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Aviation Squad Frequently Asked Questions

Aviation Unit Home Page
Pilot Wings

For questions regarding Aviation Unit call: (813) 348-1171

If you have any further questions regarding our unit, please call:
(813) 276-3325

Q. How do you see at night?
A.  The pilots have state of the art night vision goggles that attach to the helmet. 
Q.  How do you track suspects on the ground from so far up in the sky?
A.  The helicopter is equipped with Gyrocam Systems that are capable of night vision and infrared.  Infrared is capable of detecting body heat.  The system is can downlink to all of the District Stations.
Q.  How high does the helicopter usually patrol?
A.  The helicopters generally patrol between 500 and 1000 feet.
Q.  How fast can the helicopter fly?
A.  The Bell 407's fly about 145 mph.  The OH-06 fly about 120 mph.
Q.  How long can the helicopters stay in the air?
A.  Depending on which helicopter is flying, a pilot can stay flying 2 to 3.5 hours.
Q.  How many people can the helicopter carry?
A.  The Bell 407's can carry a pilot, observer, and 5 passengers.  The OH-06 can carry a pilot and two passengers.
Q.  Besides the cameras what other ways are you capable of seeing below?
A.  Each helicopter is equipped with a 5 million candle power spot light. 
Q.  How are the pilots able to locate stolen vehicles?
A.  Each Bell Helicopter is equipped with a LOJACK vehicle recovery system.
Q.  Why does the helicopter circle certain areas for such a long time?
A.  Generally, the helicopter and pilots are working a call, or searching the area.
Q.  How does a pilot know exactly where he is in relation to the streets?
A.  The Helicopter is equipped with system called Avalex.  This system is an electronic digital instrument that automatically displays the helicopters position.  It displays maps of the city that label the streets.  The pilot knows exactly where he is in relation to the streets below.