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: AS350

AS350 Corporate Helicopter Does Rescue "Toe In" At 12000' In Colorado

AS350 performing a Toe In at 12,300' in the Colorado Rockies, Photo Via KVAL.comA privately owned Eurocopter AS350 was called upon by a local Sheriff's Commander to assist in a rescue in the Colorado Rockies last week.  What makes this story amazing is the photo of the Astar Helicopter Pilot performing a Toe In with this particular helicopter.  The photo was snapped by someone on the ground as the helicopter came in to drop off the San Miguel Sheriff's Commander- who is also a paramedic.

I say it is an amazing photo because I honestly didn't think you could do much of a Toe In with a Eurocopter, based on how far back their skids set on the airframe.  Compare the skids on an MD500 with those on a Eurocopter, and you will see that the front of the skids on the MD500 are almost out in front of the entire airframe.  This along with the shorter- 5 bladed rotor disc, makes the MD500 or MD530F an ideal platform for this maneuver.  The Eurocopter AS350 does come with a lot more power however, making operations at 12,000' a bit easier.

Note how much further forward the front of the skids are in relation to the cockpit on this MD530F.In this case hiker Joe Yearm suffered a compound fracture just below the knee as he was descending from the 14,159' El Diente Peak.  For unknown reasons Yearm was hiking alone, and in the dark, when he fell 20' into a snow field breaking his leg.  Yearm was able to crawl to a nearby slope where he was discovered by two other hikers a few hours later.  One of these hikers was in possession of a personal locator beacon which he used to notify authorities of the injured hiker.  

On Sunday Pilot PJ Hunt was flying the AS350 helicopter for his employer Heli-Dunn based out of Phoenix Oregon, when he was hailed over the radio by Commander Eric Burg of the San Miguel Sheriff's Department.  Burg advised Hunt of the pending rescue and asked if he could assist.  Hunt quickly obtained permission from his supervisors and within a few minutes was landing at Burg's house to pick him up.  

Hunt and Burg flew to the coordinates sent out by the locator beacon and eventually located three people on a steep rock strewn slope at 12,300'.  Hunt performed the Toe In landing long enough for Burg to climb out of the helicopter and provide medical attention to the injured hiker.  Burg and the two uninjured hikers then carved out a slightly better landing site for Hunt, where he was able to perform a one skid landing in the Astar.  The one skid landing allowed Yearm to be loaded directly into the helicopter.  Yearm was then flown to a waiting ambulance in Telluride Co.  

The AS350 pictured above is registered to T. Scott Dunn Construction Inc., out of Medford Oregon.

You can read the full story here.

Three Officers Injured in LAPD Helicopter Crash Landing

file photo of LAPD Eurocopter AS350, Glen Grossman photo.Three LAPD officers suffered minor to moderate injuries Thursday afternoon while practicing "power off" auto-rotations at an airfield in Lancaster Ca. according to news reports and the FAA. 

The pilot-officers were training at the General William J. Fox Airfield 40 miles northeast of downtown LA when the incident occurred. 

According to one Los Angeles County fire official, at least one officer suffered moderate injures while two suffered minor injuries and all were transported.  The helicopter also suffered damage during the "hard" landing. 

An auto-rotation is an emergency procedure that allows helicopters to land safely in the event of complete engine failure.  It is the only thing that stands between life and death, in single engine helicopters when the engine fails.  It works every time when performed correctly.  But it also takes a significant amount of practice become proficient, and unfortunately training accidents sometimes occur when this skill is being transferred from the instructor to the student. 

News photos of the helicopter confirm it was a Eurocopter AS350, one of twelve operated by the department.  The photo also confirms that the helicopter suffered significant damage.

LAPD's air unit is considered the largest municipal police helicopter unit in the world, (South Africa boast a larger fleet but it is not considered municipal) operating a total of 17 helicopters.  Most are flown from LAPD's rooftop heliport in downtown LA.

PHP.com staff wishes a speedy recovery to the officers.