Air Beat Magazine: September - October 2005

cover

September - October 2005

Articles denoted by ** are available to 
APSA Members only.

The Concrete Jungle
Phoenix PD’s Technological Solution to Thermal Imaging

Public Safety Communications:
Are We Being Monitored?**

Man, Machine & Mission
Operational Risk Management For Aviators

Navigating Through GPS Applications

Want A Paperless Agency?

The Huey Gets a New Lift on Life

The Concrete Jungle
Phoenix PD’s Technological Solution to Thermal Imaging

By Sarah Nelson
FLIR Systems, Inc.

There is a misperception that FLIR technology can only be used at night or that it’s ineffective in hot climates... and that’s not true on both counts.

All objects emit thermal IR radiation; it can be detected both day and night in hot and cold environments. The 320 x 240 Focal Plane Array (FPA) technology found in today’s IR detectors provides the sensitivity to detect extremely subtle thermal differences even under the most extreme conditions. Since how hot a subject is relative to its environment is exactly that—relative—the more you know about how your thermal sensor displays heat information, the better you can use it to generate a high quality IR image, even under extreme operating temperatures.

The daytime temperature in Phoenix, Arizona reaches an average high of 105 degrees Fahrenheit during the month of July. The concrete jungle that is the city of Phoenix, as well as the natural rock formations found in the desert surrounding the city, are excellent at absorbing heat as they bask in the glow of that hot Arizona sun all day. At night, all that heat is slowly released back into the atmosphere creating a backdrop of potential IR interference and competing targets.

The situation is complicated further by the fact that concrete, asphalt, sand and human skin all have a similar behavior with respect to how well they absorb and emit heat energy. But the Phoenix Police Department’s Air Unit has recently installed the latest 320 x 240 FPA IR technology and has learned some simple techniques for overcoming the challenges of generating good IR images in their extremely hot environment.

The Phoenix Police Department Air Unit was early to get into airborne thermal sensors, being one of the first to use the FLIR model 2000 system in the early 1990s. This early generation of FLIR was based on a scanning technology that had limitations for detecting the temperature differences necessary for seeing targets in the hot summer months — even at night. But times have changed.
"We just took the system off the aircraft from June through September. It wasn’t worth the weight and drag," says Officer Brian Kelley, who’s flown for 13 years with Phoenix PD. "With the new detector in the FLIR 8000, we use the system 12 months of the year."

Pilot Steve Gillooly, an 11-year veteran of the department, concurs. "The imagery on the hottest day with the new system is better than on the coldest day with the old one."

In addition to the quantum improvement in sensitivity a 320 x 240 FPA provides, manual adjustments to the gain and level can have a dramatic effect on image resolution and detail.

"Manual gain and level make a huge difference," says Pilot Steve Konegni, an eight year veteran of the Air Unit. "I didn’t appreciate it at first, but now I love it, even more so in summer."

Brian Kelly adds "manual gain and level are a must, especially in an urban environment. Manual mode allows you to separate and differentiate temperatures better."

From an operator’s point of view, gain and level are similar to contrast and brightness on a television or video monitor, but there’s more going on than that. Manually adjusting the gain on an IR detector actually adjusts how many shades of gray are used to display the heat in a target. A narrow gain limits the number of choices, pushing the image towards blacks and whites only. The result is a high-contrast image. A wide gain displays the heat information with more shades of gray. Adjustments in gain can help an operator locate a target in a scene that might not have much temperature variation (like a person hiding in the desert in the middle of an Arizona summer day) or draw out more detail on a target in a scene that might already have a wide temperature variation, like a suspect hiding in a tree at midnight.

Manually tweaking level can also have an impact on the IR image quality. Level lets an operator adjust the overall center point, or temperature threshold, of an IR image. Again, it’s similar to the brightness control on a television or video monitor. Adjusting the temperature threshold though the level dial allows you to get rid of information or targets you don’t want to see. For example, if you were searching for a suspect that has just run into a field of grass and you know they’re hotter than the grass and shrubs they may be hiding in, you can turn down your level so that the IR sensor will only show objects hotter than the threshold — like a person.

