Newer cameras are changing the
dynamics of aerial law enforcement. While
helicopters were traditionally preferred,
the MX- 15 is too heavy to be practical in a
helicopter, shifting the advantage toward
airplanes. According to Richard, “With
infrared imaging at night, the 206 can see
more detail from 3,000 feet up than our
helicopters can see with their cameras
from 500 feet. Also, the airplane is more
economical to operate.”
HELICOPTERS TO THE RESCUE
CHP’s helicopter fleet is equipped similarly
to the airplanes, though they don’t have a
CB radio. Also, their gyro-stabilized camera
is a smaller unit on a 9-inch gimbal.
Another difference is an external hoist that
can lift 450 pounds on its 50-meter (164-
foot) cable. The helicopters are full of
medical equipment and rescue gear. Should
a crew need to lighten its load for high
density-altitude operations, it can strip a
helicopter of several hundred pounds by
removing equipment and doors and
burning down their fuel load.
Max Trescott, EAA 531980, is an aviation author and
publisher and was the 2008 National CFI of the Year.
For more articles, go to www.Max Trescott.com.
Toll Free: 1-800-248-0638
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