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.
CalFire Engages in Extensive Airborne Wildfire Fight
CalFire and other agencies launched an airborne wildfire assault, enlisting two dozen airplanes, tankers and helicopters, in response to the blazes that spread across North San Diego in mid-May. On the ground, the agency was forced to put out a statewide call for reinforcements.
According to reports, CalFire deployed an air tactical plane and tanker, along with two helicopters shared with San Diego County, in one location where a federal tanker was also enlisted. At another fire battlefront, agencies deployed a mix of eight federal and state aircraft. Five other aircraft were used at various locations around the area. Southern California is bracing for what officials said could be a disastrous fire season.
California Woman Gets Two Years for Lasing Helicopters
A California federal judge sentenced a woman in late May to two years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at two helicopters, one of which belonged to Fresno Police Department. A federal jury convicted the 24-year-old and her boyfriend after a trial in December 2013. Several months ago, her boyfriend received 10 years for the offense, believed to be the longest sentence ever given in a laser-strike case.
The couple was convicted for actions on an August 2012 night, when they pointed a green laser at an emergency transport helicopter for Children's Hospital of Central California, then shined the laser into the cockpit of a Fresno Police Department helicopter. The laser pointer the couple used was "13 times more powerful than the permissible power emission level for handheld laser devices," prosecutors said. The man received a longer sentence than the woman because the judge in the case considered his "significant criminal history, numerous probation violations" and gang affiliation. He was convicted of attempted interference with persons engaged in the operation of an aircraft; his girlfriend was found guilty of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.
FAA Helicopter Rule Intended for All Operators
FAA recently published sweeping changes to rotorcraft safety rules, but recent reports indicate many operators have mistakenly assumed that applied only to air ambulance missions. The new FAA helicopter safety rule affects virtually every helicopter operator in the U.S.
Helicopter Association International Vice President of Operations Paul Schaaf said FAA took an opportunity to make wholesale changes intended to enhance safety, saying, â€œAll U.S. helicopter operators, including air ambulances, are required to use stricter flying procedures in bad weather.â€ FAA has delayed implementation of the earliest rule requirements, which were to take effect on April 22 of this year, to allow operators adequate time to comply. However, none of the other requirements or deadlines have changed. To read an FAA-issued summary of the rule, visit:www.faa.gov/news/press_releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=15795.
NYPD Helicopter Rescues Injured Hiker From Cliff
The New York Police Department (NYPD) Aviation Unit rescued a hiker with a broken ankle from a cliff near the Hudson River in New Jersey in mid-May. Police said the injured woman was found stranded on the cliff, 200 feet from the ground.
Members of the NYPD Aviation Unit flew the helicopter alongside the steep cliff and hovered about 50 feet from the woman while an officer was lowered to her location. She was placed in a rescue basket and taken to a nearby hospital, where she was in stable condition. Seven members of the Aviation Unit participated in the rescue. To see video of the rescue, visit:http://gothamist.com/2014/05/12/video_nypd_aviation_team_rescues_in.php.
German Police Has Long-Term MRO Contract with Airbus
Airbus Helicopters has signed a long-term maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) contract to support the German Federal Police's fleet of EC135 rotorcraft. This service contract covers all 41 EC135 T2i rotorcraft in the Bundespolizei Fliegergruppe (German Federal Police Flying Squadron) fleet, with the initial aircraft to arrive at Airbus Helicopters' Kassel-Calden, Germany maintenance facility later this month. The agreement has an initial three-year timeframe, with an extension option to five years.
Maintenance services covered by the agreement include phase inspections, engine inspections, replacement of operation time limit parts (OTL), component repair and overhaul, the application of service bulletins, the compliance with service letters, the incorporation of engineering orders, as well as helicopter painting.
In addition to the German Federal Police Aviation Service's current inventory of EC135s, the organization also operates EC155s, AS332 L1s and EC120s, the latter for training purposes only. Duties performed by the law enforcement agency include border patrol and search and rescue missions, along with the transportation of personnel in national and international environments.
