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.
Police Scotland Helicopter Crashes Into Pub, Kills Nine
Nine people were confirmed dead and 14 were seriously injured when a Police Scotland Air Support helicopter crashed into a busy pub in Glasgow on Nov. 30. The Eurocopter EC135 T2 was piloted by a civilian and was carrying two police officers when it crashed, falling through the roof of a bar where more than 100 people were listening to live music.
"This is a black day for Glasgow and for Scotland,â€ said Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister. â€œOur condolences go to those who will be bereaved, our solidarity with those who have been injured.â€
As the helicopter struck the pub and began to breach its roof, the band reportedly continued to play and bar-goers were unaware what was happening. Thirty-two people were eventually taken to three local hospitals as police cordoned off the area, which is a short distance from Glasgow's main shopping streets.
Struan Johnston of the aviation consultancy Caledonian Aviation said he guesses the helicopter's pilot had performed an autorotation onto the roof, which then collapsed under the aircraft's weight. "What I suspect given what we're hearing from various eyewitnesses is that it was a relatively controlled descent, but these helicopters operate at such a low level that with any problem, the pilot would have a very, very short time to make any decision,â€ he said.
Arizona Officers Convene to Address Laser Concerns
Hundreds of pilots from law enforcement agencies around Arizona gathered in late November for a safety seminar focused on addressing laser beam incidents. Phoenix currently ranks as the number one city in the nation for laser incidents. Tucson also ranks high in the number of federal cases involving a laser device.
FBI Special Agent Brian Nowak made a presentation to the pilots and said there were an estimated 4,000 incidents of lasers beamed into aircraft cockpits nationwide last year. In Tucson, a laser is pointed at an aircraft between one and four times a week. Tucson Police Department Pilot Chris Potter said the Air Support Unit had close to 50 incidents last year. Potter himself sustained retinal damage when a laser struck him several years ago.
Nowak said that offenders range from ages 15 to 60 and sometimes they're just curious. That's why the FBI is embarking on an information campaign to let the public know the dangers and penalties if caught.
Belfast Police Use UAS in Security Operations for First Time
The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) recently confirmed it deployed an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in a security operation for the first time during the G8 summit in June. PSNI said the technology was used to help keep the community, police and Army officers safe in an area of north Belfast.
PSNI purchased three UAS at a cost of about $1.6 million before the meeting of world leaders. They were used to fly over the summit venue to ensure the protection of the visiting dignitaries. The UAS have also since been used to transmit video to police during a bomb diffusion operation. PSNI said its UAS are operated by trained security personnel within the line of sight of the aircraft. A full review of PSNI's UAS program is expected to be carried out after a year of operation to assess the systems' effectiveness.
Nominations for APSA Board Positions Close Dec. 15
The nomination period for APSA elected offices for the term of July 2014 through July 2016 are open until Dec. 15. The offices of Vice President, Secretary, Eastern Region Director, Northeast Region Director and Western Region Director are open for nomination. Members residing in their region will elect region directors, and the director must reside in the region he or she is elected to represent.
Nominations must be submitted by regular mail, facsimile or e-mail and addressed to the APSA secretary. Please ensure nominations indicate the name of the nominee, the position for which the person is being nominated and the person making the nomination. Both the person being nominated and the person making the nomination must be current members and in good standing in APSA. Submissions must be received or postmarked on or before Dec. 15. The ballots will be distributed to members by mail on or about May 1, 2014. The ballots will be counted during APSA Expo 2014 in Phoenix, AZ, with the results announced at the General Membership Meeting on July 17, 2014.
Send your nominations to Airborne Public Safety Association, Attn: Secretary Gregg Weitzman, 50 Carroll Creek Way, Suite 260, Frederick, MD 21701, or via email to secretary@PublicSafetyAviation.org, or via fax to (301) 631-2466.
SOURCE: Airborne Public Safety Association
FAA released its first annual roadmap outlining efforts needed to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into U.S. airspace in early November. The roadmap addresses current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will be required to integrate UAS into the aviation system.
â€œGovernment and industry face significant challenges as unmanned aircraft move into the aviation mainstream,â€ U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. â€œThis roadmap is an important step forward that will help stakeholders understand the operational goals and safety issues we need to consider when planning for the future of our airspace.â€
The roadmap reportedly outlines FAA's approach to ensuring widespread UAS use is safe from the perspective of accommodation, integration and evolution. FAA's main goal is to establish requirements for UAS operators to increase access to airspace over the next decade.
SOURCE: Federal Aviation Administration
Turkish National Police Receives Seven Bell 429s
Bell Helicopter delivered the first seven of 15 Bell 429s to the Turkish National Police throughout September and October. According to Bell, the 429s will be used for law enforcement surveillance, transport and air support of ground operations. The aircraft, equipped with multi-sensor cameras and video management systems, are already in operation.
