CBS camera crew on helicopter being investigated by FAA and police

Police are investigating a helicopter pilot for reckless endangerment after flying too close to boaters in the Race to Alaska event.

UPDATE, JUNE 30: A CBS News camera crew was aboard a helicopter that is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Port Townsend Police Department.

The helicopter was 8 to 15 feet above the water in Port Townsend Bay before the second annual Race to Alaska.

KIRO 7, the Seattle CBS affiliate, was not involved with the CBS crew in the helicopter.

Content Continues Below

The following details are from The Port Townsend Leader. Read their full story here:

Ian Gregor, FAA public affairs manager, wrote in an email to the Leader that the incident was reported Monday morning, June 27, to the FAA safety hotline and that the FAA's Seattle Flight Standards District Office has started an investigation.
"We will look to speak to the person who reported it, any witnesses and the pilot," Gregor wrote. "We also would want to see any photo or video evidence that witnesses collected."
Witnesses reported the helo's rotor blades were below the height of some of the boats' masts. According to Section 91.119 of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight rule guidelines, the minimum safe altitude to operate an aircraft over "any congested area of a city" or "over any assembly of persons" is 1,000 feet. Over open water, the limit is 500 feet.
Generally speaking, Gregor said that while helicopters are not subject to the same altitude restrictions as airplanes, "they have to be operated so they don't pose a hazard to people or property on the surface. A helicopter should be operated so that the pilot can safely set down in a case of loss of engineer power."

ORIGINAL STORY: Police are investigating a helicopter pilot for reckless endangerment after flying too close to boaters in the Race to Alaska event.

Witnesses reported the rotor blades of the helicopter were lower than the tops of sailboats.

They said it was flying about 8 to 15 feet above the water in Port Townsend.

Police identified the pilot as a 44-year-old man from Federal Way. He told officers he was flying to record video for a television show.

The FAA was informed and may launch its own investigation.