has approved the landing of a CH-53 helicopter for New Canaan High School's (NCHS) Memorial Weekend celebration.
Marine veteran helicopter pilot and NCHS alumn ('86) Boyd Harden addressed the board at their Monday night meeting to discuss the dynamics of landing the aircraft while the high school holds their annual activities for veterans.
"As a former pilot a resident in this town on and off for 40 years," said Harden, "I'm about as excited as anyone will be in this town, but I have a lot of respect for this operation. We've put a great deal of thought and effort to make this is a wonderful and safe event for everyone to enjoy."
The helicopter is scheduled to land near the soccer field between the high school and between 9:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. on May 25 and it is scheduled to depart between 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Harden told the board he received approval from the Care Center and the Special Events Committee, which has worked extensively with Harden on the project.
The aircraft will travel to Connecticut from a base in New Jersey.
"The arrival and departure path are well within marine corps standards," said Harden. "It's a very ideal setup for the aircrew. They're going to come up Merritt Parkway and fly right of the water towers and land beyond track. They're aware of light poles and fences and the nets are going to be moved."
Harden noted that the CH-53, also known as the Sea Stallion, is an extremely loud aircraft and for residents not to be alarmed if they should see a very low flying helicopter in town on May 25.
The area for student parking on the east side of the fields to Farm Road will be blocked off to keep cars from being damaged by flying debris kicked up by the helicopter. Harden says Farm Road will be shut down for about five minutes during the aircraft's landing and takeoff.
Police will be stationed at appropriate locations in order to keep individuals from accidentally putting themselves in harm's way.
While the event is public and on town property, Harden stressed that the event is a high school event and the area will already be crowded with 1,200 students trying to view the aircraft in four hours. He suggests residents who want to see the CH-53 to view it from.