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.
Multiple Public Safety Helicopters Respond to Bridge Collapse
Three helicopters responded to a bridge collapse in Washington State in late May: the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Helicopter Rescue Team in "SnoHawk 10", a Bell UH-1H, U.S. Navy Whidbey SAR in "Rescue 58", a Navy Sikorsky MH-60 Knighthawk, and Customs and Border Protection in "Omaha", a Eurocopter AS350.
While the Snohomish County crew conducted a visual search of the river beneath the bridge for a reported survivor, the Navy aircrew landed, and its rescue swimmer assisted a woman trapped in a partially submerged truck. The CBP helicopter conducted live video downlink operations.
The pilot-in-command of the Snohomish County helicopter coordinated all aircraft in the area, including getting a number of media helicopters to communicate on one frequency, announce their location and intent, and maintain safe aircraft separation. There were no deaths or serious injuries sustained in the bridge collapse. Video of the incident can be viewed athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45hcxoLS0dI&sns=em.
APSA Educates NFL Officials About Airspace Security
The National Football League reached out to APSA earlier this year for guidance on airspace security around NFL stadiums on game days. This was followed up by an invitation for representatives from APSA to make a presentation at the 2013 NFL Security Seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, in June.
APSA President Kurt Frisz and Vice President Kevin Caffery attended the NFL's seminar and made a presentation to nearly 200 NFL and NFL stadium security officials. Frisz and Caffery presented the airspace security model with input from various APSA members. The presentation included a look at what airspace security looks like today (e.g. temporary flight restrictions) and what measures the NFL, in conjunction with its local law enforcement agencies, can take to better protect stadiums from a possible attack from the air. The concept was well-received, and APSA looks forward to an ongoing working relationship with the NFL to develop better airspace security around the league's venues.
Miami-Dade PD Helps Produce UAS Video
The Miami-Dade (FL) Police Department recently assisted in the production of an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) demonstration video. The UAS video was produced by National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) for screening at the UAS Workshop 2013 last month and shows the department's Micro Air Vehicle (MAV) in action.
The Miami-Dade Police Department Aviation Unit is one of the few airborne law enforcement agencies in the country currently flying a UAS. The unit has operated its unmanned aircraft under an FAA certificate of authorization for several years. The video the agency helped produce can be seen here:www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jys4dFi_DDE
Man Charged for Lasing Toronto-Area Police Chopper
Several charges have been made against a Canadian man accused of aiming a laser at the Durham Regional Police helicopter stationed just outside of Toronto. Officers on the ground investigated the source of the laser after the crew of Air 1 reported multiple strikes on June 14. No one aboard the aircraft was injured, police said.
Officers located a man standing outside a vehicle and found him to be in possession of a laser. The 44-year-old faces criminal charges, including mischief-endangering life, assault with a weapon and obstructing police. He has also been charged under the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Act. Last fall, a Canadian woman pleaded guilty to a charge under theAviation Act and was fined $500. The incident was similar to the June 14 laser strike.
IMPD Police Helicopter Helps Fight Fire
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Aviation Section assisted in putting out a massive warehouse fire in mid-June. The helicopter team was called to fight the blaze when ground crews determined another vantage point was necessary.
"We're able to get a bird's eye view," IMPD Aviation Section TFO Alan Nelson said. "We're able to transmit that down to ground command, to give them a better aerial view of what's going on, so they have a full picture."
IMPD Aviation Section pilot Scott Bishop and Nelson were called to respond in the helicopter, employing a thermal imager to see through the smoke of the fire and relay to ground crews the location of heat sources. Firefighters were concerned at first about a giant propane tank in the warehouse, but the aviation team monitored the tank from the air as firefighters worked to contain it. The crew also helped determine an evacuation area and traffic routes.
APSA's Annual Conference In Orlando This Month
APSA's 43rd Annual Conference & Exposition is set to take off in Orlando in just over a week. The Association has made its final preparations and is ready to host you from July 17-20 at the Hilton Orlando.
