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APSA E-Newsletter : 2020 December

December 2020 Airborne Public Safety Association, Inc.
APSA E-Newsletter

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In This Issue:

APSA Office Holiday Closings

APSA Webinar Training Series Extends Into January

APSA Announces Safety Seminar Locations/Dates

APSA’s Remote Pilot-in-Command Courses Available In-Person and Online

Be A Part of APSA’s Leadership Team

Former ALEA/APSA President and Longtime Member Passes Away

California Man Arrested After UAS Strikes Police Helicopter

Brazilian Highway Police Contracts to Purchase Six New Helicopters

New Peer Meeting Group Added for 2021

DIU, DHS OSLLE Co-Host Free, Virtual Blue sUAS Event

Utah DPS Helicopter Crew Spots Mysterious Monolith

Georgia Department Launches UAS First Responder Program

San Bernardino Sheriff Rescues, Helps Arrest Arson Suspect

Quebec Acquires Used Airbus H145 for Law Enforcement

Maryland State Police Aviation Helps Find Missing Twins

Man Convicted of Shining Laser at SDPD Chopper During Protest

Sarasota Sheriff’s Deputy and Veteran Dies From Lung Cancer

NSW Aviation Command Moves Into New Headquarters

New York Aviation Unit Helps Rescue Women Lost in Nature Preserve

Georgia Man Accused of Pointing Laser at Police Helicopter

PNP Receives Three More Helicopters

Highlight Your Aviation Unit in Air Beat

Video: Coordinated Rescue Response Caught on Camera

Texas DPS Contracts for New Helicopter’s Mission Suite

Video: Trick or Treaters Hit Police Helicopter With Laser

West Haven Public Safety Departments Receive UAS Donation

Man Arrested for Pointing Laser at Victoria Police Helicopter

APSA Welcomes New Members

E-Newsletter Sponsors:

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COBHAM

STARTPAC

Rhotheta

Garmin

APSA Resources:

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APSA Training and Education Events 

Welcome!

APSA's E-Newsletter is designed to bring you the latest on news and events within the public safety aviation community. The E-Newsletter may also be read online here at our website.


APSA Office Holiday Closings

2020 12 Image1 APSA Office Holiday Closings

APSA offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday, December 24-25, 2020, as well as Friday, January 1, 2021 for the upcoming holidays. We wish you and yours a safe and healthy new year and look forward to seeing you soon in person at an upcoming APSA event.

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APSA Webinar Training Series Extends Into January

2020 11 Image2 Live WebinarsAPSA’s live Webinar Training Series was created to bring many of the classes scheduled for APSCON 2020 and Public Safety Drone Expo directly to you. APSA is pleased to announce the addition of 4 more webinars, extending this series into mid-January 2021. These 90-minute webinars are offered at no charge as a benefit of membership; however, registration is required. To register for any or all of the webinars, please visit our website

The upcoming webinar schedule is as follows, each starting at 1300 EST:

  • Use of Drones on Firefighting Missions—Dec. 14.
  • Emergency Management Use of Drones—Dec. 18.
  • Battery Care for Your Drone—Jan. 8, 2021.
  • Law Enforcement Response to Aircraft Accidents—Jan. 22, 2021

If you know of someone who is not an APSA member and would like to access any of these webinars, they can easily join APSA here

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APSA Announces Safety Seminar Locations/Dates

2020 12 Image3 APSA Announces Safety Seminar Locations DatesAPSA is pleased to announce the location and dates for our first two safety seminars of 2021. Hosted by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, our first safety seminar is scheduled for February 23-25 in St. Augustine, FL.  This event will take place at the World Golf Village Renaissance St. Augustine Resort, and a group rate $133 per night with discount code APSA is available until February 8, 2021.

Our second 2021 safety seminar is scheduled for May 11-13 in Hunt Valley, MD,  at the Delta Baltimore Hunt Valley. A group rate of $129 per night is available until April 27, 2021, and can be accessed via our website.

APSA safety seminars cover a wide range of topics through classes, roundtable discussions and a mini-tradeshow. Registration for both of these events in included in your APSA annual Individual Membership dues as a member benefit; a nominal fee for non-members applies.

