Alabama Department Of Public Safety Aviation Unit
The Alabama Department of Public Savety Air Unit is based out of the Montgomery Regional Airport (MGM) in Montgomery Alabama. According to the department's website the unit was first formed in 1973.
"In 1973 the Department received a Cessna T-41 single engine aircraft through State Department of Civil Defense. In August 1974, the Department acquired two Bell 47 helicopters. Four more model 47's were added in 1975. The aviation Unit was officially formed in June of 1975. Through the years, troopers have utilized a variety of aircraft. All but four of the current aircraft are either government surplus or were confiscated in drug cases."
Every pilot in the aviation unit is a sworn State Trooper with a minimum of 3 years in the Highway Patrol Division before being qualified for transfer into the unit. Also, each pilot must stay current and is qualified to fly all aircraft in inventory of which there are several different types and airframes.
Presently the Alabama Department of Public Safety operates the following aircraft;
7 Bell OH58, 1 Bell 206l, 1 Bell 407 helicopter, 3 Cessna 182 fixed wing, 1 Piper PA-31, 1 Beech B200 airplane.
Alabama DPS Aviation Unit missions include marijuana eradication, narcotics surveillance, traffic speed enforcement, missing person or man hunts, prisoner transports, law enforcement related executive protection flights, photo, and investigative flights.