SOURCE: Airbus Helicopters
APSA Participates in PAvCon in Belgium
APSA CEO Dan Schwarzbach, President Kurt Frisz, and Safety Program Manager Bryan Smith represented APSA at PAvCon 2014 in Brussels, Belgium, June 3-4. This year's edition of this annual European police aviation event was hosted by the Belgian Federal Police Air Unit at their hangar complex at the Brussels International Airport. Dan, Kurt, and Bryan provided briefings on APSA and Flight Safety, as well as manned a display table in the exhibit area. APSA instructors Glenn Daley and Bill Probets were also on hand providing information on CRM, Inadvertent IMC Survival, SMS, and Two vs. Three Person Crews. There was much interest in the material provided by the U.S. contingency, and the conference sponsors seemed truly pleased with APSA's participation. PAvCon 2015 is in the early planning stages with Holland and the Czech Republic, amongst others, under consideration as the hosts. Additional information can be found atwww.pavcon.org.
Sarasota Sheriff Adds New Helicopter Camera
The Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff's Office has added a powerful camera to its helicopter, improving Air One's ability to act as the eye in the sky for the department. Chief Pilot Brent Wineka said the infrared camera, a Wescam MX-10 Multisensor system, is a big improvement over previous technology. "It just makes it to where we can do our job much more efficiently and safely," he said. The camera is equipped with a GPS, allowing TFOs to type in an address where a criminal may be hiding and direct the camera to the location.
Alaska UAS Test Site Begins Research Flights
FAA announced in early May the University of Alaska's unmanned aircraft system (UAS) test site is the second of six to become operational. FAA granted the University of Alaska Fairbanks a two-year certificate of authorization to conduct flights using an Aeryon Scout UAS for animal surveys at its Pan-Pacific UAS Test Range Complex in Fairbanks.
The main purpose of the Alaskan wildlife operation is to show how UAS can accurately locate, identify, and count large wild animals. Flights are taking place at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Large Animal Research Station. The site also will collect safety-related operational data needed for UAS integration into the National Airspace. Since the research station is located within five miles of Fairbanks International Airport, the flights will evaluate procedures for coordination with air traffic controllers. The Alaska UAS flights will also verify the capabilities of the Aeryon Scout and its sensors.
Virginia Aviation Unit Conducts River Rescue
The Virginia State Police Aviation Unit performed an impressive rescue by landing the department's helicopter on a small section of rock in a running river in mid-May. After a young man jumped off a James River bridge, Virginia State Trooper David Barfield piloted the aircraft to the small landing site, an operation he said he had practiced extensively.
The Aviation Unit was called in after an off-duty Virginia State Trooper traveling over the bridge saw the man jump. A rescue team paddled out to the victim and stabilized him in a rescue stretcher before the helicopter arrived. The man was airlifted, still alive, from the spot 75 feet below the bridge from which he had jumped about 30 minutes earlier. To see a video of the rescue, visit: www.wtvr.com/2014/05/15/holmberg-helicopter-rescue-on-the-james-practice-pays-off.
Did You Know?
Did you know that APSA produces a special edition challenge coin commemorating our annual conference each year? That's right, in addition to the traditional APSA challenge coin, each year we produce a coin with the conference logo on one side and the APSA wings on the other. Only a limited number of the special edition, collector's coins are made each year, so don't hesitate to make your way to the Hangar, APSA's onsite merchandise store, located in the conference registration area next month in Phoenix. See you there!
Marion County Sheriff's Office Hosts Annual Safety Seminar
The Marion County (FL) Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit hosted its second annual safety training session for law enforcement, EMS, firefighting, and electronic newsgathering aviation units from around Florida on May 21. More than 70 attendees from 23 different organizations attended the event, which focused on the U.S. National Grid (USNG), improving safety and formation flying.
â€œOur goal is to increase safety, awareness and combat complacency,â€ Marion County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Neal Dixon said. â€œIt's all about safety. The more we train together, learn the USNG and partner with other units, the safer our citizens will be.â€
Gwinnett Police Aviation Unit Builds Trust at Multicultural Fest
When the Gwinnett County (GA) Police Department participated in a multicultural festival in early May, the department's helicopter was one of the show's stars. Children in particular were drawn to the chopper, according to Gwinnett Police Aviation Manager Lou Gregoire.
Gwinnett's first-ever Multicultural Festival gave the department a chance to show itself in a positive light. Some attendees said the event helped break down some of the distrust for the police among minority communities. â€œWe know it is a benefit to us,â€ Ana Mejia said. â€œWe have to communicate with the police.â€ That was just the message police were hoping to send at the event, which included booths devoted not just to Hispanic but also Asian services, demonstrations of police K-9s, motorcycles, and of course, the helicopter.
IACP's Excellence In Police Aviation Award Nominations Open
Nominations are now being accepted for the Excellence in Police Aviation Award given by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The award is intended to recognize an individual who holds a management or leadership position in police aviation and large and small aviation units that exemplify excellence in airborne law enforcement.