The flight officers at Phoenix PD have also found that IR polarity (displaying the image with white as hot or black as hot) has a big impact on the clarity of the image in the hot summer months. 
"In the summer, the streets are so hot, they are hotter than humans. I use black hot in the summer and white hot in the winter," says Gillooly.

Konegni agrees that "black hot in the summer is much better, especially when zoomed in to a narrow field of view," and Bruce Bates adds, "people look washed out in white hot in the summer."

Displaying hot as white when everything you’re looking at, for all intents and purposes, is hot can "wash out" your image. Part of the reason a predominately white image is more difficult to discern details in than a predominately black one is that an all white screen can have a fatiguing effect on your vision as your eyes are being bombarded with an omnipresent white glow from the monitor. Choosing to display hot as black will tone down all that information and naturally reduce fatigue. The result will be that your eyes will be better able to see detail in the image.p>

Time of day can have the same effect on the IR image that time of year does. Often images that display cold during the day will display warm at night, even though their actual temperature doesn’t change much throughout a 24-hour period. This is true with bodies of water, foliage and people. A "thermal reversal" takes place as the surrounding environment heats and cools faster than the above-mentioned items.

Proper application of basic IR principles, specifically with regard to gain and level adjustments and polarity, can make the difference for airborne FLIR searches in extremely hot weather. Even if you’re flying in a more moderate climate, the same principles can be applied with the same results.

&"What makes the best IR image is a personal preference, but don’t be afraid to use all the variables available to you to adjust the IR sensor to get the best picture," says Gillooly.


Man, Machine & Mission
Operational Risk Management For Aviators

By Pete Hermes
U.S. Border Patrol Aviation

Although little exists in literature or practice today, organizations involved in airborne law enforcement are starting to draw on risk management principles used in municipal governments, and practices and products are being developed throughout the aviation world to improve operational safety in an area which is fraught with hazards and risk.

Airborne law enforcement has evolved significantly over the past thirty years. Although the application of aircraft to law enforcement missions began shortly after the airplane was invented, most police aviation units came into being during the 1960s and 1970s utilizing equipment acquired through government programs. At the time, operations were initiated without the benefit of outside support or a substantial history from which to develop programs with a formal or systems approach to safety.

The past ten years have seen a movement in airborne law enforcement to procure new aircraft with integrated systems and seek out and employ formal safety concepts and programs. One such area, which has significant application to airborne law enforcement, is operational risk management (ORM).

ORM is commonly defined as a continuous process for detection, assessment and control of risk while enhancing performance and maximizing capability. ORM is a risk management strategy that also emphasizes effectively attaining mission or operational objective(s) with due consideration for safe operating practices.

The U.S. Navy Safety Center reports that ORM has its origins in development of new weapons systems, aerospace vehicles and the nuclear power industry, and was formally adopted by the U.S. Army in 1991 to aid in reducing training and combat mishaps. ORM has become a common process in all of the military branches and other organizations operating in a high technology environment or with disaster response duties.

According to the FAA, a general treatment of ORM involves establishing goals and benefits, basic principles, steps in the process itself, application of the elements involved in planning and the actual operation and temporal levels of application.

The Flight Safety Foundation, in 1994, identified basic goals to be sought with the implementation of ORM: cost effectiveness through mishap prevention; identification, control, and documentation of hazards and opportunities alike; evaluation and minimization of risks in conjunction with evaluation and maximization of gains; prevention or mitigation of losses, along with advancement or optimization of gain and conservation of resources (personnel and equipment); and maximization of operational capability.

The benefits of ORM are closely related to the basic goals and include mishap reduction; lower costs associated with injury, death, or property damage; and more effective use of resources.

The military has identified ORM as the process of reducing mishaps not necessarily associated with enemy or battle action, which have historically comprised a higher percentage of total mishaps than combat losses due to enemy action even during times of conflict.