For last minute planning, visit the APSA website www.alea.org/events/2013Conference. In addition to information about the Pre-Conference Courses and full conference schedule, you'll find valuable information about what to do in the Orlando area to maximize your stay. APSA and your colleagues are looking forward to seeing you!
Did You Know?
Did you know that APSA provides individualized certificates upon your successful completion of annual conference pre-conference courses, and attendance at annual conference classes and regional safety seminars? That's right! For pre-conference courses, just sit back and relax, your certificate will be provided upon the completion of the course. Conference classes require you to check the "need certificate" box next to your name on the sign-in sheet. At safety seminars, there is a sheet in the registration area for you to sign up for your certificate. So whether you want certificates for your personal records, agency training records, or to show your bean-counters what they got for their money, we've got you covered!
Riverside (CA) Helicopter Saved by June Vote
Voters in Riverside, CA saved the municipal police department's helicopter on June 4 when they passed "Measure A". According to City Manager Scott Barber, if voters had failed to pass the measure, $6.7 million would have been cut from the city's budget, a portion of which would have come from grounding the chopper.
Measure A is a charter amendment that allows the city to continue shifting about $6 million a year from water utility revenues into the general fund to cover basic city services. A total of $2.28 million in public safety funding and the equivalent of 80 full-time jobs were saved when voters passed the measure.
"The voters knew exactly what they were voting on," Riverside City Firefighters' Association President Tim Strack said. "The people of Riverside are confident about their [city] services, and they want them to continue."
Maine Latest State to Pass UAS Regulation Bill
A bill passed by the Maine Senate would force police to obtain a warrant in most cases before using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). However, the bill was opposed by Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, and there is no indication police are using drones in the state at this time.
The bill prohibits a law enforcement agency from collecting information from a UAS about a person without a warrant, court order or consent from the person, except in emergency circumstances. "I would say the vast majority of our law enforcement agents are great, but there are a few that cross a line," Sen. John Patrick said. "We've got to make sure that we protect the average citizen's rights."
Eurocopter's Hybrid Helicopter Achieves Speed Milestone
The Eurocopter X3 hybrid helicopter attained a speed milestone of 255 knots in level flight on June 7. Several days before the accomplishment, the X3 reached a speed of 263 knots during a descent. Both of those speeds are considered the unofficial record for a helicopter.
Eurocopter achieved the 255-knot speed milestone with the X3 flying at an altitude of around 10,000 feet during a 40-minute test flight over southern France. The X3 utilizes a pair of RTM 322 turbo-shaft engines to power a five-blade main rotor system with two propellers installed on short-span fixed wings.
Eurocopter said the aircraft is well suited to missions requiring long transit flights at high speeds, while retaining full vertical lift and hover capabilities. The company envisions a wide range of potential applications for the hybrid configuration, including long-distance search and rescue operations, coast guard missions, border patrol flights, passenger transport and offshore airlift, along with inter-city shuttle services. The combination of higher cruise speeds and vertical takeoff and landing performance is also well suited for military missions, such as special forces operations, troop transport, combat SAR and medical evacuation.
Delaware State Helicopter Helps Find Robber in Wooded Area
Delaware State Police (DSP) were able to arrest a man accused of assaulting and attempting to rob a 50-year-old man after the state aviation unit helped establish a perimeter around the area in which he was hiding.
Troopers were called in late May when an apartment complex maintenance worker was reportedly being assaulted. When the initial trooper arrived, the suspect fled into the wooded area behind the complex and into a marsh. The DSP Aviation Unit then responded to the area and helped establish a perimeter around the marsh. The suspect emerged from the bog within a half hour and was taken into custody.
Police said the suspect struck the victim in the back of the head and pushed him to the ground before attempting to grab the victim's wallet. A female employee attempted to intervene but was also pushed to the ground. The suspect was charged with first-degree robbery, second- and third-degree assault, and resisting arrest. He was ordered held on a $74,000 secured bond.