Bell said the deliveries have so far taken place on or ahead of schedule. Turkish authorities placed the order last year after a two-year evaluation. The remaining deliveries are planned for next year.
Did You Know?
Did you know that you don't have to wait until the annual conference to buy APSA logo merchandise? That's right, APSA shirts, caps, coins, umbrellas, wings, sweatshirts and more are available year round athttp://archives.alea.org/store. And with the holidays fast approaching, these items make great gifts! So logon and stock up. Holiday shopping made easy â€“ another APSA member benefit!
Ohio Man Gets 45 Days for Striking Police Chopper With Laser
A 27-year-old man who pointed a blue laser at the cockpit of a Columbus (OH) Division of Police helicopter admitted his actions were stupid in early November and was sentenced to 45 days in the county jail and 18 months of probation. The man said he bought the laser on the Internet and used it to etch his initials on tools. He said he shined the laser at the helicopter on March 21 because he was bored. The blinding effect when the laser beam came through the helicopter's windshield could have caused a crash in a heavily populated residential area, according to the prosecutor.
After the strike, the Columbus Police helicopter pilots spotted the house where the beam originated and directed officers on the ground to it. The perpetrator initially denied involvement but confessed after officers obtained a search warrant and found the laser. The man pleaded guilty in September to one felony count of possession of criminal tools.
Dubai Police to Utilize Five AW169 Helicopters
Dubai Police has selected five of AgustaWestland's new model AW169s to bolster its air support capabilities. The light intermediate helicopters are expected to perform a range of missions, including law enforcement, emergency medical services and VIP transport.
The AW169 is designed to deliver high performance and multi-role capabilities while maintaining safe operations. According to AgustaWestland, the five-ton aircraft incorporates several new technologies, and four prototypes have logged more than 470 flight hours so far. The helicopter is expected to obtain certification, as well as a comprehensive set of mission kits, dedicated support services and training systems, including a full flight simulator, in 2014. AgustaWestland reports more than 100 AW169s have been ordered by more than 30 customers to perform a range of roles.
Easton Division of MSP Receives Its New Helicopter
Easton's Maryland State Police (MSP) Aviation Command received the new AgustaWestland AW-139 helicopter earmarked for the division on Nov. 19. Colonel Marcus Brown, secretary of MSP, said the new Trooper 6 helicopter represents an improvement to the public safety capacities in Maryland. He said it would provide a safer aircraft and the latest in aviation technology, along with more room and equipment for aviation paramedics.
The new helicopter for the Easton Section of MSP is the second aircraft out of 10 to be put into service. Nine other AW-139s are being distributed throughout state police sections. The next section to receive a helicopter will be Salisbury. In Easton, the AW-139 replaces the old Trooper 6 helicopter, a Eurocopter 365N Dauphin, which is more than 20 years old.
Seasons Greetings From APSA
The Board of Directors, staff, and APSA contractors wish you and yours a merry holiday season and a happy new year. Resolve to get involved with your Association in 2014 by attending a safety seminar and/or APSA Expo 2014, contributing an article and/or photographs to Air Beat or the E-Newsletter, and participating in the discussion forums on the APSA website. APSA exists for you, and your input is critical to our collective success. Have a safe holiday!
Peru National Police Receives New EC145
The National Police of Peru in early November received the first of four twin-engine Eurocopter EC145 helicopters it purchased last year. The helicopter has a range of 370 nautical miles and a cruise speed of 153 miles per hour. The model purchased by the Peru police features a public address system, siren and multi-frequency radio.
Eurocopter said one of the four helicopters would also be equipped with an infrared camera for transmitting live images to a command center or ground unit. Peru purchased the aircraft as part of a national police modernization program. The remaining aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2015.
The Peru police reportedly selected the aircraft because its power and versatility perfectly suits the country's terrain, which requires the aviation unit to perform missions in extreme conditions at sea level, in the jungle, and on the Andean Plateau. The aircraft will be stationed at the police aviation unit's main base and perform public security missions and disaster relief throughout the country.
Tampa Police Captures Veterans Day Message From Helicopter
The Tampa Police Department's Aviation Unit happened upon an aerial view of a Veterans Day message on Nov. 11 in Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Displayed across several sections of seats were the words "THANK YOU MILITARY," paying tribute to American military personnel.
Long Beach Police Receives $10,000 Donation for Fuel
The Long Beach Police Foundation has received a donation of $10,000 to fuel the police department's two helicopters. The donation, from nonprofit advocacy group Fueling California, was presented in a ceremony that included Long Beach Police Department Chief Jim McDonnell and local assembly member Bonnie Lowenthal.
