Departments shutting down aviation programs?
Posted 31 August 2015 - 22:02
-their two pilots of 10-15 years just retired
-rumor is that Sheriff doesn't want to replace them
-this is a decent sized placed with 40+ deputies, tac team, divers, k9, and all that stuff.
I know that even flying with govt excess 58s that we're probably free, it's still expensive to maintain, but letting a major asset go seems to be a step backwards to me.
Have y'all see this much other places?
I'm going to take a deputy spot if I get offered it and will push from the inside to get them back going, but I don't expect it to happen quickly.
"Don't quote me" --Eazy E
Posted 03 September 2015 - 12:15
An agency with 40 deputies is a tiny agency by standards for most that have air units. Military surplus agencies come and go all the time. Many just run out their times and then never allocate the resources to keep them flying. In 2015, the days of free parts are long since over for 58s. A set of OH58 MR blades are $106,000. I will absolutely guarantee you an agency with 40 cops, that would be a huge hit on their budget. Engine could have timed out, who knows. I know of a sheriffs office right now that is sitting with a 58 that has 120hrs left before the engine times out. Basically they dont have the money, never will, and they are just trying to make it last as long as they can. Unless someone hands them a free engine, when that 120hrs is up, the doors are closing forever.
I stay in tune with the 1033 operators. If I knew what agency it was, I could tell you exactly why they are shutting down. But as a guess.... small agency with only about 40 cops... 1 helicopter, maybe 2? .... retiring pilots.... they are just out of money and the resources to purchase parts commercially aren't there. If they are shutting down, that helicopter will be transferred out. They will never get another one. By the time you get on, there wont be a helicopter to get them back going with. If they don't replace the pilots, the Law Enforcement Support Office will transfer the helicopters to another agency.
I operate 2 OH58s and a TH67 as well as 2 UH1Hs. Believe me.... the free parts are gone. If an agency doesn't have the financial resources to operate a 58 by buying parts like any other operator, they are finished as soon as the next component times out. I will be the first to tell you that there are agencies flying... or attempting to fly 58s that seriously just need to give them away and get out of the ALE business. I would caution you and say if you goal is to become a pilot for an agency, you may want to look elsewhere. Not replacing pilots is a bad sign.
Edited by Flying Pig, 03 September 2015 - 12:21.
- Dnr032, Bonzo828 and TachedOutOffRoad like this
Posted 04 September 2015 - 09:06
Doesn't seem to be working.
May come up double posted in a day or so.
Thanks again for the help
"Don't quote me" --Eazy E
Posted 23 August 2016 - 13:30
Posted 26 August 2016 - 09:49
After getting out of the Army with 1900 hours, I called the supervisor of the Detroit PD Flight Unit. He said I had a very good chance of going directly to his command. Unfortunately, like most departments, flight units are a luxury, especially in an economically ravaged city like Detroit. They closed up shop within two years after our discussion. Warren did the same and they only had one schweitzer.
I’d be very cautious about listening to anyone regarding ones chances of being selected into an air unit. Specifically, there are lots of layers of decision makers between those in the unit and the upper floors. Couple this with the required commitment to even be considered, it’s a monumental gamble, at best….
It’s been said before, LE management and aviation management have a hard time getting along. Therefore, when considering an LE gig, it’s better to think within the confines of LE, not aviation. With that, if this is what you seek, the best scenario is to join an agency with lots of aircraft as these units are cemented within the agency. This, and have an overwhelming desire to become an officer and be satisfied being in the street for years…. Simply put, for most departments, a senior officer with a commercial certificate and a couple hundred hours has a better chance of getting the next PIC seat than you would coming in, as a rookie, with 1900 hours….. And, there are a lot of officers, in every department with an aviation unit, who are posturing themselves to get that next seat….. It's the way it is.....
Edited by Spike, 26 August 2016 - 09:51.
Posted 27 August 2016 - 07:13
Spike is spot on. If that's the path you want to take, you need to decide that you want to be a cop first and really enjoy police work. I have been a "street" cop for several years. The whole time trying to get over to our air unit. I went out and spent my own money on a Rotorcraft PPL to make myself more competitive if and when the opportunity ever comes.... Still waiting and it may never happen. There is a huge disconnect between say the Lt. over an air unit who says "yeah, we would love to have you" and upper brass who are ultimately making the decisions on filling spots.
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" - The only thing we can control is our attitude.
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