The FAA has dictated that the ORM process be governed by four widely accepted principles:

  1. Accept no unnecessary risk.

  2. Make risk decisions at the appropriate level.

  3. Accept risk when benefits outweigh the costs.

  4. Integrate ORM into planning at all levels.

Unnecessary risk is generally considered one that has no return or benefit or an action whose resultant outcome cannot be reasonably predicted. The appropriate decision-maker for risk decisions is generally the person or group who possesses the capability to eliminate or reduce risk.

If risk reduction cannot be accomplished at one level, then it should be elevated to the next (e.g. line to middle management). Integration of ORM at the proper level also involves using it early in the planning stages of a mission or operation. There is a higher probability that greater costs will be incurred both in resources and time if risk management is begun later rather than early in system development or operational planning.

An ORM process followed by the U.S. Marine Corps is accomplished by following five or six distinct steps in order and repeating them cyclically as needed for a given operation or system. The five-step process includes the following tasks or components:

  1. 1 Identify the hazard.

  2. Assess the risk.

  3. Make risk or control decisions.

  4. Implement risk controls.

  5. Supervise and review.

An alternative six-step process recommended by Colonel James L. Stanley of the U.S. Air Force and the FAA includes a separate analysis of risk control measures prior to making the control determination or decision (step 3 in the previous process). In either case, the ORM process continues throughout the life cycle of the system, mission or operation to which it is applied.

The application of the ORM process to mission or operational planning also takes into consideration the "5 M" model of the U.S. Air Force, which describes the interactions of man, machine and media (operational environment) toward accomplishing a mission, normally conducted under the auspices or guidance of a management structure within a given organization.

The interaction of the 5 Ms are where the hazards and associated risk for consideration in ORM exist. Man, or the human element, constitutes the area of greatest concern in ORM, owing to the variability of characteristics, experience, training and/or performance. Human decision making is a specific task wherein a significant amount of risk occurs both for the operator and management. Decisions made by management have recently been a cause for concern due to identified failures contributing to mishaps and accidents based on information from the Flight Safety Foundation in 1994.

The machine element includes consideration of the design, maintenance, logistics and technical data associated with the aircraft and related equipment.

U.S. Marine Corps literature says that ORM should be typically applied throughout the life cycle of a mission or operation from the initial planning stages through the operational phase, and it is generally considered to have three temporal types: strategic, deliberate and time critical, or real time.

Strategic ORM, also termed in-depth ORM, is a detailed process when long term or advanced planning can be performed before the onset of a mission or operation. It might be used in the planning of complex operations, for the introduction of new equipment or tactics or the commencement of new training.

Deliberate ORM is accomplished when there is sufficient lead-time prior to commencement of a mission and some assessment tools or methods may be applied. Deliberate ORM may also be utilized in evaluating standard operating practices (SOPs), training and maintenance procedures and disaster response plans.

Time critical ORM is generally utilized during a mission or operation and is performed by the manager or operator to deal with unexpected events or changes made as a mission or operation unfolds. Time critical ORM relies on the decision maker’s previous experience, training and availability of SOPs to cover unplanned or unexpected events during the mission. Strategic or deliberate ORM is much preferred over time critical but, nonetheless, can be accomplished on the go or once an operation has begun, particularly in dealing with changes or unplanned events.

This article is the first in a two part series, covering the general concepts associated with Operational Risk Management (ORM). Part two will cover the generic application of ORM to airborne law enforcement.


Navigating Through GPS Applications

By Community Policing Institute at Wichita State University

GPS is still an emerging tool, which may offer a multitude of unforeseen applications for law enforcement and the justice system. We can expect to see this technology decline in cost and improve in quality in the years to come.

GPS technology offers numerous benefits to law enforcement agencies of all types. For some agencies, the navigational capabilities offered by GPS can enhance efficiency and safety to support a variety of policing and criminal justice functions. Other agencies might be interested in using GPS technology to carry out special operations or to provide enhanced personnel safety.

