Pennsylvania State Police Recall Responding on 9/11
Pennsylvania State Police Aviation Patrol Troopers Rick Paden and Jeffrey Braid were the first aviators to respond to the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. On Aug. 6, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township, they shared their memories of the experience.
The troopers said when they saw coverage of the day's first attack, the crash of American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, they assumed it was an accident. "With the weather the way it was, as pilots, we're thinking, 'How did a plane run into the towers? They're pretty obvious,'" Paden said.
As other planes hit the World Trade Center's South Tower and the Pentagon, Paden, Braid and the rest of America realized the crashes had been acts of terror. And when Flight 93 crashed in Stonycreek Township at 10:03 a.m., it was time for the Pennsylvania State Police Aviation Patrol to respond.
Deputy in Helicopter Injured by Gunfire
A Polk County (MN) Sheriff's Office deputy was injured by gunfire while traveling in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter in the northern part of the state in early August. Officials said the deputy was injured by flying glass when one of the helicopter's windows shattered. The deputy was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Authorities say the pilot was flying over an area of suspected drug activity when the chopper was hit twice by gunfire from a high-powered rifle. The pilot wasn't injured, and deputies were able to apprehend a 71-year-old man they found hiding in the woods. During a search of his property, they found a loaded rifle and empty cartridge. They also found marijuana plants. The man now faces federal charges for assaulting an agent, damaging a federal aircraft and firing a gun during a violent crime.
SOURCE: www.theeagle.com and ww.startribune.com
Florida Units Take Down Four Burglary Suspects
The Brevard County (FL) Sheriff's Aviation Unit assisted the Melbourne Police Department and Palm Bay Police Department in a chase that resulted in a dramatic apprehension and arrest captured on video. The late July arrests occurred after the suspects attempted to break into a car dealership and led officers on a vehicle and foot chase.
With the Brevard County Sheriff's Aviation Unit following the chase from above, ground officers were able to deploy spikes to slow down the suspects' vehicle and force them to flee on foot into a nearby neighborhood. The driver was immediately arrested; the other three suspects were apprehended when officers converged on them in a resident's backyard. See video of the apprehension HERE.
Two Officers Injured as Helicopter Crashes in Nairobi
Two of Kenya's National Police Service officers were injured after a helicopter they were using for a training mission crashed in Nairobi in late August. Both the instructor and trainee received non-life threatening injuries. It is not clear what caused the accident, but officials said the helicopter was in good condition at the time. Emergency services were immediately mobilized at the scene, and the wreckage was preserved as investigators began to survey the damage.
Kenya's National Police Service currently operates six fixed-wing aircraft and eight helicopters. The service recently purchased a new helicopter, and two others are being refurbished to improve the department's aviation division.
California Man Gets 15 Months for Laser Incident
A man who aimed a laser pointer at an Orange County (CA) Sheriff's Department helicopter investigating a traffic accident was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on Aug. 23. The 35-year-old man was sentenced for a "distraction" for which "people could die," according to U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford.
The man pleaded guilty in March to the felony offense, which occurred on the evening of Nov. 14, 2015, as Orange County deputies responded to the scene of an overturned vehicle. The deputies were searching the area to see whether anyone had been thrown from the vehicle when the helicopter was struck with the laser beam.
Tulsa Police Helicopter Damaged by Gunfire
The Tulsa (OK) Police Department Air Support Unit said a bullet fired at one of its helicopters has caused tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage. The unit noticed the damage on a rotor blade in early August during a preflight inspection. Officials said they think the helicopter was shot during the evening shift on Aug. 1. The pilot did not report any issues at the time.
Officials said they were unsure how much it would cost to fix or replace the blade. Estimates from blade experts indicated a replacement would be around $70,000. Police officials said this was the first time a department helicopter has been struck by a bullet. The unit is operating one helicopter for the time being.
Nevada State Pilot Admits Stealing Rotor Blades
The former chief pilot of the Nevada Department of Wildlife admitted in court in mid-August to selling two rotor blades taken from a state helicopter in early 2014. The department, which replaced one of its Bell JetRangers with an Eagle 407HP in the spring, learned the former chief pilot sold the blades for $42,000, claiming they still had 2,121 hours of viable use left on them, when in fact they only had 200 hours.
The theft came to light in March, and the former chief pilot agreed under a plea deal to pay $43,000 to the company that purchased the blades. Prosecutors agreed to recommend probation for the man, who faces a maximum sentence of one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 11.
