APSA's E-Newsletter is designed to help keep you informed on the very latest information in the airborne law enforcement industry. The E-Newsletter may also be read online here at our website.
Decorated Pilot Among Dead in Alaska Police Helo Crash
Alaska State Troopers released the names of three men who died in a helicopter crash after rescuing an injured man on March 30. They include Alaska State Trooper pilot Mel Nading (pictured), Trooper Tage Toll, and a 56-year-old injured man.
Nading and Toll headed out that evening on a search and rescue mission to locate the man who reportedly was injured after crashing on his snowmachine. "Radio communication with Helo-1 indicated that they had located the injured snowmachiner," according to a news release. "It was requested that a ground ambulance be waiting at the Sunshine Tesoro in Talkeetna to meet up with Helo-1 to transport the man to a hospital for treatment of his injuries. Helo-1 did not make the rendezvous."
So far, the cause of the crash is unknown. The AS350 Helo-1 is routinely used for search and rescue missions year-round, day and night in all sorts of circumstances, the release said. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the accident.
Two German Police Helicopters Crash in Training Exercise; One Pilot Dead
One German Federal Police pilot was killed and six others were hospitalized on March 21 when two helicopters crashed into each other during a training exercise above Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. Reports suggest the crash happened when one helicopter was preparing to land and did not notice the other beneath it. The EC155 and AS322 Puma aircraft were no more than 100 feet off the ground when they collided. The accident occurred in dense fog and snowfall.
While the deceased was identified as the pilot of one of the helicopters, the identities of the injured were not immediately known. The helicopters, thought to be carrying up to 25 police officers each, were taking part in a training exercise dealing with football violence and crowd control. Pictures from the scene showed one of the helicopters lying on its side in the snow in a field behind the stadium and the other next to it, still upright.
Teen Who Pointed Laser Sentenced to Prison
A 19-year-old North Hollywood man was given 30 months in federal prison in late March for aiming a green laser at a private plane and then at a Pasadena Police Department helicopter, which was hit six times by the laser. The pilot was wearing protective gear and did not have his vision impacted.
The defendant was arrested in April 2012 and pleaded guilty in October to one count of aiming the beam of a laser at multiple aircraft near the Burbank Airport. The man's attorney argued he had no idea the laser he borrowed from a friend was powerful enough to be seen by, much less distract, a pilot thousands of feet away. The attorney said he couldn't have known the tiny beam from the laser would expand to the size of a searchlight.
The judge rejected the defendant's claim that he was not endangering the safety of the aircraft with the laser and said the 30-month jail term was intended to serve as a message to other would-be defendants.
The federal statute used to charge the defendant is part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act legislation signed into law in 2012 making it a federal crime to deliberately aim a laser at an aircraft. This marked only the second time the statute has been enforced.
APSA Receives Prestigious HAI Award
APSA was recognized with the MD Helicopters Law Enforcement Award by the Helicopter Association International at its Salute to Excellence Awards dinner last month at Heli-Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.
According to HAI, APSA was given the award for its work promoting the versatility of helicopters to support law enforcement. The association was established in 1968 to promote and advance the use of aircraft by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. With decades of experience, APSA is an acknowledged expert that government agencies, including the FAA and the NTSB, turn to for advice and information.
APSA Executive Director Steve Ingley commented, â€œWhile I can't say for sure that it's never happened before, an organization receiving this award is a very rare event, which made it all the more humbling. I would like to thank MD Helicopters, the Awards Committee, and the staff of HAI for this recognition and gracious hospitality shown to APSA.â€
Among those representing APSA and its members at the awards presentation (pictured) were APSA Safety Program Manager Bryan Smith, Training Program Manager Don Roby, CFO Dan Schwarzbach, President Kurt Frisz and Executive Director Steve Ingley. APSA congratulates all of its members for their hard work in making this award possible.
Arlington Police Get FAA Approval for UAS
The Arlington (TX) Police Department has been approved to operate two unmanned helicopters for public safety purposes. Officials said they believe the unit is the largest urban police department in the U.S. to have permission to use unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson said the Federal Aviation Administration approved the agency's 58-inch electric helicopters, which can fly up to 40 mph, in late February. They will be equipped with cameras and used in a variety of missions.