Survival Systems USA, Inc. will conduct Water Egress & Survival Training in conjunction with both of these events pending sufficient registration. Classroom instruction will be followed by practical application in the hotel pool. Registration for this training is handled directly by SSUSA. Full information is on our website.

Make your plans now to join us for some face-to-face training and networking, and to see the latest products and technology for public safety aviation, all while enjoying sunny Florida and historic Maryland.

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MAPSA’s Remote Pilot-in-Command Courses Available In-Person and Online

2020 12 Image4 APSAs Remote Pilot in Command Courses Available In Person and Online

Have it your way! APSA is pleased to offer our Remote Pilot-in-Command (RPIC) Course both online via live webinars and in person. If online works best for you, we will be conducting this course for four hours a day over two consecutive weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the following dates:

February 9, 11, 16, 18 

Tired of Zooming? We also have an in-person RPIC Courses scheduled:

Richmond Heights, MO | March 16-17, 2021 

APSA’s RPIC course is designed to provide students with a review of the Federal Aviation Regulations Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification Process and prepare students to pass the FAA Pilot’s Exam. Successful completion requires attendance of all online sessions. In addition, three briefings specific to law enforcement use of UAS are conducted. The course is intended for public safety personnel, both sworn and non-sworn, interested in obtaining their FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.

Registration and more information are available on the APSA website.

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Be A Part of APSA’s Leadership Team

2020 12 Image5 Be A Part of APSAs Leadership TeamParticipate in your association to the fullest extent possible by serving on the APSA Board of Directors. The nomination period for board positions up for election for the July 2021-July 2023 term will be open from January 1 through February 15, 2021. The following offices will be open for nomination: President, Treasurer, Canadian Region Director, Central Region Director and Southeast Region Director.

Candidates for Region Director positions must reside in the region he or she is elected to represent. Nominations may be submitted by regular mail or email and addressed to the APSA Secretary. Please ensure nominations indicate the name of nominee, position for which the person is being nominated, and the person making the nomination. Both nominee and nominator must be current members and in good standing. Additionally, the person being nominated must have been a member of APSA for at least one year.

Nominations must be received or postmarked no earlier than January 1, 2021 and no later than February 15, 2021. Send your nominations to Murray Maschmeyer, Secretary, Airborne Public Safety Association, 50 Carroll Creek Way, Suite 260, Frederick, MD 21701 or via email to mmaschmeyer@publicsafetyaviation.org.

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Former ALEA/APSA President and Longtime Member Passes Away

thumbnail Tucker Bobby Pics 121120

Bobbie Earl Tucker, Sr., 80, former ALEA (now APSA) President and 49-year member, passed away December 3, 2020 at Forrest General Hospital, Hattiesburg, MS. He was born September 19, 1940 at home in Hattiesburg, MS, the oldest of 15 children.

After serving in the U.S. Navy as an aircraft mechanic, Bobbie entered the Los Angeles Police Academy in October 1963. After graduation, he served for 8 years as a patrolman then motorcycle officer. In that same period, he earned his fixed wing pilot’s license achieving his VFR/IFR and multi-engine ratings and was accepted into the LAPD helicopter training program. He flew with the LAPD Air Support Division and served as Chaplain for 22 years, as well as Chief Maintenance Officer over a fleet of 16 helicopters and two airplanes during his last 10 years on the force. Bobbie joined ALEA in 1971 and served as Western Region Director (1981-1989), Secretary (1989-1990) and President (1990-1993). After 30 years of service, Bobbie retired from the LAPD in March ’93.

Bobbie continued his career in aviation until 2016, flying aeromedical helicopters and serving as Director of Operations for the South East MS Air Ambulance District for 22 years, while simultaneously serving as pastor at Rivers of Life Church in Petal, MS. You can read his full obituary here.

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California Man Arrested After UAS Strikes Police Helicopter

FBI special agents arrested a 22-year-old man on Nov. 19, alleging he recklessly operated an unmanned aircraft2020 12 Image6 California Man Arrested After UAS Strikes Police Helicopter that crashed into a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter. The man was arrested on a misdemeanor count of unsafe operation of a drone in what’s believed to be the nation’s first criminal case of its kind. The man’s arrest came during National Drone Safety Awareness Week, an initiative sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration.

