‘Cash drop’ at Wrightsville Beach litters water, company says

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – The social media app company, Likeli, has issued an apology following a helicopter cash drop during a UNCW back-to-school event Tuesday. Likeli hired High Tide Helicopters out of Oak Island to fly over the crowd at UNCW’s Beach Blast event at Wrightsville Beach.

Wrightsville Beach Town Manager Tim Owens said he’s looking into issuing citations for littering and dangerous flying.

“That’s not something that we condone, that type of activity,” Owens said. “It could be dangerous. I think this pilot is a really good pilot but you never know what happens even on the ground. You have a lot of kids, you know basically swimming around trying to grab money, you know something unfortunate with that could happen with that as well.”

Owens said there’s a town ordinance that requires aircraft to fly at a minimum of 500 feet above the ground, however is looking into Federal Aviation regulations.

Jennifer Ward is the owner of High Tide Helicopters and was the pilot during the event.

“I’ve been very disappointed in the Likeli company and their lack of professionalism and I can assure you I won’t be doing business with them again,” Ward said.

Ward cited a Federal Aviation Regulation that allows helicopters to operate below the regulated altitudes for other aircraft. She said that would preempt state and local laws.

“I would never fly in such a way that would endanger anyone on the ground or in the helicopter and I’m disappointed that some of the comments made by the police department over in Wrightsville Beach implied.”

On Thursday, Likeli’s owner called the “stunt” a huge mistake. Read what he wrote below:

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