BLUE MOUNTAIN BEACH — A series of three July 4 helicopter landings and takeoffs near the Ventana Dunes community off State Road 30A in South Walton County prompted a couple calls to the Sheriff's Office from concerned residents.

The flights, each of which included a number of passengers who boarded from a road in a commercial construction site, apparently were isolated to that one day, according to one of the residents.

Kerry King, who has lived in Ventana Dunes for more than two years, said she called the Sheriff's Office after the second of three landings at the nearby construction site. According to King, the helicopter flew low over the area before it landed, creating considerable noise and blowing sand onto her porch.

"It wasn't about the sand," King said. "It wasn't about the noise."

Instead, she said she was concerned was about the presence of the helicopter in the first place.

"I feel that something's just not right," she said. "I'm tired of people just doing what they want."

According to King, groups of people boarded the helicopter each time it landed, and the helicopter stayed gone for 25 to 30 minutes between landings. Sheriff's deputies talked with the pilot when the helicopter landed for the second time, King said.

Corey Dobridnia, public information officer for the Sheriff's Office, confirmed that deputies spoke with the pilot, who said that he had permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to land in the area. According to Dobridnia, one of the calls to the Sheriff's Office was from someone concerned about the potential for a crash.

FAA records show that the helicopter, a five-seat Robinson R66, is owned by Kilo-Mike Aviation LLC of Troy, Texas. Telephone numbers associated with the business have been disconnected.

Additionally, data from FlightAware.com, an online aircraft tracking tool, do not show the helicopter in Blue Mountain Beach or anywhere else July 4. According to FlightAware, the helicopter flew between two Louisiana airports, one in Beauregard Parish and the other in Bogalusa, on June 18 and July 8.

Also, recent checks of the two helicopter tour companies operating out of Destin — Beach Helicopters on U.S. Highway 98 near Destin Commons, and Destin Helicopters at Destin Executive Airport — did not reveal any signs of the helicopter.

Whatever the helicopter may have been doing in Blue Mountain Beach, its trips came shortly after both of the Destin-based tour helicopter operators had begun flying only routes east from Destin, which could take them over or near Blue Mountain Beach.

The routing change has eliminated westward tour flights that had taken passengers near Destin's high-rise condominiums, across Destin Harbor and above the popular Crab Island and other parts of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. The apparent abandonment of westward helicopter tour routes comes in the wake of an FAA announcement last month that it was investigating complaints about the tour operators.

Also recently, Okaloosa County officials rescinded westward routes mapped out in an informal agreement with the helicopter companies. The county, however, can't dictate helicopter routes, which are the sole province of the FAA.

While the two local helicopter tour operators didn't return calls seeking comment, an FAA spokeswoman said Tuesday that the agency has not prohibited westward flight patterns.

"The helicopter air tour operators decided on their own to fly east of the airport," said Kathleen Bergen, communications manager for the FAA's Southern Region.