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Hawc Having Pilot Troubles?

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So sorry, I did not mean to say that it was a no brainer. Lots of folks have been sucked into black holes and with much more time than I. I meant that perhaps they could work a non night guy into the ranks by flying with a night rated pilot until such time that he could be safe. I know that there are probably a lot of folks interested in the type of work but since in Canada we do not do much night work there is a huge lack of experience to draw on and they are thus limiting themselves to a select few.



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I think the reason why that they want military experience is that you have to be submissive and take their orders. They don't like us regualr folks who can think and make decisions on their own. I don't know why someone would want to ride around in circles all night long in calgary? I would much rather do pad rides around the fair grounds. At least you can bring the girls along for a ride.

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As a civilian pilot flying for the past ten years for a law enforcement agency (stateside) I feel confident in stating that a law enforcement background is not in any way required to be a good police pilot. We have operated since the origination of our air support unit (1968) with experienced (3000 hr min) civilian pilots, teamed with an experienced police officer who is assigned full time to the unit.

My job is first and foremost the safe operation of our aircraft with mission accomplishment second. With this procedure in place our stats. (helicopter arrests, infrared arrests etc.) exceed most other air units.

As with any other group, the law enforcement community has its share of inflated egos,(seen a few of those in aviation too) and there are some in our department who feel the pilots should be sworn personnel. The only reason seems to be a territorial consideration and not any operational reason to have a second officer on board. In almost 5000 hrs. here and having landed on numerous occassions to assist ground units I have never encountered a need to be an officer.

Can a police officer be trained to fly a helicopter? Certainly. Should someone with 250-300 hrs. be flying a helicopter on a law enforcement mission at night over a city; or dispatched outside into potentially black hole conditions as his or her first flying job? I think not.

Being somewhat familiar with the situation at C.P.S. I certainly understand the politics involved (we have ours too) but this too will pass and I'm sure they will have a good working environment with the delivery of the second EC-120.

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Many good and sensible points have been made so far and I agree with the vast majority...........BUT this subject also has to do with LAW and not common sense.........don't EVER confuse the two.


You commit "Assault" when you even threaten to "lay hands" on a person.


You commit "Assault and Battery" when you do in fact commit that "laying-on of hands"


In not all, but many police forces with an aviation unit, the unit is used for a myraid of duties, including the escorting of prisoners. What help the pilot can be to an escorting Member is dependant completely on whether that pilot is a policeman or not. IF the pilot is NOT a policeman, then he had better become accutely aware of the above two Criminal Code charges because they hang over his head everytime he attempts to come to the aide of a Regular Mamber in a physical manner.


Has any member of a Canadian Police Force needed the physical help of an a/c pilot to subdue an unruly prisoner on the ground or in the air? Most definitely "YES!" and backed-up by the records of Canadian Case Law.


When the lawsuits begin to fly, it is the well-meaning civilian Member and his police employers who face the lawsuits of "Assault and Battery" because that civilian Member had no authority to be touching the prisoner in any manner as another civilian. "Yes" ANY civilian can come/should come to the aide of a policeman requesting such aide, BUT HOW MUCH assistance they can actually deliver is controlled greatly by law. There are also controls put on police members, BUT not to the same extent as a civilian pilot flying that a/c. THEREIN lies the conternation for many police forces.........do we gamble or not with w possible lawsuit sometime in the future. The RCMP has had civilian pilots only AND police-trained pilots only over the eons since '71 and the driving-force behind those changes over that time has been the above stated reason.



transientorque2 .............NEWS BULLETIN...........I was one of those who "took orders" in the military one time.......in peacetime and in war. I still accept orders from my employers by the way. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am many things, but "submissive" ain't one of them brother......then or now.. I can also tell you most postively that I can "think" for myself in or out of a uniform and always could. There are also some members of the human race who will tell you that they are very happy I was able to make sudden, hurried and good decisions and in doing so allowed them to be alive on earth these many years hence. I was far from the unusal then and the same applies nowadays to the present day service person.


I dignified your ignorant statement with a response only because there are military members putting their ***** in "harm's way" as you read this and your statement is truly ignorant and insulting towards them and what they do. Anyone else who thinks the same as my "learned" friend here concerning the military will kindly note the mistletoe hanging from my coattail.........and Merry Christmas to you too!

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I am so biting my tongue on this one......


I think TT2 has some valid points, it's a shame though it has to be blown out of proportion from what it actually is. Why some like to paint a portrait when someone hands them a crayon is mindboggling to say the least.


Calgary police have some issues, I hope they listen and learn. Sounds like they aren't at the moment. Whatever their method is right now....it isn't working.


Imagine if CHL or Great Slave lost 75% of their pilots in short order? I think someone would revamp the system pronto....maybe the guy running the show should resign.....

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Here's the relevant section of the Criminal Code that Cap is referring to:


Protection of persons acting under authority


25. (1) Every one who is required or authorized by law to do anything in the administration or enforcement of the law


(a) as a private person,


(B) as a peace officer or public officer,


© in aid of a peace officer or public officer, or


(d) by virtue of his office,


is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.

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Invisible --------Thanks for bringing forth that Criminal Code Section.


For the record, there have been 148 different interpretations of that law by various courts across the country.


It's felt in many quarters that this particular concern is only pertinent should there be some chance of involvement between the pilot and some perpetrator. If the flight duties of the police department require none of that, then why would it be necessary for the pilot to be police-trained? They can hire the civilian pilot as a designated "Civilian Member" and then that civilian has their own "special" set of rules that they must also follow and those rules can follow close in-step with the regular policeman's set of rules for his job.

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I would guess that many of those cases revolved to some extent around the definition of "reasonable"! If I had to help subdue an unruly person in the air, prisoner or not, I would rely on the power of a Captain under the various conventions. I believe, under Annex 2 of the Chicago Convention, your word (in flight) is law until overturned later (I forget within which time period - 3 months?) by a person with a judicial interest. You then would have a competition between the Criminal Code and CARs, assuming that the ICAO rules were properly adopted into Canadian law.


The Tokyo Convention 1963 also applies, which states that the PIC has final authority as to the disposition of the aircraft while in command, which is between doors closed and doors open in the airline world.


If a person commits, or is about to commit, an unlawful act on an aircraft, the commander may impose reasonable measures, including restraint, to:


protect the safety of the aircraft, persons and property on board


maintain good order and discipline


enable handover to the authorities by removal or refusal to allow the people on board


Other crewmembers and passengers may be dragged in to assist as necessary.


I think the reasoning behind preferring military pilots is that they are trained to a known standard, as their flying course will involve a lot of operational training, including the practical application of night flying, such as landing a Beaver between crossed headlights. Nothing to do with being submissive, as many sergeant-majors I used to work under will tell you!


One thing about military training, especiallyas, say, an MP, or a military pilot, is that you learn how to tactfully handle people with ranks considerably higher than yours, which is something else that civilian pilots miss out on.



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I think the issue of the pilot needing to assist in bringing an unruly prisoner under control is a bit overblown. Most police helicopters are not used as prisoner transports. This is primarily due to range limitations and the need to not remove an asset from service while carting a bad guy cross country. This would normally be delegated to a fixed wing. The most that is usually done would be to move someone from an inaccessable location back to where a ground unit could do the transport. Remember too that prisoners are transported on the airlines as a matter of routine.

To make the selection criteria in choosing a pilot based upon a mission that makes up less than one percent of the total flying in most air support units seems a bit foolish.

Just my take on it.

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