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Hawc Having Pilot Troubles?

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w squared... as usual, cap's input can be taken to the bank... with specific reference to OUR two AS355s here in ontariario... if i were to (God forbid) uckfay upay & roll one of them up in a ball tomorrow, i could look forward to spending my last six years piloting a black & white* (*they're coming back!!) on night shift out of bracebridge detachment... liability ONLY on our two a/c.


having said all that, i spent a considerable number of years as a road warrior in our organization (prior to getting back in the saddle) and would highly recommend anyone with a good sense of humour and exceptional people skills* (*police work ain't rocket science... communication skills are everything) to seriously consider police work... our organization is one of MANY that are currently hiring officers at this time given present retirement levels.



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The Calgary police require an instrument rating and preferably an ATP. I heard that two pilots have left recently, and the Calgary radio news apparently has reported that it is on the ground a lot because of lack of pilots. The salary is 60-65K, and it is under review.


In the UK, the reason why they don't have policemen as pilots themselves is because their pay would have to be higher than an inspector's. All very political!



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political it is.....


look at calgary, it's basically a very small operator, frought with a huge politicical surrounding with police/civilian ego's.....

No wonder they are in no mans land at the moment. Can you just imagine what it's like inside those confines with all the political and personal posturing that goes on.


Personally, I think the pilots should be the best available for the position they are occupying, which the last time I checked, was the right seat. If you currently have a police member who crossed over and became a pilot and has 500 hours on type, and a civilian guy walks in the door with 5000hrs on type.....I think I'd want the 5000 hour guy instead, but we know the outcome.....They'll protect their own. My opinion as a civilian on the ground in harms way (if something every happens) is irrelevent in their mind.

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Common guys, why do you think the RCMP now out-sevices for its pilots. A cop off the street with 100 hrs of training is just as dangerous as a newbie with 100 hrs. Okay don't take offence you newbies, I'm just making a point. Alot of law enforcement agencies used to hire pilots from within there ranks but they slowly realized that this was not the way to go. They fly in an urban environment that can jump up and bite you anytime.


Don't we all remember that low time RCMP pilot who torched the A-star in Kelowna when he tried to start it with the FADAC in manula mode. If Calgary wants to hire pilots from within the force let them. We'll all just sit back and watch. It could be a very stressful flying environment. Just imagine flying very low at night in a city with towers and wires and who knows what else just waiting to get you. Someone on the post said it would be fun. I would beg to differ. Until you have done night scene calls to unprepared LZ's you haven't lived. I still don't like doing them.

As always

Fly Safe

ps Maggy and T-rex, will be posting some pictures of my re-stored 66 Mustang soon.



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When the Quebec Police Force became involved with helicopters they hired civilian pilots.


The reasoning was that if the pilot was a police officer he could become to involved in the chase and put the helicopter and crew in danger.


The RCMP hires pilots and AME's from the civilian work force and makes them special constables.


Any government vehicle (federal) carries liability insurance, including aircraft.


Collision or hull insurance is not carried by the feds. Cheaper to pay from departemental budgets or buy new.


Any aircraft, including cars have to have liability insurance.


The only helicopter company that was ever self insured for hull damage was Okie and I really don't know how they faired out.


Food for thought.


Cheers, Don

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Again, simple answers do not solve the question. Yes, most definitely, any police force may make any civilian Member into a Special Constable. With that appointment goes certain special Rights, not accorded to the general public.


Where the the potential legal problems become pertinent is where "a laying-on of hands" takes/could take place. In otherwards, the Rights accorded by Law to a Special Constable ARE NOT the same or as those of a Regular Member.........almost, but not quite. So if a Regular Member needs or asks the assistance of the pilot, what help he can expect legally depends on whether that pilot is a Regular Member or a Special Constable.


The RCMP and other police forces have swung back and forth between both "worlds" over the eons because of the legal issues involved. Again, another issue where a simple answer does not suffice because it's a tad more complicated than one thinks or knows about. In an ideal world, the pilot would be a very experienced, in-the-field, police person, with more than enough flying experience.

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Hmmm...lots of good info. Thanks for the input from those in the know!


I 100% agree with the concept that you should have a pilot with appropriate experience...but if the police service in question sees the need to have their pilot as a sworn officer, would it make sense to take a pilot with the appropriate experience and subsequently provide the police-specific training?


To my mind that makes more sense than taking a police officer with no flying experience and then giving him a "crash course" (morbid pun not intended, but noticed) in flying? Given the CPS pilot requirements, it wouldn't be a short process.


I'd imagine serving police officers that already have the rotary CPL and minimum experience are few and far between.

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