the main pain-point here: so could you actually fly your sailplane,

let's say at 2000 ft within a densely populated area (such as the center of Munich)? Not just

theoretically but rather if this would be allowed (given the noise and related hazards for

the citizens).

 

It seems from the descriptions that some of the airspace classes are defined in relation to

proximity to airports etc. It is not clear to me what applies to dense, populated urban areas.

 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fraufruit said:

HEM's plane doesn't make any noise.

Exactly.

For the basic regulations you are welcome to read about "Lowest safe altitude" in Wikipedia (not Europe-specific).

More applicable to Germany (& in German language): Mindestflughöhe.

 

Quote

so could you actually fly your sailplane, let's say at 2000 ft within a densely populated area

 

Theoretically yes - as the above reference states Für Segelflugzeuge, Hängegleiter und Gleitschirme, für die es bauartbedingt notwendig ist, darf die Mindestflughöhe unterschritten werden.   I'd be a fool to put myself into that situation though.

 

There are different rules for military aircraft & I'd be certain that rescue helicopters also have their own rules.  I have no expertise in that area.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So here's one by ADAC which flew over us some 15 minutes ago (photo attached,

more details can be found at the link).

 

It's flying out of Landshut and landing at the Harlaching Klinik.

 

Seems to be going "out of their way" to fly close and above the Isar and closer to the more

populated neighborhoods, even ending up making a small circle above Perlacher Forst

to land to the destination.

 

I don't get why, but then again what do I know about flying. :wacko:

 

https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/d-hyal/#27f89381

ft.png.7b3f712e8ea1cbb70a4ab9042afbdc71.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0