The Riverside (CA) Police and Ventura County (CA) Sheriff use GPS extensively to enhance the efficiency of their aviation units. Using computerized maps of their jurisdictions in conjunction with GPS, aviation personnel can determine their exact location, their speed, and their estimated time of arrival when responding to calls. A GPS unit provides a computer with constant updates of the helicopter’s location. The computer is able to plot the location on a map of the agency’s jurisdiction. This map is displayed for the flight crew and enables flight personnel to always know their true location.

Aviation personnel observing activities on the ground might not know the exact location of the events that they are witnessing. Using a computerized map integrated with a GPS unit, these observers can accurately direct personnel on the ground to a specific location.

This technology can improve the performance of aviation personnel and enhance communication between members of different units.

In addition to aiding aviation units, GPS can easily be applied to assist personnel operating in ground vehicles. The advantages of GPS for ground-based personnel are most profound for employees working in large jurisdictions. State and county officers who are rookies or have been recently assigned to a particular jurisdiction will never be lost if their vehicle is equipped with a GPS unit (although there is still no substitute for a solid knowledge of one’s jurisdiction).

Officers engaged in a pursuit that has taken them outside of their jurisdiction can always determine their precise location. Officers responding to a mutual aid call can plan their route and estimate their time of arrival.

There are a variety of other GPS applications that go beyond supporting patrol and aviation functions. Personnel who routinely travel in unfamiliar or semi-familiar territory may also find GPS helpful in improving their efficiency.

GPS is increasingly being used as a precise method of defining locations of crimes, evidence and traffic accidents. For example, the Texas Department of Public Safety requires that traffic accident reports in Texas include GPS location.

And GPS technology is useful for keeping track of more than just officers in the field. Investigators can track stolen merchandise anywhere in the world. Imagine if a credit card sized transmitter could be slipped into a stack of $100 given as ransom money.

The OnStar system, a leader in automotive GPS technology, automatically sends out a distress signal when an air bag deploys in a subscriber’s vehicle. Similar technology might some day alert police dispatchers of an officer’s exact location in the event that the officer discharges his or her firearm. The greatest advantages of GPS technologies are their ability to help police officers do their jobs more efficiently and with a greater degree of safety.

Of course, some precautions must be taken. Agencies integrating GPS and computerized maps need to be sure that the accuracy of the maps matches the precision of their GPS units. Although the quality of both GPS and computerized maps is always improving, care must be exercised to ensure that the maps will reflect the actual position of the GPS unit. Maps must also be regularly updated to reflect significant changes within a community.


Want A Paperless Agency?

By the Community Policing Institute at Wichita State University

Cellular Digital Packet Data (CDPD) systems offer what is currently one of the most advanced means of wireless data transmission technology. As these technologies improve, CDPD may represent a major step toward making our nation a wireless information society. While CDPD technology is more complex than most of us care to understand, its potential benefits are obvious even to technological novices.

Worldwide, more than 30 million people use cellular telephone services on a regular basis. Despite their popularity, cellular telephones are still primarily used as a tool for voice communications. The vast majority of American cellular telephone users rely on analog telephones and analog cellular networks. Put simply, analog networks transmit the actual sound of a user’s voice, much like a conversation over a two-way radio. The last few years have seen the emergence of digital cellular telephones. Again, put simply, digital cellular systems transform voice communication into computerized data.

This data, rather than vocal sounds, is transmitted via radio frequencies, and subsequently transformed back into voice communication. For voice transmission, digital cellular telephones offer superior sound clarity. For data transmission, digital networks allow data to be sent at much faster rates than analog networks. In addition, data transmitted on digital systems are encrypted (increasing security) and have a lower rate of transmission errors. Digital telephones were designed to overcome some of the weaknesses of analog systems. The result is a phone which provides more dependable communication.