Man Indicted for Shining Spotlight Into Ohio Police Helicopter
An Ohio man has been indicted on two felony charges for shining a "high-powered spotlight at a City of Columbus Division of Police helicopter involved in a search for a missing child. The 57-year-old man was indicted Aug. 18 on one count of interfering with the operation of an aircraft by shining a light into the cockpit, a second-degree felony, and one count of possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony. The man was scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6; he faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
New Jersey State Police Helicopter Joins National Night Out
The New Jersey State Police Aviation Unit sent a helicopter to the Summit Police Department's National Night Out celebration for the first time this year. The event, held across the country on Aug. 2, celebrates law enforcement and the community partnering to build strong relationships. The New Jersey State Police helicopter made its surprise visit on a landing zone constructed on the village's central green space. The Summit Police Department worked with other law enforcement agencies, the U.S. military and community organizations to grow this year's National Night Out into the largest ever held in the city and to what some officials called the biggest in the State of New Jersey.
Cyprus Police Helicopter Grounded Due to Rotor Cracks
A Cyprus Police helicopter was grounded in late August after cracks appeared on the main rotor blades, according to the justice ministry. The AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter, one of two operated by the island nation's police service, suffered cracks in its blades after 1,600 hours of flight. The aircraft's specifications state they last up to 10,000 hours.
The ministry said cracks had appeared in some of the five blades of both helicopters, but one of the aircraft was fixed promptly and put back into service. According to the police aviation unit commander, the blades were not covered by warranty, forcing the unit to seek more than $300,000 to replace them. In its statement, the ministry said it has asked the attorney general to look at the matter and advise whether the blades could be replaced according to the manufacturer's guarantees.
Did you know that APSA has a UAS resident expert ready to help you launch your UAS program? On August 22, Al Frazier began a 9-month UAS Fellowship with APSA, during which he will be developing UAS-specific operating policies, procedures, standards, etc. for public safety operators. Al is also available for onsite technical assistance for your UAS program at no cost to your agency other than his travel-related expenses. All of his time is on APSA. Contact the APSA CEO/Executive Director Dan Schwarzbach for more information, or contact Al directly at email@example.com.
APSA Hosts Online Group Meetings This Month
APSA will be hosting an online meeting for safety officers on Monday, September 26, from 1-2 pm EDT (1700 UTC) and for UAS operators on Friday, September 30, from 1-2 pm EDT (1700 UTC). Meetings are conducted though an online conference call you can join using your computer or phone. They are open to any APSA member.
To receive meeting information and be added to the mailing list for future notices of APSA Online Group Meetings, send an email to safety@PublicSafetyAviation.org.
Wisconsin Police Department Purchases UAS
The Mount Pleasant (WI) Police Department has purchased an unmanned aircraft system intended to be used in searches for missing people, disaster response and serious traffic crashes. SkyView Aerial Solutions trained six officers to use the DJI Inspire drone, which the department bought for $3,362 with funds from the Federal Asset Forfeiture Program. The department has received clearance from FAA to begin operating the aircraft.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department expects the UAS will be helpful not only when searching for missing people or barricaded suspects, but it will also give police more security options during special events. Officers will deploy the UAS in teams of two, with one officer operating the aircraft and another watching for obstacles.
City of Cincinnati Buys Two Unmanned Aircraft
The City of Cincinnati in late August purchased its first two unmanned aircraft systems. But City Manager Harry Black said the city's departments must be briefed and given authorization before any launches. Greater Cincinnati Water Works made the purchase, and while there are no immediate plans for use, the UAS are expected to be used by the fire department, police department and Metropolitan Sewer District.
"There is interest among a few departments in exploring the use of this new technology to enhance efficiency, public safety and customer service," Black said. "As such, the administration wants to ensure full transparency at every step of the process, including this early stage of consideration." Black said the city must adapt to new and emerging technologies or risk "becoming obsolete."
Henry County Police to Acquire UAS
The Henry County (GA) Board of Commissioners in mid-August approved the purchase of two unmanned aircraft systems for use by the Henry County Police Department. The UAS will cost $18,661, and the money will be taken from the Federal Asset Forfeiture Program. The cost includes a Maxsure Seeker compact UAS and DJI Phantom 3 Professional UAS, as well as training and consulting.
The Maxsure will be equipped with a traditional camera, thermal imaging and FLIR camera and focus on search and rescue. "I have been working on this for quite a while," Captain Chuck Simmons said. "To me, this is way cheaper than a helicopter, pilots and fuel, and they can maneuver better. I think this is something we will use a lot."