Kentucky Police Department Acquires Gyroplane
The Somerset (KY) Police Department has added a small helicopter-like gyroplane to its crime-fighting toolbox. The unit began using the aircraft on a trial basis last year, and it is now officially part of the department.
Several officers recently completed the training necessary to crew the gyroplane. "We try to get up and fly during the peak call volume times," Pilot Shannon Smith said. Smith is the department's only pilot, but the unit also has five TFOs on staff. Smith says the gyroplane has been successful at locating suspects who have fled crime scenes and assisted on drug seizures.
The department received the gyroplane through a federal aviation technology program, which was at no cost to taxpayers. The department was one of three agencies involved in the program. Smith says the gyroplane's daily maintenance and upkeep costs are low compared to other aircraft. See video of the gyroplane in action here: http://www.wkyt.com/wymt/home/headlines/Somerset-Police-fight-crime-from-the-air-212649331.html.
Michigan State Police Helicopter Now Patrolling Muskegon Area
In its ongoing effort to optimize the use of its airborne assets, the Michigan State Police has begun using helicopters to patrol the Muskegon area. The department has recently received noise complaints in areas such as Grand Rapids and shifted assets from areas of falling crime to higher crime.
"It's big to assist officers on the ground," Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynne Gill said. "If you have a shots fired call and you have a helicopter with a light, you can see much better. It's also useful in situations where police are chasing people. You can get from point A to point B a lot quicker."
Michigan State Police Rockford Post Commander Lieutenant Chris McIntire said authorities have wanted to bring helicopter patrols to Muskegon for some time and believes they will help curb gun violence. The patrols are expected to monitor the cities of Muskegon and Muskegon Heights, along with the surrounding areas. The officers in the helicopter will be dispatched by 911 central dispatch and will also focus on areas with large crowds and where problems traditionally occur.
Snohomish County Sheriff Helicopter Rescues Hiker
The Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff's Office Helicopter Rescue Team airlifted an injured hiker from a trail in northwest Washington in late May using "SnoHawk 10". The woman was injured about 3 miles up-trail in heavy timber on technical terrain at nearly midnight, and her companions called for help. The Snohomish County Search and Rescue Team responded to the call along with Oso and Darrington fire and medic crews.
The woman was airlifted out using a short-haul system with the litter and attendant attached to a static line connected to the helicopter cargo hook. She was then flown to a field, where she was loaded inside the helicopter and transported to a nearby hospital. View video of part of the short-haul operation here:http://www.rotor.com/Publications/RotorNews/tabid/843/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2747/SNOHOMISH-COUNTY-SHERIFF-HELICOPTER-RESCUES-HIKER.aspx.
Maricopa County Contracts for 407 Training
The Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff's Office Aviation Division has contracted with FlightSafety to provide training for its Bell 407 helicopter at the FlightSafety Learning Center in Lafayette, LA. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is based in Phoenix.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the Bell 407 Initial Training courses FlightSafety provided," said Sergeant Wes Kuefer, the unit's flight supervisor. FlightSafety's Lafayette Learning Center offers both courseware and training equipment for hands-on practice. The company provides mission-specific training for airborne law enforcement, among other industries.
New York County Police Department Rescues Kayaker
Suffolk County (NY) Police Marine Bureau and Aviation Section officers rescued a kayaker hanging from a pylon in an inlet in early June. The man had reportedly flipped his kayak and lost his paddle before swimming to a small island, resting briefly and attempting to swim to shore. The current kept the man from reaching shore, and he grasped the pylon at around 8 p.m.
Marine Bureau Officers Michael Axelson, Frank Sierra and Brendan Grogan of Marine Mike responded, as did a second Marine Bureau boat. The Suffolk County helicopter guided the boats through the shallow water. The officers pulled the man onto the boat about 30 minutes after he had called for help from his cellphone. He was reportedly cold and exhausted and was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.
