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: sheriff helicopter

The Duke Rides Patrol On Orange County (Ca.) Sheriff's Helicopter

Orang County (Ca.) Sheriff's AS350 Helicopter with the Duke riding shotgun.Yes the Duke still rides, only now he rides shotgun with deputies of the Orange County California Sheriff's Aviation Unit.  The call sign for the Orange Co. SO helicotpers is appropriately "Duke I" and Duke II" depending on which of their two EC AS350B2 helicopters is in the air at the time.  The unit operates out of John Wayne Airport in Costa Mesa Ca, hence another good reason to pay tribute to the great American actor. 

The Orange County Sheriff's Office began their air unit in 1985 when they received two MD500E helicopters.  During ceremonies in May of 1985 the two new helicopters were dedicated to the memory and spirit of John Wayne, according to the unit's website.  That may explain why the helicopter depicted with the actor in the above photo resembles an MD500 more than an ASTAR.

In 1998 the unit upgraded to the MD600N (notar) becoming the first agency in the country to utelize this particular helicopter in a law enforcement role.

By March of 05 change was in the air again as the unit received their first EC AS350B2.  The second one arrived one year later effectively replacing the two 600's. 

The unit is made up of a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, and 9 deputies of which 4 are pilots and 5 are observers or tactical flight officers.  They patrol the skies over Orange County 7 days a week from early morning until late into the night providing cover and assistance to ground units throughout the county.

So the next time you are driving through Orange County, remember the Duke may really be watching you from above.

Orange County Sheriff's EC AS350B2 "Duke II"

Helicopters and that funny green plant

Off field landing during marijuana eradication flight, MD500D Helicopter.

Spring is just around the corner and the non law abiding farmers are gearing up for another record year.  They plant, cultivate and water, while we pre-flight, fuel, and maintain rotor rpm in the green.  Yes marijuana eradication is a mission well suited for the helicopter and each year across this country tons upon tons of marijuana is located thanks to the rotor craft flying machine. 

There are many techniques for spotting marijuana from the air but many experts simply use the naked eye.  It seems that at least some people can train their eyes and brain to pick out the specific color of marijuana from the many shades of green.  The helicopter can also be very handy in "long lining" out the confiscated harvest.  Saving brain cells one marijuana plant at a time.