Gwinnett County Police Adds UAS
The Gwinnett County (GA) Police Department (GCPD) has added an unmanned aircraft system to its list of law enforcement tools. The UAS is currently being used to investigate serious traffic accidents, with the department's two certified officers using it to fly over incident scenes and take pictures and video. "We're able to launch this thing and within five minutes have pictures of the entire scene," Lieutenant Chris Smith said.
Officials said several non-accident uses are possible in the future, including missing persons searches, at-large crime scenes and natural disasters. GCPD believes it is the first law enforcement agency in the state to seek UAS approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
More South Carolina Units Considering UAS
With the Greenville County (SC) Sheriff's Office already using unmanned aircraft systems, other South Carolina law enforcement agencies are considering adopting the new technology. One of the agencies looking into the technology is the Pickens County Sheriff's Office.
"When you're talking about operating a manned helicopter or a manned aircraft at substantial costs associated with that, versus the savings of an unmanned device ... then it does pique your interest," said Creed Hashe, the Pickens County chief deputy. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association said the Myrtle Beach Police Department already uses UAS for water rescues.
Modesto Police Gives UAS Demonstration
The Modesto Police Department demonstrated three of its unmanned aircraft systems in a mall parking lot on Aug. 9, emphasizing that the camera-equipped devices are eyes in the sky, not spies. The UAS will not be used for random surveillance, Lieutenant Ivan Valencia and Sergeant David Mullins told presentation attendees.
"If we're in open public space where we have the right to be anyway, there's no search warrant required," Valencia said. "But if we want to fly over somebody's house, yes, a search warrant would be needed, in keeping with people's right to privacy. This is not a secret program; this is not random surveillance. These are directed. You'll know we're there, no different than if we deploy a canine in an area." Valencia said the department's prescribed UAS uses include executing search warrants, assisting other agencies, responding to biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear crises, civil disturbances, dignitary protection, disaster management, situational awareness, crime-scene documentation, gang and homicide investigations, and search and rescue.
U.K. Unit Enlists UAS to Police Festival
The Isle of Man Constabulary launched an unmanned aircraft system to assist with monitoring the island's Festival of Motoring from Aug. 19 to Sept. 3. "The drone will provide support in evidence gathering at serious road traffic collision scenes, crime scenes and also in search of missing vulnerable people," Inspector Allan Thompson said when the unit decided to employ the UAS.
Thompson said deploying the UAS during the festival might lead to further use in the future if it proved effective. The Isle of Man Civil Aviation Administration reportedly worked closely with police and approved UAS operators to ensure the aircraft were operated safely, both with respect to other aircraft and people and properties on the ground.
Edmonton Police Chopper Just Misses UAS, Prompts Warning
Authorities began pleading with unmanned aircraft systems operators to follow Transport Canada recommendations after Edmonton Police Service's Air 1 helicopter almost collided with a quadcopter in early July. Pilot Constable Brian Griffith was responding to a call over downtown at an altitude of about 1,500 feet when the UAS passed within 32 feet of him. "It was quite alarming to us," Griffith said. "Initially, I wasn't sure what it was, whether it was a bird, but it was [still] close enough that I could clearly identify it as a quadcopter. I immediately turned and tried to acquire the drone to see if I could see the operator, but my concern at that point was putting myself at more risk."
SOURCE: www.theeagle.com and www.sherwoodparknews.com
APSA Welcomes New Members
APSA would like to welcome the following corporate and individual members who joined during August 2016:
L-3 Aviation Products
Ian Allard, NYPD Aviation Unit
Brian Amos, Arizona Department of Public Safety Aviation Bureau
Joseph Aylward, NYPD Aviation Unit
Bruce Baver, NYPD Aviation Unit
Kelly Bocardo, Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff's Office Aviation Services Division
Kenneth Boss, NYPD Aviation Unit
Duncan Brown, Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department Air Operations
Steven Browning, NYPD Aviation Unit
Edgar Burroughs, NYPD Aviation Unit
Matthew Burton, Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department Air Operations
Michael Carr, NYPD Aviation Unit
Greg Cartwright, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Matt Chance, DEA - Aviation Division
Royston Charles, NYPD Aviation Unit
Brendan Clarke, Ontario (ON) Provincial Police
James Coan, NYPD Aviation Unit
Charles Condon, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Kenneth Conlan, NYPD Aviation Unit