As a tool for transmitting data, CDPD utilizes digital networks. Placing data, conversations, photographs, and multimedia into binary (digital) form and transmitting the information through a network with a large bandwidth permits more information to be sent more quickly with greater clarity. Thus, data sent using CDPD is received in a quick, secure, and accurate fashion. Data sent using CDPD systems is less likely to be "lost" between senders and receivers due to the position of mobile units, weather conditions or other anomalies.

Law Enforcement Applications
CDPD technology represents a way for law enforcement agencies to improve how they manage their communications and information systems. For over a decade, agencies around the world have been experimenting with placing Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) in their vehicles to enhance officer safety and efficiency.

Early MDTs transmitted information using radio modems. These systems were subject to the same flaws as conventional two-way radio communications; data could be "lost" in transmission during bad weather or when mobile units were not properly located in relation to transmission towers. More recently, MDTs have transmitted data using analog cellular telephone modems. This shift represented an improvement in mobile data communications, but systems still had flaws, which limited their utility.

Since the mid-1990s, computer software manufacturers and the telecommunications industry have been experimenting with the use of digital cellular telecommunications as a wireless means to transmit data. The result of their efforts is CDPD systems.

These systems allow users to transmit data with a high degree of accuracy, few service interruptions, and strong security. In addition, data transmitted on a CDPD system travels several times faster than data sent using analog networks. This results in the capacity for mobile users to enjoy almost instantaneous access to information.

Wireless cellular communications such as CDPD are an advanced form of radio communication (operating in the 800 and 900 MHZ bands). As such, cellular transmissions are "out there" for anyone to intercept. While the system may only intend for transmission to be received by a specific unit (i.e., a specific cellular telephone), it is possible for other parties to listen to a conversation or to capture data as it is being transmitted. CDPD transmissions are encrypted (or scrambled) to make it difficult for an unauthorized third-party to intercept secure information.

The need for this security is especially profound in many commercial and law enforcement applications. Police officers equipped with MDTs linked to headquarters using CDPD can perform record checks, transmit reports and send messages to other officers without worrying about compromising security or privacy.

By merging laptop computers and telecommunications technology (such as CDPD) police departments can transform the way their employees perform their duties. The speed and security of CDPD allows officers to use an MDT in the field just like they would use a computer at a police facility. Officers can access the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC) or state motor vehicle databases.

Officers in Philadelphia have been successfully experimenting with MDTs operating on a CDPD system. In addition to being able to run their own records and warrant checks, officers can also access a wide range of departmental databases. These databases, once only available through a police dispatcher or using a computer at a police facility, allow officers to access a wide range of information.

Using CDPD technology, MDTs can enable law enforcement agencies to improve the quality of the information they record, while reducing the amount of verbal traffic on conventional radio channels. For example, an officer equipped with an MDT connected with a CDPD system may be dispatched to a prowler call using a traditional radio frequency. While en route to the call, the officer may receive real-time updates via computer as the police dispatcher obtains additional information from the reporting party.

Upon their arrival, the officer can press a single button on their computer keyboard to update their status from "en route" to "on scene."

While on scene, the officer has complete access to departmental, local, state, and national databases to aid in handling the situation. After investigating the situation, the officer can update the incident record with any pertinent information.

Pressing another button will again change the officers status to reflect their availability for other calls. A thorough record of the incident may be documented without tying up radio channels. The net result is a more thorough incident record and a reduction in radio traffic.

The Future
CDPD technology, coupled with specialized software and advances in MDT systems, is moving police organizations toward the day when it will be routine to operate as a "paperless" organization. Several agencies throughout the United States have already adapted existing technologies to allow them to make such a transformation.

As telecommunications technologies improve, the two-way radio may become obsolete except as a tool for priority traffic. Information once transmitted via radio can be transmitted via computer on a secure digital cellular frequency.

A paperless department could significantly increase the operating efficiency of a department covering a large jurisdiction with few officers. It would no longer take hours or days for a report to make its way from a field officer to the records division. Officers working in the most remote recesses of an agency’s jurisdiction can quickly and easily submit reports. Time once spend relaying paperwork can be spent on other priorities.