According to reports, LAPD officers were dispatched on a burglary call to a Hollywood pharmacy and requested air support. As a department helicopter approached the pharmacy, the pilot saw the UAS and attempted to evade it. The drone struck the helicopter, forcing the pilot to initiate an emergency landing. The drone damaged the helicopter’s nose, antenna and bottom cowlings, according to court papers, which further stated, “If the drone had struck the helicopter’s main rotor instead of the fuselage, it could have brought the helicopter down.”

LAPD officers located parts of the UAS near the pharmacy and discovered the falling debris damaged a vehicle. Further investigation led to identifying the suspect as the drone’s operator, prosecutors said. The FBI executed additional search warrants in late October at the man’s home, and he admitted to launching the UAS on after he heard police vehicles and an approaching helicopter. The unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft offense alleged in the complaint is a misdemeanor carrying a sentence of up to a year in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

SOURCE: www.fox5sandiego.com 

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SE Aerospace   Dec 2020 eNews Ad

Brazilian Highway Police Contracts to Purchase Six New Helicopters

2020 12 Image7 Brazilian Highway Police Contracts to Purchase Six New HelicoptersThe Brazilian Federal Highway Police has contracted with Leonardo to buy six AW119Kx helicopters. The first of the single-engine helicopters will arrive in early 2021, with all aircraft delivered by June of next year. The Brazilian Federal Highway Police Air Operations Division intends to operate the AW119Kx helicopters across Brazil for a variety of missions, including transport, rescue, emergency medical service, firefighting, surveillance and law enforcement.

The AW119Kx light utility helicopter is IFR-certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, but the Brazilian police force will operate it via a VFR Garmin G1000NXi glass cockpit. Each helicopter will feature electro-optical and infrared cameras, rescue hoists, cargo hooks, Bambi buckets, rappelling kits and advanced communication systems. The helicopters can carry six passengers and are powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6B-37A turbo shaft engine.

SOURCE: www.flightglobal.com 

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New Peer Meeting Group Added for 2021

2020 12 Image8 New Peer Meeting Group Added for 2021

APSA conducts regularly scheduled online meetings for safety officers, maintenance technicians, SAR personnel, and UAS operators that you can join using your computer, mobile device or phone. And new for 2021, we are adding a Natural Resources Meeting Group. To facilitate this, the UAS, Safety Officer and Maintenance Technician Meeting Groups will meet once every two months, and the SAR Personnel and Natural Resources Meeting Groups will meet quarterly.

These meetings are open to any APSA member. Contract maintenance providers to APSA members are welcome to participate in the maintenance meeting as well. To receive meeting information and be added to the mailing list, send an email to safety@publicsafetyaviation.org.

The schedule for upcoming APSA online meetings is as follows:
UAS: Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021 from 1:00–2:00 PM EST (1800 UTC)
Safety Officers: Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST (1800 UTC)
SAR: Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021 from 1:00–2:00 PM EST (1800 UTC)
Maintenance: Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021 from 1:00-2:00 PM EST (1800 UTC)

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DIU, DHS OSLLE Co-Host Free, Virtual Blue sUAS Event

2020 12 Image9 DIU DHS OSLLE Co Host Free Virtual Blue sUAS Event 

On December 14, 2020, the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) at the U.S. Department of Defense will be co-hosting Blue sUAS: Secure, Trusted Drones for State and Local Governments, a free virtual event with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of State and Local Law Enforcement. This event will provide an overview of secure sUAS and include demonstrations by five vendors for state, local, and tribal governments, law enforcement, and first responders.

For more information and to register, click here.

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Utah DPS Helicopter Crew Spots Mysterious Monolith

2020 12 Image10 Utah DPS Helicopter Crew Spots Mysterious MonolithA Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) aircrew stumbled upon a mysterious metal monolith in the middle of rural, southeastern Utah in mid-November. Utah DPS Aero Bureau officers were helping the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources count bighorn sheep when they saw the hunk of metal. “One of the biologists…spotted it, and we just happened to fly directly over the top of it,” Pilot Bret Hutchings said. “He was like, ‘whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!’”

