Queensland Police running 3 month Bo105 trial

Queensland Police running 3 month Bo105 trial

23-Sep-2012 Source: Queensland Police

In mid August, the Queensland Police Service commenced a 13 week contract with Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service. As a result, the police chopper is now a BO105 EC Super 5, ex-German police helicopter with an excellent reputation and history. It is a twin-engine gas turbine, equipped with state-of- the-art navigation and surveillance equipment including:

• an electro-optic infrared thermal imaging camera (FLIR)

• a high powered searchlight to assist in searches and landing in poor light conditions

• Synthetic Vision which assists the pilot in all conditions

• a Mapping system

• Self-inflating raft and first aid equipment. Westpac will be providing safety vests with locator beacons, marker dye, mirror, flare kit, oxygen and a safety knife (to cut seatbelt webbing)

• The helicopter is being fitted out for Night Vision Goggles (NVG) and will have this capability in the near future.

• Westpac Lifesaver pilots are CASA authorised to fly at night and at low level, without the use of NVG
The new helicopter is already a part of the team and was tasked as part of Operation THARIS (Targeted Hotspot and Recidivist Intervention Strategy) in the Robina Division yesterday.

Since the launch of the initial police helicopter on November 5, 2011 it has proven its effectiveness in contributing to policing responses, with more than 557 flight hours completed within the trial period. This includes more than 517 flights during which there were 1044 taskings planned by the police and 506 reactive taskings in response to calls for service from the community. Of the 506 reactive taskings undertaken, the helicopter was the first arriving police unit on the scene in 82% of those occasions.

The helicopter has supported a range of contemporary policing functions such as searches for offenders and missing persons, drug crop identification, and major event and traffic management. The new contract includes an increase from 14.6 to 20 hours of flight time each week. This will enable more flexibility in developing intelligence based planned taskings and an increased ability to respond to incidents as they occur.

Westpac Lifesaver operates from its base at Carrara, has flown rescue helicopters for 37 years and has set industry standards in this field. Five pilots are on roster to fly the helicopter including main pilot, Peter Bird. All five pilots are highly trained and well recognised within the industry. We look forward to working with the crew at Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service.

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