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One of our students reported this to me receintly and I wondered if anyone else had encountered the same problem . we were on a photo flight with a major tv station replying to a police call...we do that too...when out of nowhere came their choper, Class C airspace and we were talking to aproach and they approved our position and mission.Aproach did not know they were there or where they came from and did not approve them to be in the airspace or nothing. We were told of their position and to avoid them because aproach was not in contact with them. They eventually came on frequence and notified the helicopter(us) in the area that he(us) was a nusiance and to leave immediately. We were in no way in their way or causing a nusiance but to be a good neighbor we gave them a wide berth, but stayed in the area. We were contacted the next day by the friendly FAA and informed that a complaint was filed by the police pilot. We polietly told the Faa to lissen to the tapes and talk to our lawyer if they had any other questions. Needles to say nothing happened.And how was your day?

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One of our students reported this to me receintly and I wondered if anyone else had encountered the same problem . we were on a photo flight with a major tv station replying to a police call...we do that too...when out of nowhere came their choper, Class C airspace and we were talking to aproach and they approved our position and mission.Aproach did not know they were there or where they came from and did not approve them to be in the airspace or nothing. We were told of their position and to avoid them because aproach was not in contact with them. They eventually came on frequence and notified the helicopter(us) in the area that he(us) was a nusiance and to leave immediately. We were in no way in their way or causing a nusiance but to be a good neighbor we gave them a wide berth, but stayed in the area. We were contacted the next day by the friendly FAA and informed that a complaint was filed by the police pilot. We polietly told the Faa to lissen to the tapes and talk to our lawyer if they had any other questions. Needles to say nothing happened.And how was your day?

 

All airspace falls under the jurisdiction of Federal Law, and is regulated by FAR's and the FAA. The only way a local law enforcement agency can "take over" airspace is via the FAA TFR, which is rarely done at the spur of the moment.

 

You did the right thing.

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The police and other public agencies aren't regulated by the FAA. Their pilots don't even have to be licensed. Police officers, whether flying, riding in cars, or walking, sometimes (often) get a somewhat exalted view of themselves and their authority. Unfortunately, there usually isn't much we can do about it, but in this case there isn't anything the police pilot can do about it other than to complain to the FAA, because they don't regulate the FAA or those regulated by the FAA any more than the FAA regulates them.

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Here in Oz, the police are subject to the same rules as other aviators under CASA. But there are some police ops which would be assisted by keeping other aircraft away from the area of interest, so the police pilots negotiate by phone with the senior terminal area controller, and if it is appropriate, other machines are kept away. If need be, an Airpol priority request can be made on the radio, and if life is threatened, even a jumbo can be vectored off finals.

 

Sometimes there are tasks where the police chopper is covertly following a suspect car (from 5-6000') and an unrelated chopper is headed for the same area at low altitude. The police know that the suspect will be spooked by a low-flying helicopter and may bolt, so the innocent helicopter is contacted and requested to move away. This pilot may get on his digs and say "Who owns this airspace? You can't tell me where to go! I have every right to be here!" and totally stuff an important police operation. The police helicopter can't say anything about the operation on the normal frequencies, because the baddies carry scanners and would definitely bolt.

 

So please, don't get all huffy and accuse the police of high-handed behaviour, because YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON.

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Gomer where did you get your information that Police Pilots don't have to be licensed?

 

You might be surprised at what law enforcement can and can not do when it relates to a scene. Sometimes when searching for a subject, orbits of an area are needed to put the FLIR on obstructed areas or maybe they are trying to clear an area ahead of officers on the ground to keep them from walking into an ambush.

 

Here in my area, ENG guys know how critical it is to give the LE chopper the airspace needed to operate. How would you feel if someone close to you was just raped, assaulted or worse killed and the police lost the suspect because the police helo had to divert because some news jockey wanted to get just the right photo. How many times have you seen traffic backed up because of people looking at the scene of an accident.

 

Police pilots can not enforce FAA rules, but once you land we can charge you with obstruction. Take into consideration this, your comment that sometimes (often as you put it) cops walk around with an exaulted view of ourselves, maybe that officer that did not coddle you when you broke the speeding law was because he just worked a scene where a child was run over by a speeder; or maybe they did not smile at you at the resturant because they just left the scene where some elderly lady who reminded them of their mother was just pistol whipped as some dirtbag robbed her and she may not recover.

 

Are there those officers that maybe are a little cocky, show me a handful of helo pilots that don't have some of those same traits. The addiction to the job is the same from both fronts. I am not saying every police officer is above reproach, but understand what we go thru day to day. Now put that cop in the cockpit and guess what you have got?