The silver monolith they had found sticking out of the ground quickly caught the attention of media across the country. Hutchings guessed it was “between 10 and 12 feet high.” He said it didn't look like it was randomly dropped, but rather that it had been planted. Hutchings guessed an artist had placed the structure in the desert. The monolith disappeared from its place in the rocks about one week after the Utah DPS aircrew discovered it.

SOURCE: www.cnn.com 

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Cobham OCT 750x200 Air Beat eNewsletter Oct 2020

Georgia Department Launches UAS First Responder Program

The Brookhaven (GA) Police Department has proposed a first responder unmanned aircraft program, and the local city council approved the proposal on Oct. 27. The concept is based on the Chula Vista (CA) Police Department’s nationally recognized model and aims to gather critical law enforcement information on calls for service, emergency situations and criminal investigations. BPD plans to operate at least four drones.

2020 12 Image11 Georgia Department Launches UAS First Responder ProgramBPD currently relies on the DeKalb County Police Department and Georgia State Patrol Aviation Unit for manned helicopter support. The helicopters can take up to 30 minutes to arrive on-scene and have some availability limitations. “Now, rather than enter a crime scene with active danger, officers can send in a drone to gather critical information,” BPD Lieutenant Abrem Ayana said. “Currently, officers are forced to rely on third-hand information passed through dispatch from 911 where the caller is, understandably, often unreliable and emotional. For incidents where the drone is first on the scene, the average response time could be as little as 90 seconds.”

BPD’s UAS fleet is composed of a DJI Matrice 300 RTK capable of 55-minute flight times and equipped with a thermal imager and spotlight, DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual equipped with a thermal imager, Autel EVO II with a high-resolution camera, and DJI Mavic Mini for training.

SOURCE: www.patch.com      

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San Bernardino Sheriff Rescues, Helps Arrest Arson Suspect

2020 12 Image12 San Bernardino Sheriff Rescues Helps Arrest Arson SuspectA San Bernardino County (CA) Sheriff's Department helicopter rescued an arson suspect trapped above a vegetation fire on Nov. 1 before the man was arrested, authorities said. In addition to the 34-year-old suspect, the aircrew rescued one other individual.

The arson suspect had been trapped by the Cypress Fire, which erupted in southern Fontana and prompted multiple 911 calls for trapped hikers. The Fontana Police Department requested assistance from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Aviation Unit, and the crew of 40 King 6 responded to the scene. The crew located the suspect standing on a large boulder surrounded by heavy smoke and fire and determined his life was in immediate jeopardy. The crew's flight officer transitioned to the back seat, stepped onto the helicopter skid and directed the pilot into position. The TFO pulled the man into the helicopter, and the crew flew away from the fire and detained the suspect until officers arrived to take custody of him.

The aviation crew continued searching for additional hikers around the Cypress Fire and rescued a 22-year-old man stranded near the blaze’s right flank. Two additional San Bernardino County Sheriff's helicopters, 40 King 3 and 40 King 5, assisted with numerous water drops over the fire, which burned about 130 acres until air and ground crews contained it.

SOURCE: www.fontanaheraldnews.com 

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Quebec Acquires Used Airbus H145 for Law Enforcement

2020 12 Image13 Quebec Acquires Used Airbus H145 for Law EnforcementSûreté du Québec (SQ), the provincial police service for the Canadian province, has purchased a pre-owned Airbus H145 to serve in a law enforcement role. The force has operated Bell helicopters for many years. “We were surprised to learn that a Quebec builder had not been considered and that there had been no call for tenders,” Bell Spokesperson Patricia Bergeron told local media. Émilie Lord of the Quebec Ministry of Transport said the decision was made because the used helicopter could be in service by the end of the year, where a new aircraft would have taken two to three years.

The H145 replaces a Bell 206LT TwinRanger that SQ acquired in 1994. The helicopter suffered a serious accident in January 2020. The department also flies a Bell 206B JetRanger purchased in 1980 and a Bell 412 added to the fleet in 2002.

SOURCE: www.helihub.com 

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Maryland State Police Aviation Helps Find Missing Twins

2020 12 Image14 Maryland State Police Aviation Helps Find Missing TwinsUnits from the Maryland State Police Aviation Command and Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of K-9 teams, found two missing children safe and unharmed. The twins disappeared in the woods near their family home in Prince Frederick on Thanksgiving Day, and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office searched for the 7-year-old girls for several hours. MSP Trooper 7 and a K-9 team led by the dog Abel were credited with eventually leading the twins to safety.