The department plans to use the vehicles for crime scene investigation and searching for missing people, among other things. The department has been testing UAS for two years, but the FAA had restricted training flights to secured land. Arlington's new Certificate of Authorization allows flights within the city limits anywhere south of Interstate 30, away from the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport airspace.
The unit does not expect to use UAS for pursuits, traffic citations or routine patrols. Johnson said the department will make sure the technology is "an asset for the community" and "not an intrusion into people's civil liberties."
Tennessee Highway Patrol Unveils New Helicopter
The Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) added a Bell 206 JetRanger to its law enforcement toolbox in early March. The new THP helicopter will be stationed in Jackson, TN, and operate in the western part of the state.
Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons, who was on-hand for the unveiling of the aircraft, said the aviation support for THP's troopers will improve West Tennessee response times. "I think this [will] help West Tennessee be a safer place," Gibbons said.
THP Trooper Lee Russell (pictured) has been assigned to fly the helicopter and will be on call 24/7. The JetRanger is equipped with thermal imaging, night vision goggles, a high-powered searchlight and specialized radios. A LoJack system for locating stolen cars will also be installed in the aircraft.
APSA Members to Present at PAvCon
Numerous Airborne Public Safety Association members and affiliates are expected to offer presentations at the upcoming PAvCon conference in Wiener Nuestad, Austria. Diamond Aircraft will host the event at the Flugmuseum Aviaticum on May 21-22.
Presentations will be offered by officers from the New York Police and East Bay Regional Park District (CA) Police Departments, and representatives of Eurocopter, AgustaWestland, FLIR Systems, GippsAero and Turbomeca, among others. For more information, visit www.pavcon.org.
Northern Ireland Police Orders New Helicopter
The Police Service of Northern Ireland ordered a Eurocopter EC145 in mid-March, which will join the department's current fleet of an EC145, EC135 and BK117. The Police Service of Northern Ireland expects the new aircraft to be ready for service by June, in time for the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland logs 1,100 flight hours per helicopter per year, on average. The agency's equipment is designed and installed in its helicopters in Eurocopter's Oxford, U.K., plant, and its maintenance is performed onsite. â€œWe are proud that the skies above the British Isles are patrolled by our products,â€ said Markus Steinke, Eurocopter U.K.'s managing director.
Last Chance: Awards & Scholarships Nominations Open
APSA presents six annual awards, sponsored by corporate members, which recognize outstanding performance by its members. The winners of the awards epitomize the motto, "to serve and protect from the air." Additionally, APSA provides 18 scholarships totaling $42,000 to recognize the academic excellence of its members' children. APSA funds 12 regional scholarships that provide $2,500 to each recipient. The remaining six scholarships, like the awards, are funded by corporate members and the James Bland Memorial Fund and provide $1,500-$2,500 to each recipient.
Now is the time to nominate worthy individuals for an award and/or apply for a scholarship. APSA is accepting nominations and applications through May 1 and will announce the recipients in July during its 43rd Annual Conference & Exposition. Please visit the Awards & Scholarship section of the APSA website at www.alea.org/areas/awards for submission information.
Don't assume someone else will nominate individuals you think are worthy of recognition, or that there are so many applicants you'll never win a scholarship. Take the time now to help recognize excellence among APSA members and their families. Nominate or apply today by clicking here http://archives.alea.org/areas/awards/!
Report Reveals New Zealand Police Gathered Evidence With UAS
The New Zealand Police recently revealed it has been using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to gather evidence it has later used in court. The department said it had used UAS in two cases last year in response to a New Zealand writer's Official Information Act request.
Last July, officers photographed an area on a steep bank where a woman was found dead. Police said in another case, â€œan external companyâ€ had been contracted â€œto provide aerial imagery taken by a UAS to assist a police investigation.â€ The success of the outsourced UAS led police to buy its own unmanned helicopter to evaluate its capabilities.
SOURCE: New Zealand Herald
Did You Know?