Police said fueling the department's two Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopters has become a budgetary concern. The $10,000 will buy 45 hours of fuel for policing the skies over Long Beach. The Long Beach Police Air Support Unit was founded in 1968 to assist officers with a crime increase in the city. Over the years, the LBPD has operated several different helicopters, including the Hughes 300, Bell 47, MD 500E and Eurocopter EC130.
Regional Aviation Units: Share Your Story With Air Beat!
The sharing of assets, including aviation assets, by public safety agencies has become increasingly popular, resulting in the formation of several regional aviation units. If your aviation unit is one of them, Air Beat would like to hear from you! Our upcoming March-April 2014 issue is focused on this topic and what it takes to operate a successful regional aviation unit. Contact Lisa atairbeat@PublicSafetyAviation.org before the end of this month or call 727-343-5600 for more information.
Abu Dhabi Police Air Wing Building New Hangar
The Abu Dhabi Police launched the construction of a new two-story administration building and helicopter hangar at Al Bateen Executive Airport in early November. The unit reported the hangar will occupy about 83,000 square feet and the administration building will span 3,000 square feet. The project is expected to be completed by June 2014.
Air Commodore Ali Mohammed Al Mazrouie, director of the police service's air wing, said the building will house offices for staff, spare parts storehouses and maintenance workshops. The hangar is designed to accommodate 12 helicopters and the facility will be equipped with a maintenance, repair and operations center in compliance with international standards and specifications of the country's General Civil Aviation Authority.
SOURCE: Seminole County Sheriff's Office
California Police Helicopter Uses Infrared Camera in Rescue
A Riverside (CA) police helicopter crew helped rescue eight people stranded on a river island on Nov. 21. The helicopter, known as Air-1, responded to reports of the individuals being cut off from the banks by flash floods, assisting the fire department and San Bernardino County Sheriff. The helicopter crew used its infrared camera to locate the victims and hoisted one person out of the river. The aircraft then landed on a sand bar and helped rescue the other seven victims and their dogs.
Aviation Assets Assist in Fighting New York Brush Fire
Helicopters from Westchester County Police Aviation and West Point Military Academy Aviation assisted in fighting a fire in mid-November in Orangeburg, NY. Volunteers with the Orangeburg Fire Department called for the aerial assistance when it estimated the fire was approximately 30 feet by 60 feet and growing quickly.
Firefighting personnel said the helicopters quickly allowed them to make progress putting out the flames. The West Point crew was able to drop approximately 180 gallons of water on the blaze per run, and Westchester's helicopter dropped about 125 gallons on each pass.
Washington County Units Add ARS System
The King County (WA) Sheriff's Office and Snohomish County Sheriff's Office recently added Augmented Reality Systems (ARSs) to their arsenal of airborne crime fighting equipment. The new equipment was installed in two King County helicopters and one Snohomish ship at a cost of $150,000 each. The systems were purchased with a $450,000 grant from the Port of Seattle and use GPS technology to provide helicopter pilots the exact addresses of buildings they see below them.
"We now know exactly where the bad guy's at," King County Pilot Deputy Keith Potter said. "When he's hiding in a backyard, we don't have to try and look at a separate map to guess which house it is, then give a description like 'It's the third house from the corner.' We can actually go, 'it's 12345 Second Street and he's in the backyard.'
Sacramento Police Helicopter Damaged in Power Line Strike
A Sacramento (CA) Police Department helicopter hit a power line and made a precautionary landing in a lakebed in early November. None of the crew was injured in the incident.
A police spokesperson said the crew had cleared a dispatch call on Nov. 1 when it crashed into and severed the power line. The wire was cut just before it reached the rotor mast by the aircraft's wire strike protection system. Although the helicopter was still operating, the pilot landed immediately. The helicopter's cockpit windshield reportedly was cracked and the nose dented.
New South Wales Police Force Purchases New Helicopter
Australia's New South Wales Police Force has reached an agreement to bring the first Bell 412EPI helicopter to the country. The Sydney-based unit expects to take delivery of the aircraft in 2014. It will use the platform for tactical and response missions. First introduced in March, the Bell 412EPI features a glass flight deck with an ADS-B transponder and optional XM satellite links.
Southeast Regional Safety Seminar Kicks Off 2014 Schedule
The Georgia State Patrol will host the first APSA Safety Seminar of 2014, January 28-30, in Jekyll Island, GA. The Southeast Regional Safety Seminar will be held at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel and offer water survival/egress training in addition to a full slate of educational and networking opportunities.
A group discount rate is currently available from the host hotel. Visit our website athttps://www.alea.org/events/detail.aspx?i=141&p=1&d=1/28/2014 or contact APSA Southeast Region Director David Gee at dgee@PublicSafetyAviation.org for more information on the event.
SOURCE: Airborne Public Safety Association