SOURCE: www.smnewsnet.com 

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Man Convicted of Shining Laser at SDPD Chopper During Protest

2020 12 Image15 Man Convicted of Shining Laser at SDPD Chopper During ProtestA 25-year-old California man who aimed a laser pointer at a San Diego Police Department Air Support Unit helicopter during a police protest this summer is facing a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison following his conviction by a federal jury, the U.S. Attorney's Office said last month. The man shone the laser at the chopper multiple times over the course of an hour as he marched with protesters through downtown San Diego. The count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft carries a maximum possible sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 22.

U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer called the result "a very important verdict" and said, "This kind of crime could have a disastrous impact if a pilot's sight is compromised. We support the Constitutional rights of free speech and assembly, but the rule of law must be respected. It's there for a reason -- to protect the public and law enforcement from danger."

Source: NBC 7 San Diego 

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Sarasota Sheriff’s Deputy and Veteran Dies From Lung Cancer

Stephen Shull, 42, a helicopter pilot and deputy with Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit, succumbed to metastatic lung cancer last month, leaving behind a wife, four children and law enforcement colleagues who “are devastated right now,” according to Sheriff Tom Knight.

2020 12 Image16 Sarasota Sheriffs Deputy and Veteran Dies From Lung Cancer“Steve was the ultimate professional, just like what you would expect from a veteran who served in the Middle East in combat to protect this nation. People who perform their duties with the ethics and integrity of Steve Shull are contagious – people want to be around folks like that,” said Knight. “Guys like Steve are few and far between.”

Upon retiring from the Coast Guard and Army, Shull beat out 150 applicants for a SCSO job as a pilot/deputy sheriff in 2014. Shull received an outpouring of community support in 2016 when an article described his last battle, against what would ultimately prove to be a terminal diagnosis. The cause of his lung cancer came from ingesting fumes from military toxic-waste disposal burns. Groups such as Operation Second Chance and anonymous donors alike rallied to mitigate Shull’s dire financial straits to seek treatment. Shull’s long ordeal included clinical trials of new treatments, chemotherapy, radiation, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

His widow, Katie Shull, is supporting a bill to grant presumptive compensation for veterans who can produce papers showing they were deployed to burn-pit locations, and that their afflictions fall under 12 proposed qualifying illnesses, including cancer. A Congressional Burn Pit Caucus led by U.S. Rep. Paul Ruiz, M.D. and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pushing the legislation. “This is a moral outrage,” said Gillibrand, after collaborating on the bill’s language in September. “It’s also a looming crisis that must be addressed. Burn pits are so dangerous that they are outlawed on U.S. soil, but they were used all over the world.”

A GoFundMe account has been established to help the Shull family with their expenses at https://www.gofundme.com/f/shull-family-support. Any donations are appreciated.

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NSW Aviation Command Moves Into New Headquarters

2020 12 Image17 NSW Aviation Command Moves Into New HeadquartersThe New South Wales (NSW) Police Force Aviation Command has officially opened its new headquarters at the Bankstown Airport in Sydney, Australia. The national police commissioner and minister were joined by a host of dignitaries to inaugurate the facility in early November.

Established in 1979, the NSW Aviation Command has been providing aerial support to police operations and assisting with aviation investigations for more than four decades. The command was initially based at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport, before relocating to Bankstown in 1991, where it was housed in three World War II hangars. Over the years, NSW Aviation Command’s fleet has grown, resulting in operational requirements exceeding the previous base’s capabilities.

The new facility integrates the hangar, maintenance, operations, training and administration functions in a single standalone structure. The modern facility complies with new civil aviation safety regulations and allows for improved accessibility, visibility and mobility in policing operations. “The police aviation command’s current fleet of five helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft are now suitably housed in this top-quality aviation policing facility,” Police Minister David Elliott said. “As part of the NSW government’s commitment to a well-equipped police force, the fleet will undergo further modernization over the next year, when it takes possession of three new Bell 429 helicopters…Not only is this purpose-built, 25,000 square-meter facility designed for the current and future requirements of the aviation command, it offers enhanced capabilities to their delivery of aerial policing services across the state.”

