OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – On August 6, Osceola County Sheriff's deputies were patrolling in the area of West 192 in Kissimmee when they observed a red helicopter flying a few feet from the tops of cars traveling both eastbound and westbound.
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. At one point, a motorist, who witnessed the incident, alerted the deputy to make sure he saw the helicopter, too.
Deputies responded Orlando HeliTours located at 5071 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, where the aircraft is registered, and spoke with the manager. They explained the incident they witnessed and asked to speak with the pilot, identified as Thomas Vorstman, upon his return. Deputies waited for Vorstman near the helicopter pad, but when he returned, he refused to exit the aircraft. Deputies made numerous attempts to get Vorstman to meet with them, but he would not turn off the aircraft and, for safety concerns, they were not able to approach him. Instead, Vorstman advised he could not exit and left in the helicopter with a group of passengers. Approximately 5 minutes later, Vorstman returned and, after finishing his safety checks and exiting the aircraft he met with deputies. He told them he “had a heavy load” and explained why he was flying low over traffic. They also spoke with the company owner who told deputies their pilots have procedures for handling matters like this which contradicted Vorstman's actions. Due to the safety concerns and Vorstman's reckless behavior, the company owner terminated Vorstman's employment immediately.
Based on the statements and evidence, Vorstman was arrested and charged with Operating an Aircraft in a Reckless Manner and Resisting Without Violence. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail. Deputies notified the Federal Aviation Adminstration of the incident.