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: Cessna

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 Highway Patrol Aviation

California Highway Patrol EC AS350 helicopter, with rescue hoist. Wikimedia photo.The California Highway Patrol operates approximately 30 aircraft out of about 8 different locations throughout the state.  The primary aircraft in the CHP fleet are Cessna T206H Stationairs (fixed wing) and Eurocopter AS 350 helicopters.  A handfull of Bell helicopters and a Cessna 182 round out the fleet.

The CHP fixed wing and rotorwing aircraft are fairly evenly spread out over 7 divisions around the state.  These divisions include;

Northern Div.  (Redding Ca.)  2- helicopters, 2- fixed wing

Central Div.  (Fresno Ca.)  1- helicopter, 2- fixed wing

Golden Gate Div.  (Napa Ca.)  2- helicopters, 2- fixed wing airplanes

Coastal Div.  (Paso Robles Ca.)  1- helicopter, 2- fixed wing aircraft

Inland Div.  (Apple Vallley Ca.)  2- fixed wing aircraft

Southern Div.  (Fullerton Ca.) 4- helicopters, 1- fixed wing

Valley Div.  (Auburn Ca.)  2- helicopters, 2- fixed wing


In total the California Highway Patrol operates 12- Eurocopter AS350 helicopters, 2- Bell 206L4 (Long Rangers), 1- Bell OH-58 helicopter, 15- Cessna T206H Stationair airplanes, and 1- Cessna 182.  

CHP Cessna Turbo 206 Stationair fixed wing. Wikimedia photo.

CHP helicopters perform numerous rescues each year in some of the smaller counties and jurisdictions throughout the state, where they are often the only helicopter available. 

For an excellent look at the fixed wing side of CHP aviation, including some of the fixed wing history, check out this article at planeandpilogmag.com.