Did you know that APSA has an award dedicated to recognizing excellence in public safety aircraft maintenance? The APSA Technical Specialist of the Year Award, sponsored by American Eurocopter, identifies and recognizes an individual whose efforts or actions in maintaining or repairing aircraft (or aircraft parts, including avionics) operated by a public safety agency were performed in an extraordinary manner, above and beyond what is normally expected, and whose efforts brought distinction upon themselves, their department and APSA. The efforts or actions may be a single event or span a period of time. Nominees must be members in good standing for at least one year at the time the nominations are made, and membership must be current through the date of award acceptance.
Nominations for this award are currently being accepted until May 1st. So, nominate your maintenance specialist today and give them the recognition they so richly deserve. For more information on this award, or any of APSA's five other awards or $42,000 worth of scholarships, go to http://archives.alea.org/areas/awards/.
U.K. Outsources Search and Rescue Operations
The U.K. Department of Transport has contracted with a U.S.-based company to provide its search and rescue helicopter service from 2016 to 2026. The contract ends 70 years of search and rescue operations by the U.K. Royal Air Force and Navy and will end the use of the iconic Sea King helicopters. The Texas-based Bristow Group will provide SAR services via 22 helicopters at 10 locations around the United Kingdom, with some bases open 24 hours a day. The U.K. Department for Transport said outsourcing the service would yield improved flying times and better coverage of high-risk areas.
â€œOur search and rescue helicopter service plays a crucial role, saving lives and providing assistance to people in distress on both land and on sea,â€ U.K. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said. "With 24 years of experience providing search and rescue helicopter services in the U.K., the public can have great confidence in Bristow and their ability to deliver a first-class service with state-of-the-art helicopters."
Ten Sikorsky S92s will be based, two per site, at Stornoway and Sumburgh in Scotland, and at new bases at the Newquay, Caernarfon, north Wales and Humberside airports. Ten AgustaWestland AW189s will operate from Lee-On-The-Solent, Hampshire and a new hangar at Prestwick airport in Ayrshire. New bases will be established at airports at St. Athan, South Wales, Inverness, Scottish Highlands and Manston, Kent.
Four Indicted for Pointing Lasers at Aircraft
A federal grand jury returned three indictments last month charging three men and a woman for pointing a laser at an aircraft.
A 25-year-old Bakersville, CA, man was charged with four counts of aiming a laser pointer at a Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter and four counts of attempting to interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft, an offense that was enacted in 2001 under the U.S. Patriot Act and carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A 26-year-old and his girlfriend, 23, were charged with two counts of aiming a laser pointer at an EMS helicopter and a Fresno (CA) Police Department helicopter. They were also charged with conspiring to interfere with the safe operation of the helicopters and two counts of attempting to interfere with their safe operation.
A 22-year-old man was charged with one count of aiming a laser pointer at Eagle 1, a Fresno County Sheriff's Office helicopter, and one count of attempting to interfere with the safe operation of the helicopter.
The defendants face a maximum prison term of 20 years on each charge of interfering with the safe operation of an aircraft and a maximum prison term of five years on each charge of pointing a laser at an aircraft.
According to the FBI, there were 3,482 aircraft laser strikes reported in the U.S. in 2012, averaging 10 strikes a day. So far this year, laser strikes have increased up to 11 strikes a day. Laser beams pose a serious safety hazard to flight operations.
SCSO Uses Air 1 to Arrest DUI Suspect
The Spokane County (WA) Sheriff's Office (SCSO) helicopter, Air 1, was instrumental in the late February apprehension of a drunk driving suspect. The suspect attempted to outrun deputies, but the helicopter was able to keep ground units apprised of the suspect's location. The helicopter crew noticed when the car finally stopped at a driveway and the driver took off on foot.
Once directed to the suspect's location by Air 1, deputies chased the man through several properties, caught him and took him into custody. He was booked for a felony charge of attempting to elude police and misdemeanor charges of DUI and trespassing.
