We take you inside the cockpit of law enforcement helicopters around the world while sharing knowledge and insight on how to become a police or sheriff helicopter pilot.
bell 205 (uh-1h) helicopter san diego sheriff.jpg
The Bell 205 is the civilian version of the Huey Helicopter. SD Sheriff's two fire helicopters were never military helicopters. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 205 cockpit sd sheriff cal fire helicopter.jpg
Cockpit view of one of our Bell 205 Fire Helicopters. For fire dispatches our fire helicopters are designated as Copter 10 and Copter 12. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 205 fire helicopter in flight.jpg
Cockpit photo of one of the fire helicopters in flight. The pilot is a deputy sheriff, the second person in the cockpit is almost always a Cal Fire Captain, today it was the photographer, Rocky Laws.
bell 205 helicopter nvg cockpit.jpg
Cockpit photo of one of the fire helicopters while undergoing NVG compatible cockpit conversion. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 205 helicopter sd sheriff night cockpit.jpg
Outdoor night shot of Bell 205 Cockpit, on the ramp at Gillespie Field. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 407 helicopter cockpit sd sheriff backcountry.jpg
Flying our new Bell 407 on patrol in San Diego County's back country. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 407 helicopter in maint hangar.jpg
Hangar flying. One of our pilots sitting on the TFO side of the Bell 407 in the maintenance bay. Most likely familiarizing himself with new moving map and FLIR electronics on the observer side. Rocky Laws photo.
bell 407 patrol helicopter flir ball.jpg
The Bell 407 is our newest helicopter with delivery taken in Dec. of 07 it has the latest electronics for law enforcement work. The yellow box is a battery pack sometimes used to supplement the helicopter's battery for starts.
bell huey fire helicopter night photo.jpg
Copter 10 or 12 setting out on the ramp at Gillespie Field after dark. Rocky Laws photo.
civilian md500e helicopter gillespie field.jpg
Rocky captured a great photo of this civilian MD500E near our base at Gillespie Field. Nice photo Rock.
copter 10 cal fire sd sheriff.jpg
A unique photo of Copter 10 setting on the ramp waiting for the big fire call to come in. Another Rocky Laws photo.
copter 10 sd sheriff cal fire sunrise.jpg
It's going to be a sunny day in southern California. San Diego Sheriff fire and rescue helicopter normally staffed by a deputy pilot and a Cal Fire Captain. Rocky Laws photo.
engine tech md500 turbine helicopter.jpg
A great shot of the turbine engine in one of our MD500 helicopters, this looks like one of our F models. Our maintenance technicians are top of the line! Rocky Laws photo.
fire helicopter cockpit bell 205 (huey).jpg
Another look inside the cockpit of a Bell 205 Fire Helicopter. Looks like this was taken with a fisheye lense of which I know little. Rocky Laws photo.
fire helicopter morning routine.jpg
A member of the Cal Fire Heli-tack crew assisting with the morning prep of the helicopters. During fire season one of our fire helicopters is staffed with full Heli-tack crew. Rocky Laws photo.
fire helicopter san diego sheriff bell 205 huey.jpg
The fog creeps in, Bell 205 Fire helicopter, Rocky Laws photo.
hoist training fire helicopter bell 205.jpg
Member of Canada based Priority 1 Air Rescue training a member of SD Sheriff's Air Unit in hoist procedures. Priority 1 is a world recognized authority in Air Rescue work. Rocky Laws photo.
md500d helicopter cockpit fisheye.jpg
Another fisheye shot of an MD500D patrol helicopter, the cockpit panel is a dead giveaway that it is one of our older aircraft. Rocky Laws photo.
md500e helicopter night photo gillespie field.jpg
Night photo of the MD Factory Trainer on our ramp, Gillespie Field. Rocky Laws photo.
md530f patrol helicopter night cockpit.jpg
Another night shot of a MD530F patrol helicopter on our ramp. Rocky Laws photo.
md530f patrol helicopter.jpg
Close up of a Sheriff's patrol helicopter. The MD500 series (also known as Hughes 369) dates back to the Vietnam War era, and is still in use as a military light observation helicopter. It has been nicknamed "Little Bird" and the "Killer Egg". Rocky Laws photo.
morning preflight patrol helicopter.jpg
MD500D's have the rounded nose, while the "E" and "F" models have the pointy nose as well as a little more power. Here a deputy pre-flights a D model before heading out on day shift patrol. Rocky Laws photo.
night helicopter on ramp gillespie field.jpg
San Diego Sheriff patrol helicopter setting on the ramp at night. Rocky Laws photo.
night time helicopter training.jpg
Pulling the battery pack away after a start. The deputy and MD Helicopter factory instructor will spend the next hour practicing night time Autos. These will be "full touch down autos" with the throttle rolled off to ground idle.
san diego police eurocopter as350b3.jpg
San Diego Police EC AS350B3 on our ramp. SDPD will sometimes get fogged out of their base at Montgomery Field during a priority call on the night shift. In such cases their helicopter spends the night on our ramp. Rocky Laws photo.
san diego sheriff fire helicopter night.jpg
Rocky back at it with those fancy camera lenses. Night photo of a fire helicopter on the ramp at Gillespie Field.
sheriff helicopter md530 night patrol.jpg
Ready for night patrol this MD530F sits on the ramp at Gillespie. The crew would be pulling their Night Vision Goggles about now and making final adjustments. Rocky Laws photo.