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What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Lilian Rothschild ()
Date: January 15, 2012 06:13PM

FFX police fly their helicopters around all day every day. They aren't search for people. They usually fly at night with no search lights.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: CommonSensicle ()
Date: January 15, 2012 06:36PM

Just because they have no search light on does not mean they aren't searching for anyone. They have an infrared camera. Also, they do medevacs too.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: passerby ()
Date: January 15, 2012 06:43PM

Something going on at the Costco shopping center... A few cop cars with their lights on are lingering and helicopter overhead.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: wally pip jr. ()
Date: January 16, 2012 02:38PM

How many helicopters does fairfax county p.d. have these days? I thought county had cut back?

Do they contract out to avoid scrutiny from the public over the expense versus its usefulness?

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: BEH ()
Date: January 16, 2012 02:40PM

The police helicopter is an invaluable tool for finding elusive donut shops.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: YEP_ ()
Date: January 16, 2012 02:42PM

OP To catch your messican boyfriend

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: justsayin ()
Date: January 16, 2012 02:42PM

passerby Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> the Costco shopping center

A precises description of where in Fairfax County you are talking about, bravo.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: ROCKO MEATS ()
Date: January 16, 2012 03:10PM

They just finished receiving 2 NEW helicopters with some fancy aveonics that

























































They just received 2 NEW helicopters with some type of new fangled avionics, how much do you think the taxpayers of this county are in for!

GEEZ!

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Shadow ()
Date: January 16, 2012 05:08PM

This might help answer your questions about the choppers.

The Police Department (FCPD) currently owns and operates two single-engine Bell 407 helicopters, currently over 14 and 10 years old, respectively. These helicopters are on an 8-year replacement cycle; however, replacement has been delayed due to steps taken by the Police Department to extend the life of both existing helicopters as well as various issues that have arisen in the procurement process. FCPD maintains a staff of 6 pilots and 11 tactical flight officers; working 12 hours shifts, 24 hours-per-day. In a typical year, FCPD responds to between 2000-3000 calls for service; such as flying severely injured crash victims to the hospital, helping locate missing children or dementia patients, and helping officers on the ground locate car-jacking, burglary, or robbery suspects in neighborhoods across Fairfax County.
Concerning patient transport, the large majority are medevac cases and only in very rare occasions for hospital transports. FCPD helicopters are defined as "Public Use" under FAA regulations; therefore, FCPD cannot bill insurance companies or charge for any patient transports. To charge for transports, FCPD would have to reclassify its operations and become what is referred to as "Part 135." The recurring internal cost associated with meeting the stringent 135 requirements would not be beneficial in comparison to the amount revenue generated; therefore, FCPD has elected to remain Public Use. The number of patient transports varies from year to year, but, as a point of comparison, there were 100 medevacs in calendar year 2010.
The replacement process for the current Bell 407 helicopters is well underway. The approved proposal is for Police to replace their two current single-engine helicopters with one dual engine Bell 429 helicopter in FY 2011 and a second dual engine Bell 429 in FY 2012. The new helicopters are a long-term investment that are expected to have a life cycle of 20 years at a net cost (after selling the existing helicopters and completion costs) of approximately $5 million dollars each. It should be noted that FCPD began funding a Helicopter Replacement Reserve in Fund 503, Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) in 1995 and has invested a portion of their annual budget into this fund since that time. As a result, there will be no additional outlay of County funds for these aircraft.
The helicopters were purchased as part of a single order to take advantage of volume cost savings, with one helicopter recently delivered in March 2011 (which the Department aims to have in service by June 2011) and the other to arrive in FY 2012. It should be noted that an adjustment to the FY 2012 budget of Fund 503 will be required as part of the FY 2011 Carryover Review to accommodate the second part of this plan.
Aviation technology has changed considerably over the past decade and these new aircraft are safer, more reliable, faster and quieter than the existing helicopters. When it
comes to medevacs, fighting crime, and saving lives, every minute counts. These helicopters travel up to 172 miles-per-hour and will be able to get anywhere in Fairfax County in under 6.5 minutes (current helicopter time was 7.5 minutes). These helicopters are safer in that they've got built-in safety redundancies and back-up systems, for example, twin engines (old ones were single) and are IFR certified (able to fly in foggy/low visibility weather by instruments only). These new helicopters are also quieter as the re-designed rotor system results in a half the perceived noise level of the current noise level of the Bell 407s. Since 60 percent of helicopter operations occur during night-time hours, this was an important factor.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: unclejunior ()
Date: January 18, 2012 07:52AM

How could you possibly know all of this?

