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's

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, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. Aero Bureau

The Los Aneles County Sheriff's Department operates 12 Eurocopter "Astar" AS350 B2 helicopters, 3 Sikorsky HH3 helicopters, 2 Cessna 210 fixed wing aircraft and 1 Beach B200 fixed wing aircraft.  

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Aero Bureau also maintains a highly technical rescue unit known as "Air 5." Acording to the departments website;  

"The Air 5 rescue program provides some of the most advanced technical rescue capabilities available in the nation. With a flight crew of two deputy pilots a sergeant crew chief and two Emergency Service Detail deputy paramedics, the team is deployed on search and rescue and over-water operations, and can rapidly deploy Tactical Response Forces during major incidents." 

 To read more about the Los Angeles Sheriff's Aero Bureau see my other page on them here.


California, Butte County Sheriff's Office

Butte County is located in the Central Valley, in northern California.  The county seat is Oroville, Ca.  The county covers an area of approximately 1677 square miles.

The Butte County Sheriff's Air Support Unit owns and operates 1- Cessna 182 fixed wing, 1- OH6 helicopter, and 1- OH-58 helicopter.  Butte County Sheriff's Department pilots are sworn deputy sheriff's.  

One of the air support unit's primary missions is marijuana eradication.  The following is from a news media release by the Butte Co. Sheriff's Office regarding one of their eradication missions in August of 09.

"In early July, a marijuana grow was located in Butte County near the Plumas County line during aerial reconnaissance flights. On 8/5/09 Deputies from the Marijuana Unit along with Sheriff’s deputies entered the illegal marijuana grow located on U.S. Forest Service
land. The marijuana grow was west of Highway 70 just before the first tunnel driving from Oroville to Quincy. The terrain was extremely steep and difficult to climb. While deputies cleared the garden area suspect(s) fled from them and escaped. Upon searching the camping area of the garden, deputies found two sleeping bags and .380 hollow point
ammunition. The suspect(s) had dammed up a nearby creek and siphoned water from that creek into two holding pools above the garden area. The garden was being hand watered through black pipe from those holding pools. Additional officers were brought into the garden to assist in cutting down all the marijuana plants. Part of the garden had already been harvested prior to this raid. Other marijuana plants appeared ready to be harvested with an anticipated ongoing harvest to continue for the next few weeks. Deputies cut down and removed 5,996 marijuana plants (with an estimated street value of $23,984,000) from this garden. The marijuana plants were removed from the garden with the assistance of the Butte County Sheriff’s helicopter. The marijuana was subsequently destroyed.
The public is encouraged to report suspicious activity they believe is related to illegal marijuana operations to the Butte County Sheriff’s Marijuana Unit at 538-7389. You can remain anonymous." 

Source of the media release was Sgt. Steve Collins.