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: R-44

California, Montebello Police Air Support Unit

Montebello Police Air Support- R-44 helicopter. Photo- Montebello PD.The Montebello Police Department operates a joint "Air Support Unit" with the neighboring cities of El Monte, Irwindale and Baldwin Park.  Together the unit operates three Robinson R-44 patrol helicopters. The unit was initially created in 1993 by the City of El Monte California, but over time other cities came on board to participate in the program.  

Eventually the Air Support Unit began providing patrol services to the cities of Baldwin Park, Irwindale and Montebello.  The cities of West Covina, Azusa and the Baldwin Park School District Police would be added over time.  Currently this Unit operates three Robinson R-44 helicopters that are equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR), searchlight, public address system, LoJack vehicle recovery system, and computerized moving map.

California, Merced County Sheriff's Aviation Unit

Merced County Sheriff UH-1H Huey helicopter. Photo- Merced Sun-Star.Merced County Sheriff's Department currently operates two fixed wing aircraft and two helicopters; 

1- Cessna 206 airplane

1- Cessna 172 airplane

1- Robinson R-44 Raven II helicopter

1- UH-1H Huey helicopter

The department acquired he Huey helicopter in 2009 through a donation from the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal-EMA) under the California Public Safety Procurement Program.  The Huey helicopter has a value of about $922,000.  

The department's Robinson R-44 helicopter is outfitted with the latest in police aviation technology, including a heat sensing camera and is primarily used for patrol an searches.  The department aquired the R-44 helicopter in 2008.

The Huey helicopter is used for moving personnel and equipment.  Many of it's missions involve the SWAT team or marijuana eradication.  

The Merced County Sheriff keeps the unit's aircraft flying through various grants and federal funding, with little to no cost to the Merced County taxpayer.  

California, Fontana Police Department Air Support Unit

The Fontana Police Department conducts aerial patrols over the City of Fontana in a Robinson R-44 police helicopter.  Fontana first began aerial police patrols in 1996 with two R-44 Raven II helicopters equipped with all of the standard police equipment including Infrared cameras, spotlights, GPS mapping and P.A. system. 

The Fontana Police Air Support Unit operates for one 10 hours shift per day, 5 days a week and flies for around 1100-1200 hours per year.  While airborne, the Fontana police helicopter is often the first police presence at crimes in progress across the city. 

California, El Monte Police Department Region One Air Support

File photo of R-44 police helicopter, courtesy Robinson Helicopters.The El Monte Police Department Air Support Unit operates three Robinson R-44 piston powered helicopters in support of police department patrol and special missions. 

The helicopter unit was first formed in 1993 on an experimental basis.  However, the El Monte Police Air Support Unit quickly proved that having a police helicopter over their city was a benefit for both the police officers on the ground and the citizens.  

Over time neighboring cities also recognized the benefit of the police helicopter unit and came on board as partners in the program.  Today the El Monte Police Region One Air Support provides services for West Covina, Azusa, Irwindale, Baldwin Park, Montebello, and even the Baldwin Park School District Police Department. 

While the piston powered R-44 may not always garner the accolades of it's turbine powered rotor wing counterparts, it is none nonetheless a capable helicopter.

El Monte's R-44 police helicopters carry the same hi-tech equipment as more expensive police and sheriff's helicopters;  Equipment such as moving maps, heat sensing infra-red cameras, P.A. systems, and high powered spot lights.