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: MS-14 ()
Date: January 18, 2012 01:45PM

Shadow Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This might help answer your questions about the
> choppers.
>
> The Police Department (FCPD) currently owns and
> operates two single-engine Bell 407 helicopters,
> currently over 14 and 10 years old, respectively.
> These helicopters are on an 8-year replacement
> cycle; however, replacement has been delayed due
> to steps taken by the Police Department to extend
> the life of both existing helicopters as well as
> various issues that have arisen in the procurement
> process. FCPD maintains a staff of 6 pilots and 11
> tactical flight officers; working 12 hours shifts,
> 24 hours-per-day. In a typical year, FCPD responds
> to between 2000-3000 calls for service; such as
> flying severely injured crash victims to the
> hospital, helping locate missing children or
> dementia patients, and helping officers on the
> ground locate car-jacking, burglary, or robbery
> suspects in neighborhoods across Fairfax County.
> Concerning patient transport, the large majority
> are medevac cases and only in very rare occasions
> for hospital transports. FCPD helicopters are
> defined as "Public Use" under FAA regulations;
> therefore, FCPD cannot bill insurance companies or
> charge for any patient transports. To charge for
> transports, FCPD would have to reclassify its
> operations and become what is referred to as "Part
> 135." The recurring internal cost associated with
> meeting the stringent 135 requirements would not
> be beneficial in comparison to the amount revenue
> generated; therefore, FCPD has elected to remain
> Public Use. The number of patient transports
> varies from year to year, but, as a point of
> comparison, there were 100 medevacs in calendar
> year 2010.
> The replacement process for the current Bell 407
> helicopters is well underway. The approved
> proposal is for Police to replace their two
> current single-engine helicopters with one dual
> engine Bell 429 helicopter in FY 2011 and a second
> dual engine Bell 429 in FY 2012. The new
> helicopters are a long-term investment that are
> expected to have a life cycle of 20 years at a net
> cost (after selling the existing helicopters and
> completion costs) of approximately $5 million
> dollars each. It should be noted that FCPD began
> funding a Helicopter Replacement Reserve in Fund
> 503, Department of Vehicle Services (DVS) in 1995
> and has invested a portion of their annual budget
> into this fund since that time. As a result, there
> will be no additional outlay of County funds for
> these aircraft.
> The helicopters were purchased as part of a single
> order to take advantage of volume cost savings,
> with one helicopter recently delivered in March
> 2011 (which the Department aims to have in service
> by June 2011) and the other to arrive in FY 2012.
> It should be noted that an adjustment to the FY
> 2012 budget of Fund 503 will be required as part
> of the FY 2011 Carryover Review to accommodate the
> second part of this plan.
> Aviation technology has changed considerably over
> the past decade and these new aircraft are safer,
> more reliable, faster and quieter than the
> existing helicopters. When it
> comes to medevacs, fighting crime, and saving
> lives, every minute counts. These helicopters
> travel up to 172 miles-per-hour and will be able
> to get anywhere in Fairfax County in under 6.5
> minutes (current helicopter time was 7.5 minutes).
> These helicopters are safer in that they've got
> built-in safety redundancies and back-up systems,
> for example, twin engines (old ones were single)
> and are IFR certified (able to fly in foggy/low
> visibility weather by instruments only). These new
> helicopters are also quieter as the re-designed
> rotor system results in a half the perceived noise
> level of the current noise level of the Bell 407s.
> Since 60 percent of helicopter operations occur
> during night-time hours, this was an important
> factor.

TL;DR

Plus, consider the source...

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Shadow ()
Date: January 18, 2012 02:20PM

unclejunior Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How could you possibly know all of this?


It's on the county's website. It's amazing what you can find it you look for it. I merely copied it.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Fairfax County Resident ()
Date: January 20, 2012 01:40PM

The past 2 times I have been to the Costco (West Ox Road / 66 / Lee Highway), police helicoptors have landed accross the street near the dump. Perhaps they re-fuel over there.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Shadow ()
Date: January 20, 2012 05:13PM

It's actually one of the places that they keep them. They do maintenance there as well.

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Fegelein ()
Date: January 31, 2012 05:23PM

You sure that it wasn't NORAD?

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: friskydingo ()
Date: January 31, 2012 05:25PM

Fegelein Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You sure that it wasn't NORAD?


why are you bumping all the helicopter threads????

 

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Re: What are all the helicopters for?
Posted by: Tom_Mason ()
Date: February 04, 2012 12:04AM

Shadow;

I discussed the details of the budget memo you're quoting from in the "(Unofficial) Official Helicopter Over Centerville" thread. To reiterate:

Here's the noise certificate for the Bell 429:

http://www.easa.eu.int/certification/type-certificates/docs/noise/EASA-TCDS-R.506_%28IM%29_Bell_Helicopter_Textron_Canada_Ltd._Model_429-01-23092009.pdf

Anything over 85 db is considered harmful. The overflight spec. for the Bell 429 is right at 90 dbs. That's as loud if not louder than the Bell 407. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the 429 is about 1,500 pounds heavier than the 407 and, hence, has to run on two engines. Considering the excessive speed at which the cops are running these choppers, I have failed to notice any diffence between the operational noise characteristics of the 407 and the 429. In other words, the budget memo is a crock.

IMHO the single biggest factor aggravating the noise problem is the cops' propensity for loitering over areas for protracted periods of time. A lot of you seem to have encountered this phenomenon after dark. Since the budget memo was written at the request of Supervisors Gross and McKay, I sent an email to Penny Gross on January 17th pointing out the errors in the budget memo and advising her that my subdivision had been overflown no less than 51 times by police helicopters in the preceding 30 days. I also suggested that she consider having procedures implemented to regulate the use of the helicopters, since it was unclear what necessitated their use for the two or three thousand times per year discussed in the budget memo. Gross did not not respond to my email. I expected that to happen and it will probably require a concerted effort by a number of committed citizens to curb the racket currently being inflicted by the Fairfax Air Force.

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