RCMP Contracts for Third-Party Recovery Training
The Air Services Branch of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced a new provider for its Upset Prevention and Recovery Training program. The training, to be provided by Aviation Performance Solutions LLC, is intended to support the RCMP mission of applying the highest principles of aviation safety to its pilot training and support its peace and security-focused flight operations.
"Loss of control in flight continues to be demonstrated as aviation's most lethal threat to air safety," said Gary Hartery, chief pilot for RCMP Air Services. The program provides initial upset recovery training academics and skill development to over 70 RCMP pilots primarily responsible for flying Pilatus PC-12s, De Havilland Twin Otters and a variety of Cessna aircraft.
CHP Helicopter Rescues Teen Hikers
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Valley Division Air Operation battled windy conditions in mid-June to rescue two stranded teenagers from an 8,600-foot cliff in the Sierra Butte Mountains. The division was informed of the teens' situation by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and dispatched a plane and helicopter after consulting with the Sierra County Sheriff's Department.
The airplane crew located the hikers using a camera with a zoom lens and communicated with the boys via loudspeaker. Despite 20-mph-plus winds continually blowing the helicopter off course, the boys eventually were hoisted into the helicopter individually and released safely and uninjured in a designated landing zone. Video of the rescue is available here: blogs.sacbee.com/crime/archives/2013/06/teen-hikers-rescued-by-helicopter-from-sierra-buttes-1.html.
St. Louis Police Chief Wants UAS
St. Louis (MO) Police Chief Sam Dotson recently wrote a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration urging the proliferation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for law enforcement purposes. Dotson said he envisions a future in which UAS circle Busch Stadium to watch for terrorists and pursue criminals who think the chase is over.
"Criminals believe, and with some truth, that if they flee from police officers, officers will not pursue and they will ultimately elude capture," Dotson wrote in his letter to FAA. It was the unit's first step toward seeking approval for a UAS unit.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, who must also agree to the program, also wrote to FAA to offer "enthusiastic support." Dotson said he would seek donations and grants to pay for the UAS, which run from $60,000 to $300,000 each. Dotson said UAS are not capable of anything that helicopters don't already do.
Info-Graphic Helps Ready Aircrews for Laser Strikes
Night Flight Concepts has created a new info-graphic focusing on laser strike readiness. The graphic is intended to combat the rising annual number of laser strikes on both military and civilian aircraft.
"The goal with this info-graphic is to arm military, civilian and search and rescue personnel with the tools they need to identify, prepare for and recover from laser strikes," said Adam Aldous, Night Flight Concepts' president and CEO. The graphic is available online for print and will soon be released as a full size poster.
SOURCE: Night Flight Concepts
Oman Police Airlift Injured Tourist From Cliff
Royal Oman Police's aviation wing rescued a Swedish tourist who had injured his leg while hiking in the mountains in early June. A police official said the injured man was with two Portuguese nationals and could not move from a cliff under his own power.
The Royal Oman Police AW139 was called to the scene to extract the hiker. Once the crew airlifted him from the mountain precipice, they transported him to a nearby hospital, where he was in stable condition.
Hawthorne Police Acquires HD Aerial Downlink System
The Hawthorne (CA) Police Department (HPD) purchased an integrated video downlink solution in late June. The system enables HPD to transmit live, HD images from its MD 500E helicopter to multiple ground-based receive sites simultaneously, enhancing its operational readiness and improving response capability.
The system was provided by Helinet Technologies. Helinet led development and installation of the downlink, which incorporates both the transmission technology on the HPD helicopter and corresponding receive capability at three sitesâ€”a fixed site at the Hawthorne police station, a mobile site on HPD's command post vehicle, and a handheld receiver that can be utilized by officers in the field. Funding for the downlink came via the State Homeland Security Program, a grant initiative administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Grant Program. The program supports the planning, equipment and training to prevent, protect against, respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.
SOURCE: Helinet Technologies