 

Don't be too quick to judge us until you have walked in our shoes.

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Amenra,

 

I am assuming by your post that you are a police helo pilot. Is that correct? Okay, so as I interpret the original post by nypilot6, the problem was that the police helo was operating inside Class C airspace without being in radio contact with ATC. Is this something that is common, or should that police helo pilot have obtained the proper airspace authorization prior to entering Class C? Or am I missing the point of nypilot6's remarks? It seems to me that even police helos must follow the FAR's.

 

Jeff

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goverment agency's aircraft and operations fall under "public use" and are not required to comply with ANY FAR's, including pilot certification or airworthiness. (see FAR 1 for definition)

 

Well, I just read FAR 1, 91.1, and 91.130 and it is pretty unambiguous that public aircraft must comply with all rules regarding Class C airspace unless there is an authorized deviation from ATC. And I don't think that was the case in the original post, since ATC supposedly had no knowlege of the LE aircraft.

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I talked to the pilot of the ENG heli and he verified that the police heli was not authorized to be in class C at the time of the encounter. According to the FAA the police said they were operating under "police authority" and were not obligated to comply with any FAR . With that point in mind think about why they wanted the ENG heli out of the area, was it because they may want to cover their buts if something goes wrong on their part ( Rodney King) or maybe both pilots were just too busy trying to follow the crooks on the ground and didnot have the time to look out for anyother traffic.

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That's funny. :o I don't recall ever reading about "police authority" in the FAR's. They should still contact ATC for the proper authorization. Since they are on a police mission, I'm sure ATC would gladly give them priority for their work.

 

Although I don't have any reference for this statement, the FAA has jurisdiction over the National Airspace System, and not local law enforcement authorities.

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If a police copter where to slam into a news heli because they werent following the rules, whos the bad guy now?

 

When your flying, be a pilot first, and a cop second.

 

 

 

Most of us are just that. If you care to generalize about all police pilots in reference to one third hand account of an alleged incident that may or may have not taken place then I can start making broad generalizations about news media crews, student pilots, etc. I don't do that because I don't care to lump everyone else who happens to be in the same category into one negative attack. Most police pilots are just like any other professional pilots. We follow the same rules that every other pilot does. And we answer not only to the FAA but our own internal affairs division. Anyone who says we are not governed by the FAA is sorely misinformed. The public use category has a number of limitations, not the least of which is your not going to get an insurer to bite off on non-licensed pilots.

Please don't try and trash a segment of the aviation population when you don't have the facts or knowledge of what it is we do and don't do.

 

And, Have a nice day :angry:

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Following the FARs is a good idea, and it may be necessary for insurance, but it is not a requirement for public use aircraft unless the agency decides to do so. Certainly police and military pilots are subject to the rules of their agency, but that's an internal decision. Many, if not most, police departments, local and state, do follow FARs and require their pilots to be licensed. The military follows some FARs, but does not require a civilian license for their pilots. This is all decided by the agency involved, not by the FAA. The FAA can't.

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Following the FARs is a good idea, and it may be necessary for insurance, but it is not a requirement for public use aircraft unless the agency decides to do so. Certainly police and military pilots are subject to the rules of their agency, but that's an internal decision. Many, if not most, police departments, local and state, do follow FARs and require their pilots to be licensed. The military follows some FARs, but does not require a civilian license for their pilots. This is all decided by the agency involved, not by the FAA. The FAA can't.

 

Gomer,

 

What is the source of your statement? This thread has my curiosity, and I would like to research it. Thanks.

 

 

Most of us are just that. If you care to generalize about all police pilots in reference to one third hand account of an alleged incident that may or may have not taken place then I can start making broad generalizations about news media crews, student pilots, etc. I don't do that because I don't care to lump everyone else who happens to be in the same category into one negative attack. Most police pilots are just like any other professional pilots. We follow the same rules that every other pilot does. And we answer not only to the FAA but our own internal affairs division. Anyone who says we are not governed by the FAA is sorely misinformed. The public use category has a number of limitations, not the least of which is your not going to get an insurer to bite off on non-licensed pilots.

Please don't try and trash a segment of the aviation population when you don't have the facts or knowledge of what it is we do and don't do.

 

Heloplt,

 

Thank you for your comments. You are obviously offended by some of the remarks in this thread. While some of the posts were totally to cast negativity on law enforcement, the gist of the thread was to find out if public aircraft must follow the the same airspace rules as private aircraft. (I try to look past the negativity that people write on here and extract the good information). I know the military has its own pilot certification, but from what you said and what I've read in part 91, they and law enforcement have to follow the same airspace rules as we civilian pilots. I also understand that if there were a national crisis and Department of Defense were to take over US airspace, then the rules would change.