Photographers Wanted: Air Beat Cover Contest
The time to get your cameras out and start clicking away is now! APSA will be accepting entries for its Air Beat cover contest only until May 31, so send in your best three photos (with a public safety aviation element) as soon as possible. The contest winner will receive a new Apple iPad on July 17 at APSA's 43rd Annual Conference & Exposition in Orlando, FL.
To be eligible for the contest, the photographer must be an APSA member in good standing. The photo must have a clear public safety aviation element (aircraft, crew, mission, etc.), and only three entries per person will be accepted. Complete submission details can be found atwww.alea.org. Take your best shot now!
Arizona DPS Helicopter Rescues Elderly Couple
The Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Helicopter responded to a request for service on March 10 when a pickup truck had been driven into a swollen creek and was reportedly floating downstream with two elderly occupants.
The crew arrived on-scene to find the male victim, whose condition was worsening due to freezing conditions, sitting in the driver's side window. The helicopter was positioned over the truck, and a paramedic was lowered to the scene. The female victim was helped into the helicopter, and the male victim was short-hauled to the shore. Agencies involved in the rescue included the Gila County Sheriff's Office, Tonto Basin Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service.
SOURCE: Arizona Department of Public Safety
Snohomish County Sheriff Helicopter Rescues Injured Skier
The Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit rescued an injured backcountry skier last month from a location 5,200 feet above sea level. The skier had sustained a broken neck and serious head lacerations after falling about 100 yards.
A Snohomish County Sheriff helicopter rescue technician was lowered via rescue hoist to a spot near the subject, where ski patrol had him strapped to a stabilizing board. The patrol helped the helicopter rescuer prepare the subject for hoisting, and he was flown to a nearby hospital for treatment aboard â€œSnoHawk 10,â€ a Bell UH-1H Huey. View video of the rescue at http://youtu.be/26XFmnXIfVI.
Nominations Honoring Excellence In Police Aviation Wanted
Nominations are now being accepted for the Excellence in Police Aviation Award given by the leadership of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and its Aviation Committee.
To be eligible, the nominee should be an individual who holds a management or leadership position in police aviation (broadly interpreted). The nominee could also be an aviation program (unit) that exemplifies excellence in airborne law enforcement. The award will emphasize initiatives to enhance the general level and safety of operations, accident prevention programs, and the efficiency and effectiveness of airborne law enforcement. Efforts eligible for recognition can range from the unit level to the national or international. The deadline for nominations is June 14. For submission questions, please contact Mike Fergus at (800) 843-4227 x811 or email@example.com.
SOURCE: International Association of Chiefs of Police
Seminole County Sheriff Upgrades Camera System
The Seminole County (FL) Sheriff's Office recently added new high-definition cameras to its helicopters. The cameras, along with improved GPS capability, cost the department nearly $800,000. The cameras also have 10 times more zoom capability than Seminole County's older models. Seminole County is one of two law enforcement agencies in the state to receive the upgrade.
Seminole County pilots said the cameras provide clearer pictures and give them the ability to determine exact locations when they are pointed at a target. "In the past, we couldn't always be 100 percent sure, until a deputy arrived, that we were looking at the right address," said Steve Farris, the department's chief pilot.
Three Ice Fishermen Rescued With Help of Helicopter Crew
A New York State Police helicopter rescued two ice fishermen, and a third was rescued by boat on March 4 after the men had became stranded on a reservoir about 50 miles north of Manhattan. According to State Trooper Douglas Larkin, the ice became too thin for the fishermen to return to shore, and two were accessible only by helicopter. All three fishermen were treated for hypothermia after being rescued and later released.
Northeast Region Safety Seminar Coming to Buffalo
The Erie County (NY) Sheriff's Office will host the 2013 Northeast Region Safety Seminar at the Adams Mark Buffalo, Buffalo, NY. Registration is now open. The seminar will feature workshops and discussions and the most up-to-date aviation safety information available. The conference educational agenda includes talks on accident lead indicators, crew resource management, aviation smuggling trends, in-flight emergencies and much more.
The deadline to secure the conference-attendee rate at the host hotel is April 15. Visit the APSA website or contact Chris Lieberman at (914) 490-4555 or clieberman@PublicSafetyAviation.org for more information.