As other technologies and the Internet continue to develop, CDPD may be used to support a wide variety of other police applications. Real-time digital cameras could link an investigator in the field with experts around the world. A detective in a small town could link with a state arson investigator to receive instant assistance in processing a crime scene. Investigators in different countries could instantly share information as they track an international organized crime group or terrorist organization.

Given the remarkable advances which have taken place in the past 15-20 years, it is hard to imagine the changes policing will undergo in the next two decades.


The Huey Gets a New Lift on Life

By Ann Springer

In Reno, it seemed the hottest ticket at APSA was a demo ride in the Global Eagle UH-1H Upgrade. It looked like a Huey, except for the engine and the fact that the tail rotor was on the wrong side. But it sure didn’t act like a Huey.

The first thing that caught a pilot’s attention was the engine controller. Accustomed to the unmanaged start-up procedure on the H-model Huey, the simple two-second pull on the ignition switch, followed by the electronically monitored run-up positions to 100 percent made quite an impression.

Those APSA members lucky enough to grab a ride are still talking about the tail rotor authority. As any Huey operator knows, working a max gross weight at higher temperatures and/or altitudes in windy conditions is just about impossible. With winds at 35 knots and the temperature right at 107 degrees F, the Global Eagle showed off its full directional control.

But the real proof has to be on the job. One of the first law enforcement agencies to put the Global Eagle to work is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security. Mike Hester, Deputy Chief of Operations, said in formally accepting the agency’s upgraded Huey, "Our Global Eagle is based in San Diego where, in addition to search and rescue, air mobility deployments and life saving missions, it patrols mountain passes for illegal entrants. This helicopter’s improved capabilities assist in enabling the CBP to secure U.S. borders, providing a significant contribution to the Homeland Security mission."

Rod Marchant, who recently joined DynCorp International as Director, United States/Canada Sales, first experienced the Global Eagle as lead helicopter pilot for the Georgia Forestry Commission. Rod, a pilot with more than 20 years of experience, ranging from military to test pilot to contractor, and 14,000+ hours, mostly in Hueys, "found the overall effectiveness of the upgrade to be nothing short of miraculous. There was a higher level of safety and not only sustained engine horsepower, but the fuel savings alone allowed for greater time on station to respond to the mission. And," he added, "we had all the tail rotor authority we needed to get in and out of tight places."

So what happened to this UH-1H, the helicopter in which many law enforcement pilots, flying during the Vietnam era, helped write history. Well, like many returning warriors, the Huey came home from that conflict and went to work. As the years began to add up for the Huey and maintenance and downtime became more and more frequent, operators voiced the need for a new, more powerful engine.

The original propulsion system, which is representative of more mature technology, is very maintenance intensive with high operating cost, has very high fuel consumption and cannot provide the needed mission performance. Keyvan Fard, Vice President Pratt & Whitney Canada said that "the PT6 engine reduces hourly operating costs and increases hot and high operating capabilities." The state-of-the-art PT6C-67D Turboshaft is a new engine equipped with an ECC compatible with HUMs systems. Its installation weight has been reduced 50 pounds. Features include reduced maintenance and no oil changes between TBO.

The PT6C-67D is a reverse flow engine—the air inlet is in the back and the exhaust is in the front. To accommodate this engine upgrade, a duct is created from the existing inlet that goes underneath the engine and up and around the inlet. The exhaust is ported out the top and through a long ejector, which also provides extra cooling for the engine bay. The shaft output speed requires the use of a speed reduction gearbox (SRGB). A new housing is made to incorporate the planetary gear system of the existing nose gear box.

With the new powerplant now available, engineers began looking at ways to increase performance and payload. One of the best of these, the Tail Rotor Enhancement Kit (TREK) engineered by Global Helicopter Technology, is installed on the Global Eagle.

TREK has four components:

  • Tailboom Strake

  • Tractor Tail Rotor

  • Density Altitude Compensator (DAC)

  • Vertical Fin Spar Kit

This combination of proven enhancements dramatically extends the UH-1H High/Hot takeoff and landing operations capability.

