Rules and Regulations

Mint 400 Helicopter Rules and Regulations

We operate East of the 15 Fwy, between Primm and Sloan, out into the McCullough mountains.
The principal airport for race operations is Jean. The Jean airport is unmanned. There is no control tower.
They offer self-service fuel but do NOT allow hot fueling. No hot fueling at Jean Airport.
The jump school and other users have been made aware of our race and schedule, however, please use standard protocol when landing and taking off.

Unless you have secured permission from a private property owner in the area, the Jean airport is the only designated landing zone in our air space. Landing on BLM land is prohibited unless it is an emergency.

Clockwise Race Course
The 2020 racecourse for four-wheel vehicles racing Friday and Saturday is virtually identical to 2019.
We are competing CLOCKWISE again this year. The bike race on Friday morning is a very similar course to 2019 and shares 40% of the four-wheel course.

You must have a GPS enabled device with the course loaded, prior to entering air space.
You must be able to effectively communicate your position.
We also strongly recommend a cellular-enabled tablet with the YB Tracking App installed.
The cellular coverage is good for 85% of the racecourse.

There are a multitude of power lines in the Ivanpah Valley both near Primm, and up in the Jean area.
Please be very careful when near the power poles and do not fly underneath them.

The Mint 400 helicopter race frequency is 130.30
All helicopters must be actively monitoring this radio frequency while in the Mint 400 airspace.
Communicating with competitors or relaying information to pits from helicopters is considered cheating and is not allowed at the Mint. Those caught doing so will be penalized.
Mint 400 Race Operations frequency is: 151.490

Altitude Policy
Please orbit CLOCKWISE at the Start/Finish line.
If you need to share airspace with multiple choppers over other parts of the course please communicate.

Minimum Altitude:

  • Backward on Course:  1000agl Utilize the inside of the loop / passenger side.
  • Start/Finish Line:  500agl
  • Spectator Areas:  500agl
  • Checkpoints:  250agl
  • Open Terrain:  No Min / However do NOT stay directly over the racecourse
  • Drones:  50agl Designated Drone Areas Only

How to report your position during the race: Please start by identifying your color and helicopter type.
Every mile for the course has a mile marker that corresponds to that mile. To report your position refer to your racecourse map. Locate your position relative to the course and report the nearest mile marker.
EX: “The is the blue A-Star, I’m at race mile 65 near the entrance of Pit B.”

Medical Emergencies

Report via radio: If you witness a crash, or see a medical emergency please radio Mint 400 race ops immediately on 151.490 They will need to know the approximate race mile, # of vehicles involved, if there is a fire hazard, and if the course is blocked. Please hover over the accident scene carefully at 500agl and advise other helicopters on approach with other race vehicles.

Land to Assist
If necessary you may land your helicopter and provide assistance, provided that when you land you immediately shut down your engine. Do not create an additional hazard by landing too close to the accident scene, as the medical transport chopper may need to land as well and race vehicles may need to drive around the accident scene.

Report via phone call: If you cannot make radio contact but have cell service please call David Nehrbass at (702) 278-0895 He will need the SAME information: approximate race mile, # of vehicles involved, if there is a fire hazard, and if the course is blocked.

Report via text message: If you cannot make radio contact or a phone call please try texting David Nehrbass at (702) 278-0895 He will need the SAME information: approximate race mile, # of vehicles involved, if there is a fire hazard, and if the course is blocked.

Medical Helicopter Protocol
A. Keep the airspace near the accident clear and as the medical chopper approaches radio on 130.30 to them and ask if they need assistance.

B. Keep the frequency being used by the medical helo clear, and the airspace clear unless needed for support.

Pilot Etiquette
In all circumstances, the goal of all pilots should be to avoid creating pockets or plumes of dust that create a vision hazard for participants, other helicopters, course workers or the general public.

Please do NOT fly under the powerlines or power poles unless it is an absolute emergency.

The Mint 400 owners and management staff reserve the right to penalize any team or revoke media credentials for any pilot if we deem your actions, or inaction is causing an unsafe environment. Flying at the Mint is a privilege, not a right.

After the race, if three pilots complain about your flying or corroborate bad behavior, or bad radio work during the race you may be subject to suspension the following year.

Helicopter pilots must provide proof of commercial liability helicopter insurance naming “The Mint 400 Race Corp, Inc 29755 Kirsten LN, Vista CA 92084”, as additional insured, with no less than one million dollars per occurrence and two million dollars aggregate limits. Insurance certificates must be issued from an admitted carrier in the United States approved by the FAA, and specify that they provide coverage for commercial operations.

Television Crew:
Each year the Mint 400 production team, work with John Trumburo and his team at Pursuit Aviation to document the Mint. They typically chase the leaders in each class for 5-10 minute bursts and focus on areas like the Joshua Tree Highway, Happy Valley, Shooting Range, and dry lake beds. Their number one goal is to catch passes. Positions changes are critical for storytelling. Jon Trumburo and his team will radio your helicopter as they approach your airspace. Please help us by giving us some space to work and staying in good communication with us.

Helicopter Spectating:
Helicopter spectating at the Mint will be allowed on a limited, first-come-first-served basis. Helicopters wishing to spectate the Mint must adhere to all of the above-listed rules and regulations. Spectating helicopters may not interfere with television or race team helicopters at any time. ALL of the same rules apply to spectating from a helicopter.