Police Helicopter Pilot

Helicopter Aviation & Beyond:

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.

Filtering by Tag: San Diego Sheriff


So Long Jet A, N1 & MGT!


Let the good times roll

Well the deed is done. After 29.5 years with the San Diego Sheriff's Department I have turned in my guns and ammo and moved the flight suits to the back of the closet, though perhaps just temporarily.

There is no possible way to thank the SDSO- Organization enough for taking in a 22 year old kid from Oktaha, and giving him a place to call home for so long. It is an organization of which I will always speak highly. 

The same goes for the people. I can honestly say that my last 2 and a half years as a supervisor in the Aerial Support Unit were the best years of my career. I can only attribute that to the incredible people with whom I worked alongside, from top to bottom. In every station and every facility on the Sheriff's Department are dedicated, hardworking, genuine people busting their butts to answer the calls, put the criminals in jail and make the community a better place to live. 

"Pulling the plug" as it is known in police circles was one of the harder decisions I have ever had to make. One feels an almost indebtedness to the people and the mission. But what comes to mind most are the words of an old beat partner who retired a number of years ago, "It was just time to start the next chapter of my life."

What does the future hold?

The first priority was getting some time back into my life. I think it will take at least a few weeks to appreciate not being part of the rat race. 

One goal is to become a dedicated blogger once again. You know you have neglected your blog when it takes 5 minutes to remember how to upload a picture to a blog post. 

Retirement is a bit of a misnomer I guess. We all have to be doing something each and every day of our lives, hopefully something productive that benefits those around us, or at least someone somewhere. 

I do wish to explore flying opportunities that may or may not exist for former police helicopter pilots. It is also highly likely that you will find me hanging around (OK working) the Sheriff's Department on a part time basis under a program known as 960 re-hire. The program allows retired employees to go back to work part time without interfering with their retirement benefits. 

Now I wonder how many blog post I can get if I download every helicopter picture on my phone and post one a day? 

I'm back!


San Diego Sheriff's adding a Bell 407GX to Patrol Fleet


407GX glass panel

Phoenix, AZ (July 18, 2014) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced that, pending successful final negotiations, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department intends to award a contract for a Bell 407GX. The aircraft will be used for parapublic missions, including: search and rescue, fire suppression, and law enforcement air support to public safety agencies throughout San Diego County.

“We are very excited to provide the San Diego County Sheriff with such a reliable aircraft,” said Anthony Moreland, managing director of sales for Bell Helicopter in North America. “We have seen a great response to the Bell 407 GX in the law enforcement segment, and the aircraft offers pilots increased situational awareness thanks to high visibility and a digital cockpit that reduces workload.”

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department currently has three Bell helicopters in operation including, two Bell 205 A1++  and one Bell 407 to help them protect and serve the citizens of San Diego.

The Bell 407GX delivers power and speed with a smooth, quiet ride and a spacious cabin that accommodates six passengers. The aircraft also features the fully-integrated Garmin G1000H™ flight deck, providing critical flight information at a glance for greater situational awareness and increased safety. The Bell 407GX flight deck's high resolution LCD screens host primary flight and multi-function display information, including Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System, Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology™, Traffic Information Systems and more. The 407GX also features a tail rotor camera, allowing the pilot a clear view of the tail during take-offs and landings.