The Tailboom Strake acts as a spoiler of downwash flow over the left side of the tailboom, reducing the pedal input required for hover flight, and aiding the tail rotor in critical right crosswind flight conditions.

NASA data and subsequent testing show that incorporation of a tailboom strake will decrease the requirement for tail rotor anti-torque by about 10% in those flight regimes where tail rotor anti-torque is critical, such as right sideward flight or hover flight with winds from the right.

The Tractor Tail Rotor converts the tail rotor from a left-hand "pusher" configuration to a tractor or "puller" configuration on the right-hand side of the helicopter.

This modification is the most labor intensive of the enhancements. It requires significant changes to the tailboom configuration, utilizing the existing tail rotor gearbox. The modification provides approximately 40% increase in tail rotor control power, while requiring no additional drivetrain power.

The Density Altitude Compensator (DAC) safely controls the limit of tail rotor blade angle for maximum efficiency at higher density altitudes.

DAC is an electro-mechanical device for continuous control of the maximum tail rotor blade angle in proportion to the density altitude. This allows higher tail rotor blade angle limits at high altitude and thus greater directional control power availability up to 40% at high-density altitude. In contrast, at lower density altitudes, excessive tail rotor drivetrain and tailboom loads are avoided by reducing the tail rotor blade angle limit. This approach offers an automated density altitude compensating system, which safely controls the limit of tail rotor blade angle.

DAC controls the tail rotor blade angle to be the same as a standard UH-1H between sea level and 4,000 feet density altitude. From 4,000 feet to 14,000 feet density altitude, the DAC gradually increases maximum left and right pedal tail rotor blade angles to compensate for the decreasing amounts of tail rotor authority as the aircraft climbs. Above 14,000 feet density altitude, no further increases in blade angle are made.

The Fin Spar Repair Kit is FAA approved and Terminating Action for AD 99-25-12. The U.S. Army AWR approves installation and eliminates the need for x-ray inspections.

It is easy to install. There is no need to remove the tailboom and the installation can be completed with typical shop tools. Disposable tooling to transfer rivet hole patterns is also included in the kit. The fin spar repair is strong and offers a better joint at the 90° fitting and eliminates cracking of the old spar. There is also better load distribution at the critical area where fin and tailboom intersect.
The Global Eagle Upgrade is the result of the combined efforts of three internationally known companies.

DynCorp International, with more than a half-century of service throughout the world to military and commercial operations, is backed by aviation support gained from over 35 aviation programs and 4,000 aircraft. DynCorp is the recognized provider of UH-1 comprehensive maintenance and modification services and support, including 77 percent of all U.S. Army aircraft, the world’s largest rotary wing fleet.

Pratt & Whitney Canada is a worldwide provider of reliable aircraft engines. Their experience with commercial and military engine applications is supported by consistent R & D investment in performance enhancements. Parts and service availability and the company’s renowned product support have earned them an enviable reputation for quality.

Global Helicopter Technology, Inc., an internationally recognized engineering consulting services firm, has built its reputation around its UH-1 systems design improvement and validation. The company’s investment in UH-1 performance enhancements has been proven by its successful FAA Certification/Military Qualification programs.

All in all, Global Eagle UH-1H Upgrades offer operators a five-year, 2,500-hour engine warranty, an hourly engine cost reduction of 50%, up to 30% reduced fuel consumption, improved payload and range, a 40% increase in tail rotor authority, plus parts are available commercially and the training is minimum.

This is a first-class UH-1H mod that according to Marchant, "has the lowest acquisition/conversion cost on the market today. It really is designed for minimal disruption of the airframe and maximum impact on performance."

For upgrading a law enforcement agency’s Huey fleet, the Global Eagle is a very viable solution. Visitors to Reno _experienced it first hand. If you missed it, find out more about this upgrade and the APSA affiliate members companies behind it.