SOURCE: www.miragenews.com 

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New York Aviation Unit Helps Rescue Women Lost in Nature Preserve

2020 12 Image18 New York Aviation Unit Helps Rescue Women Lost in Nature PreserveThe Nassau County (NY) Police Department Aviation Unit helped rescue two women lost in a Long Island nature preserve in early November. The woman said they became lost after dark and could not find their way out of the woods. The preserve on Long Island is 423 acres and includes a lake, streams and numerous footpaths, many heavily wooded. The two New York City residents called 911 as the sun set, and the aviation unit responded. “We launched from here at approximately 6:30 in the evening,” said Lieutenant Joe Grella, commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Seventh Precinct.

Once on-scene, Officer Gregory Millwater activated the helicopter’s infrared sensor to help locate the panicked women. “Once I located them on the infrared, my pilot actually spotted their cell phone waving, and then I already had them on the camera,” Millwater said. The victims were found on a muddy path near a fishing stream. The 63- and 64-year-olds said they were grateful to the Nassau County Police Department and its helicopter.

SOURCE: newyork.cbslocal.com   

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Rhotheta   Dec 2020 eNews Ad

Georgia Man Accused of Pointing Laser at Police Helicopter

2020 12 Image19 Georgia Man Accused of Pointing Laser at Police HelicopterThe Gwinnett County (GA) Police Department arrested a man in mid-November after he confessed to pointing a laser at a police helicopter “for fun.” Police charged the 47-year-old with obstruction and laser use against an aircraft, both misdemeanors. His case was also referred to the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Attorney for possible prosecution, Gwinnett police spokesman Corporal Collin Flynn said in a news release.

According to police, the Gwinnett County helicopter was searching for a stolen car when the cockpit was struck by a green laser. The crew recorded video of the suspect shining the laser from a house and guided ground troops to the address. The man admitted to officers he had pointed the laser at the helicopter after being told he was caught on video. “Pointing a laser at an aircraft is extremely dangerous, as it can hinder the pilot’s ability to handle the aircraft and interfere with the equipment onboard,” Flynn said. “The police department wants the general public to know that this is unlawful.” The man was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail and released on a $1,850 bond.

SOURCE: www.ajc.com 

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PNP Receives Three More Helicopters

2020 12 Image20 PNP Receives Three More HelicoptersThe Philippine National Police (PNP) took delivery of three new helicopters last month. The agency expects to use the aircraft in rescue, relief and medical evacuation operations, as the country has been hit with a series of strong weather disturbances in the past few weeks. Major General Angelito Casimiro, head of the PNP Directorate for Logistics, said the three Airbus H125 helicopters give the national police force 10 total air assets. Casimiro said the helicopters are undergoing field testing and evaluation prior to entering service.

PNP recently has used helicopters to distribute relief goods to isolated areas hit by Typhoon Ulysses. The agency now a total of seven H125s, two Robinson 44 trainers and one C150 fixed-wing aircraft. In July, former Chief Archie Francisco Gamboa revived a pilot training course for members of the PNP Special Action Force, which operates all the agency’s aviation assets. The department has so far produced 11 pilots, with 14 others undergoing training. PNP formerly operated 11 air assets, but one aircraft crashed in March, resulting in the death of a police general.

SOURCE: mb.com.ph 

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Highlight Your Aviation Unit in Air Beat

A Most articles you’ve read in APSA’s Air Beat Magazine over the years have come from members like you. With the help of our editorial staff, it’s easy to spotlight the good work of your aviation unit with an article in Air Beat. (It’s our editor’s job to make you look good, so don’t worry if you’re not a writer.) Whether your missions involve law 2020 12 Image21 Highlight Your Aviation Unit in Air Beatenforcement, emergency medical, natural resources, firefighting, search and rescue or whether your agency utilizes helicopters, fixed-wing or unmanned platforms, we’d love to hear from you. Just email Lisa Wright at airbeat@publicsafetyaviation.org or call her at 727-343-5600. Some of the topics we’ll be covering in 2021 include safety, emergency response plans, airborne ISR, the National Incident Management System (NIMS), virtual and augmented reality simulation training and fixed-wing operations. If you’ve got knowledge on any of these topics, please contact Air Beat and share it with your fellow APSA members. Look forward to hearing from you!