 

Jeff

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Jeff

If an agency has military surplus aircraft they can operate them in the public use category. The pilot does not have to have a license to operate the aircraft. There are a number of different stipulations to this. I recommend you check out the ALEA (airborne law enforcement) website. They are a good source for this type of info. I can tell you that should a police pilot violate airspace regulations he/she will be talking to the tower supervisor or the local FSDO rep just like any other pilot. We do occasionally get preferential treatment, but the EMS guys operating in the same class B as us get it also. That is because the controllers know that when we ask for it someones life may depend upon our timely arrival (and we don't often ask for it).

 

You are right, it does offend me when I get lumped into some ignorant generalization by someone who clearly has a chip on his shoulder. I expect it from the general public, not from a member of this helicopter forum. I am here to learn and to pass along what I can to help the other members. I don't favor getting run into the ground by other members.

 

Jeff

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I do know what they say about public use aircraft, but I can also say that I have never met an LEO pilot that did not hold a rating. Two reasons, first insurance and then the part that goes hand in hand, liability for the agency.

 

Anyone that considers themselves a professional pilot, would adhere to every safety and legal obligation to ensure everyone's well being.

 

First, I was not there, were you? You take what this other person says and believe it as gospel? Has anyone ever been contacted by their FSDO about an official complaint and then never heard the outcome? I personally would not just let it go as oh well, nothing heard I must be clear.

 

My intentions were not to flame the board, but like Jeff, I do take it personal when people have issues with police and feel the need to spread their feelings.

 

There is always 3 sides to every story: Your side, my side and the factual occurance. Based upon everyones own personal beliefs and value system we interpret what we see and experience and our internal filters make it what we believe.

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Jeff

If an agency has military surplus aircraft they can operate them in the public use category. The pilot does not have to have a license to operate the aircraft. T

Jeff

 

actually under "public use" ANY aircraft maybe utilized, certified or military. and once under public use, they may deviate from airworthiness requirements, and also pilot certification requirements.

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I do know what they say about public use aircraft, but I can also say that I have never met an LEO pilot that did not hold a rating. Two reasons, first insurance and then the part that goes hand in hand, liability for the agency.

 

Anyone that considers themselves a professional pilot, would adhere to every safety and legal obligation to ensure everyone's well being.

 

First, I was not there, were you? You take what this other person says and believe it as gospel? Has anyone ever been contacted by their FSDO about an official complaint and then never heard the outcome? I personally would not just let it go as oh well, nothing heard I must be clear.

 

My intentions were not to flame the board, but like Jeff, I do take it personal when people have issues with police and feel the need to spread their feelings.

 

There is always 3 sides to every story: Your side, my side and the factual occurance. Based upon everyones own personal beliefs and value system we interpret what we see and experience and our internal filters make it what we believe.

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There was DEA pilot from St. Louis that crashed about 10+ years ago. I'm not sure exactly when or where it was, but he was seriousely injured. He had less than 100 hrs. Now the DEA (at least the STL office), requires their pilots to obtain 200 hrs and a private rating before they fly missions or take pax. They used to have an old OH-6 that they would take turns joy riding around St. Louis until they got their 200 hrs. Now they have a BO-105.

 

The STL County Police Metro Air Support require all of their pilots to PAY for their fixed wing rating first, then they can apply for Air Support and be trained in the helicopters. Like the DEA, they all have discrete callsigns and x-ponder codes for getting in the class B.

 

And in regards to the initial topic, I disagree with the cops filing a complaint about your student. If it was a problem, they should have gotten on the radio and made a request, or called you on the phone afterward. They ignored the FAA when they busted the class C, but now they want the FAA to bust you. That's BS.

 

However, as a general rule, stay out of their way. Here in the meth capital of the US (Franklin Co., Missouri as seen on 60 minutes and Dateline!), we fly high and keep away from the cops and DEA. Because they're usually chasing or busting meth labs.......And the meth heads have lots of guns and like to shoot at helicopters. We all keep our second radios tuned to the local heli air-to-air freq and announce where we are and/or where to avoid.

 

And the Franklin Co. Sheriff LOVES to put up 5nm radius TFRs.....and they never write into them that EMS and LEO aircraft are except. They're really shooting themselves in the foot if they need a helicopter quickly.

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Amenra, if someone post on this site it is for information purpose, sure some people will throw stones at others but I have not seen this here. If you take this personel that's your problem, you say this may or may not have happen, than you say rather than follow the rules you would arrest someone on "obstruction " if they offend you. If it did happen than I'm sure with a threat of "obstruction" waved in someones face they would not elaborate on the incident.

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