Fighting the good fight
story & photos by Guy R. Maher
A 25-year-old Tampa, Fla., hospital HEMS program builds on its solid foundation and guiding principles with a new operator and four brand new Bell 407GXs....
Spend much time with John Scott, program director for Tampa General Hospital’s (TGH’s) Aeromed helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) program, and you’ll soon learn that he speaks his mind and doesn’t mince words. He also has a clearly defined opinion of the challenges facing HEMS programs in the United States, and is attempting to arm his program with the necessary tools to survive in a changing environment. During Vertical’s visit to Tampa earlier this year, Scott said he h...
Flying into Deepwater
By Kenneth I. Swartz
With deepwater oil exploration set to take off on the Mexican side of the Gulf of Mexico, helicopter operators there are poised for a new era of growth and expansion....
After 10 years of declining oil production, Mexico has initiated national energy reforms to stimulate offshore exploration in its deepwater regions and revive an industry that is among the country’s most crucial.
by Elan Head
The Apple iPad is simple to use, but getting approval to use it in the cockpit is often anything but easy. Here’s an overview of what’s involved in adopting electronic flight bags — and why the hassle can be worth it....
In the four short years since the first iPad was released, Apple’s signature tablet computer has become ubiquitous in the aviation industry. Countless aviation software applications have been developed for the iPad, the iPhone, and other smartphones and tablets: from simple weight-and-balance calculators, to full-featured flight planning apps like ForeFlight. If you’ve piloted an aircraft in the past few years, the odds are high that you’ve used a portable electronic device (PED) for at least...
story by Elan Head | photos by Dean Wingard
From search and rescue to firefighting, from marijuana interdiction to disaster response, the Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division has the Peach State covered....
Among airborne law enforcement units, “multi-mission” has long been a buzzword. Although some units have retained their traditional focus on patrol and surveillance, law enforcement aviation is no longer so narrowly defined; today, it’s not uncommon to see a police helicopter conducting a rescue mission or firefighting with a Bambi Bucket when the occasion demands.
In Their Prime
story & photos by Tom Kaminski & Greg L. Davis
Operating a fleet of 10 Airbus Helicopters MH-65D Dolphin helicopters from two locations, CGAS Atlantic City, N.J., is the U.S. Coast Guard’s largest single-airframe air station — and one of its busiest. ...
Safeguarding America’s maritime interests is certainly no easy task.
Of course, when it comes to the work of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), there is little that can be classified as easy — not that anyone within it would complain. Even as their responsibilities seemingly increase year after year, while its funding decreases, the men and women of the Coast Guard persevere and succeed at whatever they’re tasked with.
The Allure of Aloha
story & photos by Guy R. Maher
For many helicopter pilots, the beauty, culture, and lifestyle unique to the Hawaiian Islands are all the reasons they need to make flight seeing here their career end game....
For most of us, the word Aloha is generally understood as being the Hawaiian term to use when saying either goodbye or hello. But for Hawaiians, it’s far more than that simple definition. Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. Accordingly, the “spirit of Aloha” can mean a way of life — an inner feeling that is so much more than a simple greeting.
Support from the Air
story & photos by Skip Robinson
The Ontario Police Department in Southern California is one of the more recent law enforcement agencies to develop the once rare airborne-use-of-force option....
With an increase in active-shooter scenarios and homeland security/terrorist concerns, more and more police aviation units around the United States have been looking at developing the ability to provide aerial rifle support from their aircraft. The concept covers scenarios ranging from an active shooter having vulnerable ground officers pinned down, to a hidden sniper poised to fire on unsuspecting targets. In situations like this, police aviation units would be able to provide a reasonable force option from the air.
story by Dan Megna | photos by Eric Jenzen
Churchill Navigation’s Augmented Reality Mapping System provides tactical flight officers with heightened situational awareness....
The modern airborne law enforcement mission can be one of the most challenging flying environments outside of military service. Its often unpredictable nature can thrust air crews into chaotic and often dangerous situations, requiring swift, accurate scene assessments, masterful coordination and intelligent problem solving.
'Flight Testing' the Bell 525 Relentless
story by Guy R. Maher | photos by Mike Reyno
For a helicopter that hasn’t had its first actual flight, the Bell 525 Relentless sure is undergoing a lot of flight testing....
For a helicopter that hasn’t had its first actual flight, the Bell 525 Relentless sure is undergoing a lot of flight testing. Announced at Heli-Expo 2012, the “clean-sheet” 525 will employ of some of the most advanced systems ever incorporated into the first commercial fly-by-wire helicopter.
story & photos by Frédéric Lert
The French Air Force is among the happy few to enjoy a helicopter air to air refueling capability with its EC725 Caracal....
Two thousand feet above the Atlantic, not far from the west coast of France and the famous Bordeaux vineyards, two Airbus Helicopters EC725 Caracals refuel on a Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules fitted with wing pods. The helicopters belong to the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air) Escadron d’hélicoptères 1/67 Pyrénées and the tanker, sporting Italian roundels, comes from the Pisa-based 46a Brigata Aerea.