Craig Coogan, NYPD Aviation Unit
Joseph Daigneault, NYPD Aviation Unit
Anthony Daniels, NYPD Aviation Unit
George DeCock, Airborne Technologies
Christian Delacruz, NYPD Aviation Unit
Derin Devuono, NYPD Aviation Unit
Thomas Diaz, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Dillon, Riverside (CA) Police Department Aviation Unit
Chris Dominguez, San Jose (CA) Police Department Air Support Unit
Michael Dossantos, NYPD Aviation Unit
Danny Edling, NYPD Aviation Unit
Erin Egan, NYPD Aviation Unit
Jeff Every, Ontario (CA) Police Department
Ralph Gaglioti, NYPD Aviation Unit
Eric Glasgow, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Robert Glennon, NYPD Aviation Unit
Ricki Gomez, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Gonzalez, NYPD Aviation Unit
Adam Greenburg, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Air Support Division
Stephen Greene, NYPD Aviation Unit
Hassan Hamdy, NYPD Aviation Unit
Vanessa Henson, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Air Support Division
Jamieson Hicks, Lake County (IN) Sheriff Department
Manuel Huerta, NYPD Aviation Unit
Mario Inguaggiato, NYPD Aviation Unit
Jonathan Johnson, Pell City (AL) Air Support Unit
Richard Knoeller, NYPD Aviation Unit
Mark Kracun, Fairfax County (VA) Police Department Helicopter Division
David Lebaron, Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department Air Operations
Andrew Lejeune, Edmonton (AB) Police Service Flight Operations Unit
Seth Levinstein, NYPD Aviation Unit
Chad Lewis, Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department Air Operations
Roxanne Maillee, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Air Services Branch
Richard Mardarello, NYPD Aviation Unit
Russell Maturo, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael McCaffrey, NYPD Aviation Unit
Wayne McCoy, Virginia Beach Police Department Aviation Unit
Sean McDerby, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Joseph Medina, NYPD Aviation Unit
Chris Mezich, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Air Support Division
Connor Milligan, Sacramento County (CA) Sheriff's Department
Grant Moore, JettPro Line Maintenance
William Mundy, NYPD Aviation Unit
Robert Murray, Fairfax County (VA) Police Department Helicopter Division
Daniel Nelson, Santa Barbara County (CA) Sheriff's Office
Matthew O'Donohoe, NYPD Aviation Unit
John O'Hara, NYPD Aviation Unit
Tarek Otero, NYPD Aviation Unit
Victor Pappas, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Headquarters
Sean Parker, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Air Support Division
Cesar Pazmino, NYPD Aviation Unit
Ronald Perez, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Porcheddu, NYPD Aviation Unit
Salvatore Randazzo, NYPD Aviation Unit
Manuel Rivas, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Rivera, NYPD Aviation Unit
Mike Roberts, Golden State Aviation
Scott Rodda, California Highway Patrol Central Division Air Operations
Robin Rohner, NYPD Aviation Unit
Allen Romer, Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff's Office Aviation Services Division
Raphael Saavedra, NYPD Aviation Unit
Lester Sanabria, NYPD Aviation Unit
Brad Schneider, Ontario(CA) Police Department
William Shaleesh, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Shoum, NYPD Aviation Unit
Michael Sileo, NYPD Aviation Unit
Joe Smith, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Sean Smith, NYPD Aviation Unit
Brian Studer, Tail Winds Aviation
Charles Tatum, Redondo Beach (CA) Police Department
Mark Thomas, Delaware State Police Aviation Section Administration
Alex Torke, Santa Clara Police Department
Roy Vandenbrink, Calgary (AB) Police Service Collision Reconstruction
James Varga, NYPD Aviation Unit
Carlos Velasquez, NYPD Aviation Unit
Eileen Walter, NYPD Aviation Unit
Peter Weiss, NYPD Aviation Unit
Kenneth White, NYPD Aviation Unit
Jennifer Whitney, NYPD Aviation Unit
Andrew Wiseman, Fairfax County (VA) Police Department Helicopter Division
Colin Woode, NYPD Aviation Unit
Jonathan Yacoub, NYPD Aviation Unit
Laura Zbikowski, NYPD Aviation Unit
Pierre Zimmerli, NYPD Aviation Unit
Next Regional Safety Seminar Headed North of the Border
The 2016 Canadian Region Safety Seminar will be held in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, from Oct. 12 to 14. In addition to the usual schedule of educational programming and mini-tradeshow, the seminar, offered free of charge to APSA members, will be uniquely situated in the riverfront city of Sault Ste. Marie.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will act as hosts of the event, which will be headquartered at the Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel. Online registration and group rates are now available. Contact Region Director Murray Maschmeyer via email at mmaschmeyer@PublicSafetyAviation.org or call 780-984-1577 for more information.
Just Announced: The Ontario MNRF is offering a limited number of training sessions in their Level 6, TC approved CL-415 water bomber simulator during the seminar on Wednesday, October 12. You can sign up for one of these sessions when registering for the seminar.