An American EuroCopter 135

An American EuroCopter 135

CalSTAR Gets New, Quieter Helicopter

Will Be Used for Flights to and from Cottage Hospital

CalSTAR has purchased a new, quieter helicopter that will be used for flights to and from Cottage Hospital.

The air ambulance company — which handles most of Cottage’s emergency flights — bought an American EuroCopter 135 that’s reportedly 50 percent less noisy than its predecessor.

The purchase, said CalSTAR, is not in response to consistent noise complaints from Cottage neighbors. In the weeks after the hospital opened its helipad in January, there was an unusually high volume of flight traffic that prompted an outcry from neighbors who said they were being unfairly disturbed by the noise. The number of complaints has ebbed and flowed since then.

A CalSTAR spokesperson said these concerns were not a factor in buying the new helicopter. “We had been talking about this for a long time before that,” he said. Janet O’Neill, Cottage Hospital’s spokesperson, said it was “CalSTAR’s decision, but we’re very supportive of it because it helps the community.” She also noted that the amount of flight traffic has gone way down since the incidents in February.

The number of flights per week has settled to an average of 4.1, said O’Neill, explaining that the hospital is “saving lives without disrupting the community too much.”

It’s unclear when the new helicopter will take its first flight, but CalSTAR said it’ll likely be deployed in the coming weeks.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Crime Rates Down, Youth Arrests Up in Santa Barbara County

A 'high percentage' of misdemeanor citations happen on school campuses.

Will Hollister Ranch Access Deal Hold Up Under Public Scrutiny?

State commissioners are taking a closer look at settlement over beach access to Santa Barbara County gated ...

Faced with a Gun, Sheriff’s Sergeant Holds His Fire

Sgt. Freddy Padilla reflects on potentially life-saving decisions during welfare call.

Quick Response in Large Numbers Held Holiday Fire at Bay

Record heat on July 6 destroyed crops and livestock.

Los Padres Officials Ban Campfires, Firearm Discharge

Temporary measures are enacted during peak fire season.