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Video: Coordinated Rescue Response Caught on Camera

2020 12 Image20a Coordinated Rescue Response Caugth on CameraA Tampa Police Department (TPD) Aviation Unit helicopter caught a dramatic rescue on video after the department responded to a Jet Ski crash. A man and woman crashed the watercraft in late November and were in the water for more than two hours before being reported missing by family members, according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Watch the coordinated response by FWC, TPD and Tampa Fire Rescue here

FWC reported the TPD Aviation Unit helicopter located the couple in the water next to a bridge. They could see both were alive and wearing their life jackets, but one of the victims was struggling to keep the other’s head above water. The TPD Aviation Unit led an FWC officer to the scene, and the officer brought the victims onboard his vessel.

SOURCE: www.mysuncoast.com 

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Texas DPS Contracts for New Helicopter’s Mission Suite

2020 12 Image23 Texas DPS Contracts for New Helicopters Mission SuiteThe Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has contracted with CNC Technologies for an airborne mission suite for its recently acquired Airbus H125 helicopter. Working with completion services firm Metro Aviation, CNC developed and designed the new system and will provide ongoing training and 24/7 support. The mission suite provides Texas DPS the ability to stream real-time HD video and data from the H125 to ground-based forces around the state and partners around the world. Key system highlights include the latest generation Wescam MX-10 gyro-stabilized gimbal, advanced microwave downlink infrastructure and a Garmin moving map system. The suite is interoperable with Texas DPS’s existing ground receive network.

CNC currently provides Texas DPS with ongoing support for the airborne mission suites deployed on the agency’s two Pilatus PC-12 Spectre fixed-wing aircraft. The systems were custom developed and went into service in 2016.

SOURCE: www.airmedandrescue.com 

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Video: Trick or Treaters Hit Police Helicopter With Laser

2020 12 Image24 Video Trick or Treaters Hit Police Helicopter With LaserMembers of the Lee County (FL) Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit reported being struck by a green laser while responding to a call on Halloween night. “I can’t begin to explain how dangerous it is to put our aviation crew members in jeopardy by pointing a laser light at their eyes,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said. “Any person who intentionally tries to harm my family members will go to jail.”

Three trick or treaters shined a laser pointer at a police helicopter providing community security. See video of the laser strike here. The aircrew’s TFO determined the laser came from three individuals walking through a neighborhood. The pilot and TFO tracked the subjects and advised ground units they were standing in a driveway getting candy. Patrol deputies quickly responded, took the three male suspects into custody and charged them with misuse of a laser, a third-degree felony.

SOURCE: www.shorenewsnetwork.com 

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West Haven Public Safety Departments Receive UAS Donation

The West Haven (CT) Fire Department recently received an unmanned aircraft to be shared among the city’s three fire stations and police department. PropelUAS and the National Public Safety Drone Donation Program partner to provide free drones to departments in need, and the West Haven Fire Department submitted a successful proposal.

2020 12 Image25 West Haven Public Safety Departments Receive UAS DonationCenter Fire Station Chief James P. O’Brien said the technology is a “tremendous tool” for fire services and police. O’Brien said his department has worked with the nearby Orange Volunteer Fire Department to learn more about UAS operations. O’Brien expects the donated UAS to be helpful for shoreline search and rescues, documenting the shore before and after storms, searching for missing persons in the woods and flying into potentially dangerous areas after fires.

O’Brien said the new Autel EVOII UAS is state-of-the-art but will need thermal imaging and night vision cameras, and the department is looking for additional funding through grants and other means. The department has been training with a drone and has one licensed FAA Part 107 UAS pilot on staff.