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. The award will be presented at the 121st Annual International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference and Law Enforcement Education and Technology Exposition in Orlando, October 25-28.
For submission questions, please contact Mike Fergus at (800) 843-4227 x811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE: International Association of Chiefs of Police
APSA Welcomes Newest Members
MSP Ceremony Welcomes New AW139 to Fleet
The Southern Maryland Section of the Maryland State Police Aviation Command, Trooper 7, hosted a unique ribbon cutting ceremony for the new AW-139 helicopter last month. Lieutenant Walter Kerr, commander of Helicopter Operations for the Maryland State Police Aviation Command opened the ceremony and noted the ribbon cutting was â€œlong time in the making, with literally thousands of hours of planning, the training and practiceâ€ so the Trooper 7 crew can continue their mission.
Superintendent, Maryland State Police Colonel Marcus Brown noted that â€œtoday is an exciting day for the citizens of Southern Marylandâ€ because this helicopter represents an incredible improvement in public safety capabilities in Maryland. He added that more than â€œ140,000 people have been flown to life saving medical care since the first medevac in 1970.â€
He drew everyone's attention to the star above the Maryland State Police badge on the tail of the helicopter. â€œUnfortunately, some of our members have given their lives while serving our state, including the nine members of the Aviation Command who died in the line of duty. That star has been placed there in memory of all the members of Maryland's Emergency Medical Services team who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Each time these helicopters fly we will remember those who are no longer with us.â€
Cochise County Unveils New Aircraft
Cochise County (AZ) Sheriff's Office recently unveiled a Bell 206L4, Cochise Air, which is the department's first helicopter. The $1.5 million law enforcement helicopter program, funded by a private foundation, includes fuel, pilots, mechanics and tactical flight officers, said Carol Capas, a Cochise County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman. The foundation, which was not revealed, will provide funding for the one-year exploratory program.
The aircraft will expand law enforcement and emergency response capabilities for the department and neighboring Sierra Vista Police Department. It was developed to fit the special needs of sheriff's deputies and Sierra Vista police in patrolling large areas with limited personnel, Capas said.
Cause of RCMP Helicopter Crash Released by Safety Board
Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) determined that the ingestion of soft ice into the engine led to a complete loss of power and the crash after takeoff of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) helicopter in January 2012. The pilot was fatally injured.
The RCMP helicopter was being used in a training exercise, when it landed and heavy snowfall began. The helicopter departed following the snowfall but soon after takeoff, a muffled bang, and the sounds of the engine and rotor diminishing rapidly were heard. The aircraft descended almost vertically, colliding with terrain in a nose-down, right side down attitude.
The investigation found the protective engine covers had not been installed when the helicopter was parked during the heavy snowfall, and that the air intake system was not cleaned and dried prior to engine start. After the helicopter was started and running at low power, soft ice had built up inside the air intake; and during takeoff at high power, the ice broke free and was ingested into the engine compressor, which led to a complete engine power loss. This caused the rapid loss of the main rotor speed, an extremely high rate of descent, and the impact with terrain that was not survivable.
The investigation concluded that the full range of recommended preventative measures cannot easily be accomplished in field operations and this presents a risk. Given this risk, Transport Canada will review the engine inlet design of these helicopters.
Brazil Gets Ready For World Cup Security
Brazilian officials have set aside about $856 million and are preparing to have 157,000 soldiers and police officers for security for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will begin on June 12 and continue until July 13.
Defense Minister Celso Amorim said in a news report that Brazil is "perfectly prepared" to guarantee security for citizens and visitors to the dozen cities hosting the soccer tournament. The minister said the money was and will be used to buy equipment (including patrol cars, aircraft, computers and non-lethal weapons) and for terrorism prevention and bomb detection training, as well as expanding intelligence services.
It's Not Too Late To Register For APSA's Continuing Education
Technology, management, aviation safety, regulatory issues, training, tactics and budgets are all components of police aviation. It is more important than ever for public safety aviation professionals to stay up-to-date with their continuing education. There is no better place to do so than next month at APSA EXPO 2014, our 44th Annual Conference and Exposition being held in Phoenix, AZ during the week of July 14-19.
APSA's Pre-Conference Courses and educational classes are created specifically for the public safety aviation professional. Registration is affordable and easy, and a fantastic value! Visithttps://www.alea.org/events/annual-conference to register or call 301-631-2406.