Local pilot arrested for flying tour helicopter within a few feet of cars

by

comment
PHOTO VIA OSCEOLA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Photo via Osceola County Sheriff's Office
A local pilot was arrested Saturday for flying a tour helicopter, with passengers in it, within a few feet of traffic.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, Orlando HeliTours pilot Thomas Vorstman was flying a group of passengers near West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway about 1 p.m, when deputies observed the helicopter flying a few feet from the tops of cars.



"The helicopter's proximity was so close to the cars, that if a passenger van or semi-truck were traveling the same direction, there would have been a collision with the aircraft," says Osceola County Sheriff's Office. 
PHOTO VIA OSCEOLA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
  • Photo via Osceola County Sheriff's Office


Deputies waited for Vorstman near the helicopter pad at Orlando HeliTours, but when he returned, he refused to turn off the aircraft and exit the aircraft. 



Vorstman then took off with the passengers still in the helicopter, and returned 5 minutes later. After completing safety inspections, he exited the vehicle and met with authorities. 

He told deputies he was flying low because of a "heavy load."
 
Orlando HeliTours has since terminated Vorstman's employment and he was arrested and charged with Operating an Aircraft in a Reckless Manner and Resisting Without Violence.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.