SOURCE: www.stamfordadvocate.com 

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Man Arrested for Pointing Laser at Victoria Police Helicopter

2020 12 Image26 Man Arrested for Pointing Laser at Victoria Police HelicopterThe Victoria Police in Australia arrested a man for pointing a laser at one of the department’s helicopters in early November. The Australian government banned laser pointers in 2008 primarily to reduce the danger to pilots. According to reports, the aircrew determined the laser’s origin and directed ground troops to the suspect’s residence. The man locked himself in his home, but officers entered through the back door and engaged in a struggle with the 43-year-old. Police said the laser was found hidden in the suspect’s freezer. The man was arrested on suspicion of endangering the safe operation of an aircraft, reckless conduct endangering life, possessing a prohibited weapon, assaulting police and resisting arrest.

SOURCE: www.australianaviation.com.au 

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APSA Welcomes New Members

APSA’s networking, education and training opportunities are unique and specialized for public safety aviation. Let your colleagues and friends know about APSA. Thank you for your membership and helping APSA continue to grow. We would like to welcome the following corporate and individual members who joined during November 2020:

Individual Members:APSA Individual

Jeff Bozard, CDPS
Levi Brown, Kandiyohi County (MN) Sheriff's Office
Ed Brown, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Colin Bryan, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Nathan Chapin, Ft. Walton Beach (FL) Police Department
Alan Coker, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Robert Cooper, NC HART
Ian Crocker, Riverside (CA) Police Department Headquarters
Jonathan Culin, Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office
Gary Dawson, Brighton (CO) Fire Rescue District
Joseph Duncan, Cullman (AL) Police Department Headquarters
Peri Duncan, Federal Bureau of Investigation
David Dungan, Blue Ash (OH) Police Department
Johnathan England, Cullman (AL) Police Department Headquarters
Jonathan Faught, JAARS Aviation
Joseph Ferrante, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Burris Fred, Orange County (CA) Fire Authority
Nicholas Fries, Ft. Walton Beach (FL) Police Department
Doug Gates, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Shant Ghazarian, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Tom Gnapp, Calgary (AB) Police Service
Paul Gonzalez, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Jesse Grant, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Aiden Guy, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Chase Haag, Napa (CA) Police Department
Daniel Hunt, Cullman (AL) Police Department
Chris Jolliff, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Baasil Khan, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Eddie Kisfaludy, SciFly, LLC
Rob Lang, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Jordan Lemke, Kandiyohi County (MN) Sheriff's Office
Nicholas Lewis, Beltrami County (MN) Sheriff's Office
Mike Linder, Yellowstone County (MT) Sheriff's Office
Fernando Maldonado, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Raymond McNair, San Jose (CA) Police Department
David Mumper, San Jose (CA) Police Department
David Nassetta, Cullman (AL) Police Department Headquarters
Steve Rafala, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Walter Rivera, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Michael Schraer, Sacramento (CA) Police Department
Jason Seal, Mississippi Highway Patrol Air Operations (DPS)
Amro Sirhan, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Kenneth Tyler, California Highway Patrol
Matt Walsh, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Jeff Warnke, Cullman (AL) Police Department Headquarters
Josh Warren, San Jose (CA) Police Department
Kalan Wasson, Ft. Walton (FL) Beach Police Department
Courtney Weddington, Ft. Walton (FL) Beach Police Department
Buddy Wenisch, Dunn County (ND) Sheriff's Office
Christian Zarate, San Jose (CA) Police Department

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APSA E-Newsletter Staff  
Dan Schwarzbach, Editor dschwarzbach@PublicSafetyAviation.org
Lisa Wright, Editorial Director airbeat@PublicSafetyAviation.org
APSA, Publisher webmaster@PublicSafetyAviation.org
Emily Tarr, Sales Representative etarr@PublicSafetyAviation.org

This newsletter is published monthly by the Airborne Public Safety Association, Inc. (APSA), a public benefit, non-profit California corporation. APSA is comprised of air crew and air support personnel in public safety and others who support, promote, and advance the safe and effective use of manned and unmanned aircraft by governmental agencies in support of public safety operations.

© Copyright 2020 by the Airborne Public Safety Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this newsletter in whole or in part without written permission from the Editor is prohibited. Product and corporate names mentioned in this newsletter are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Airborne Public Safety Association (APSA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership; nor shall their publication imply endorsement on the part of APSA of any content or claims made therein. APSA disclaims all warranties, express or implied, and makes no judgment regarding the accuracy of posted information. In no event will APSA be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages resulting from the publication or any subsequent public distribution thereof.

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