Police Helicopter Pilot

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Pennsylvania State Police To Fly the 407GX


FORT WORTH, TEXAS (July 22, 2014) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today the delivery of the first two of six Bell 407GX helicopters to the Pennsylvania State Police. They will be used for airborne law enforcement patrol and will serve citizens throughout the Commonwealth.

“We operate six aviation patrol units across the state and provide aerial support to all federal, state and local law enforcement agencies within the Commonwealth,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan. “It is very important that we have modern, reliable and mission-ready helicopters to patrol and serve the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

The fleet routinely patrols the entire coverage area; however, specific patrol units are strategically situated so that response time anywhere with the patrol zone is minimal.

Several new components on each ship will enable the Pennsylvania State Police flight crews to more rapidly and effectively pinpoint exact ground locations from the air as well as provide for interoperable radio communications with ground-based first responders, which operate on a multitude of radio frequencies. The new capabilities also provide real time situational awareness to incident commanders and first responders during times of critical incidents or disasters. These systems will aid in public information and warning, operational coordination, intelligence and information sharing, criminal activity interdiction and disruption, screening, search and detection

“We are honored to have the Pennsylvania State Police as one of our law enforcement customers, and we give our sincere thanks for their ongoing trust in Bell Helicopter products,” said Anthony Moreland, managing director of North American sales at Bell Helicopter. “The Bell 407 has proven its law enforcement capabilities throughout the world and we know it will serve the Commonwealth well.”

Bell Helicopter has supported the Pennsylvania State Police since 1969 when it delivered two Bell 47s, the first Bell helicopters to be part of an airborne law enforcement team. Since then, Bell Helicopter has strived to provide innovative product solutions and the best customer support and service to maintain its valued, long-standing relationship with the Pennsylvania State Police. Bell Helicopter has approximately 450 aircraft serving law enforcement needs in the United States, with customers including the Georgia Department of Public Safety, Los Angeles Police Department and New York State Police.

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 G1000HTM 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 TechnologyTM, 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 landing. 

New Picture Gallery of Fire and Patrol Helicopters is ready for viewing.

Bell 205 (Huey) Fire Helicopter sunrise. Rocky Laws photo.Get around any group of pilots and you will likely find a couple of serious photographers in the group.  When they are not behind the controls of their favorite flying machine they can often be found behind the controls of a camera, photographing various aircraft or anything else that stops moving for a couple of seconds.

For about the last 15 years our particular unit has been the home of two pretty serious photographers.  Dan Megna www.danmegna.com has been a professional photographer and writer for many years with articles and photographs published in a number of aviation and helicopter magazines.  Dan retired from the unit just this week.  I hope to showcase a little of his work on this site in the near future. 

Rocky Laws is the other pretty serious photographer but he chooses to keep it strictly in the hobby category.  That probably helps me out as he was quick to give me permission to display some of his work on this site when asked., thanks Rock!  I have often asked Rocky why he doesn't do professional photography work and his answer is always the same, "it would just screw up a perfectly good hobby. "

Rocky photographs much more than just helicopters.  You can see more of his camera work at his personal Smug Mug page.

To view his photos of the various fire and patrol helicopters around our ramp at Gillespie Field visit the Police Helicopter Pilot picture gallery.