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ALEA E-Newsletter : 2016-May


May 2016 Airborne Law Enforcement Association, Inc.
ALEA E-Newsletter

ALEA Eagle seal transparent

In This Issue:

ALEA Extends Submission Deadline

ALEA Corporate Member Wysong Enterprises' Owner Dies at Age 35

Police Helicopter Stops Train from Hitting Car

Australian Police Considering Expansion of UAS Program

California Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Laser Offense

ALEA Hosts Online Group Meeting for UAS Operators

Man Pointed Laser at HCSO Helicopter 'As a Joke'

Northeast Region UAS Unit Gains Nationwide Authorization

Enter Air Beat Magazine's Photo Contest; Win iPad with SMS!

Rose Bowl Provides Setting for Police Helicopter Training

U.K. Police Force Becomes Nation's Largest UAS Operator

University Offers Free Aircraft Accident Investigation Online Course

Canadian Aviation Unit Reaches 10,000th Flight Hour

Did You Know?

Senate Debates Provision Against State UAS Laws

FAA Hosts UAS Symposium; Explains Primary Integration Goals

NASA Tests UAS Management System

Helicopter Crew Saves Marriage Proposal

Scottish Man Jailed for Shining Laser at Police Helicopter

ALEA Welcomes New Members

ALEA Updates Conference Course and Class Content, Adds New Instructors for ALEA EXPO in Savannah ... Register Today!

E-Newsletter Sponsors:

Churchill Navigation

Baldwin Aviation

Broadcast Microwave Services

Garmin International

FLIR Systems


ALEA Resources:

Get Your Organization's News Online

Advertise With ALEA

ALEA Membership Benefits

ALEA Sponsored Training and Education


ALEA's E-Newsletter is designed to help keep you informed on the very latest happenings in the public safety aviation community. The E-Newsletter may also be read online here at our website.

ALEA Extends Submission Deadline

ALEA Extends

The deadline to submit award nominations and scholarship applications has been extended to Sunday, May 15th. ALEA presents seven awards annually to recognize excellence in public safety aviation. Additionally, ALEA has 17 scholarships totaling $40,500 to help your children get a good start in college. Don't miss these great opportunities - They only come around once a year!​​

For more information about the Awards & Scholarships Program, or to submit award nominations and scholarship applications, visit the ALEA website at and click on Awards and Scholarships. Please note you will be required to log into the website to submit. If you have any questions or need further information, contact Executive Director/CEO Dan Schwarzbach. If you have trouble logging into the website, contact Operations Manager Benay Osborne



ALEA Corporate Member Wysong Enterprises’ Owner Dies at Age 35ALEA Corporate Member

Rodney Wysong, 35, died on April 17 after a three-year battle with brain cancer. Wysong, a longtime Airborne Law Enforcement Association member, was Vice President and owner of Wysong Enterprises, a helicopter maintenance, repair and overhaul shop with customers around the world.

As a child, Wysong spent countless hours around hangars, playing in avionics shops and sitting in helicopters. After growing up in the shadow of his father Steve Wysong, he built a reputation for his customer service and helped move the company from a small avionics shop that worked on electronic newsgathering helicopters to an internationally known operation.

“Some fathers never have a chance to spend time with their children because of their career,” said Steve Wysong. “I spent my entire career working and building this business with Rodney. I shared more time with my son in 35 years than many parents spend in an entire lifetime with their children. From the time he was old enough to go to the office with me, he was tagging along and learning the business. We have been to countless cities, trade shows and events. We were able to see the world together and share our passion for helicopters. I am extremely blessed to have shared this dream together with him.”

Many in the industry recall Rodney Wysong fondly. “[He] was a remarkable young man that truly loved this industry,” Aviation Specialties Unlimited Owners Mike and Chris Atwood said. “Rodney was a hard-working, energetic, likable young man. He was a great example for others on what it means to work hard and take nothing for granted. Our entire team at ASU enjoyed working with Rodney over the years and traveling to Tennessee for projects. He and his father are like family to us.”

SOURCE: Wysong Enterprises Inc.


Police Helicopter Stops Train From Hitting Car

E Newsletter May 2016 Train Car

A California police helicopter crew helped stop a train from colliding with a car stuck on railroad tracks on April 23 at approximately 10:20 pm. The Riverside Police Department Air Support Unit’s Air-1 was on patrol when a call came in reporting a vehicle had lost control and rolled over. The car had come to a stop on the railroad tracks. The helicopter crew arrived on-scene and noticed a freight train travelling toward the car on the same set of tracks about two miles away.

Officers Steven Quinn and Chris Tavaglione flew ahead of the train and descended into the conductor's field of view. They signaled to the conductor to stop the train with their spotlight. "We came to find out that it was actually closer to the train than we had originally believed, which gave us even less time," Pilot Steven Quinn said.

They then used the spotlight to illuminate the car on the tracks. The train came to a stop about 40 feet from the vehicle. The conductor said he would not have had enough time to stop the two-mile-long train and prevent a potentially fatal collision without the help of the police helicopter crew.



Australian Police Considering Expansion of UAS Program

Australian Police Considering

New South Wales Police in Australia is currently considering a force-wide capability of up to 100 unmanned aircraft systems controlled by 60 trained pilots. The force already has received a $66,000 grant to train seven pilots and buy test systems. Chief Inspector Stefan Kent has said the small unmanned rotorcraft have already started to prove their worth.

Speaking to Informa’s Police Technology Forum, he said the “bang for your buck is impossible to ignore.” He and his team have flown UAS over cliff faces to search for bodies and identify safe paths for rescuers, modeled the impact of simulated explosions in built up areas and mapped criminal routes from the sky. Kent said road accidents represented a particular opportunity to capture comprehensive images of the scene of an incident. Filming live shooter exercises has also highlighted the tactical applications of the machines.

New South Wales Police’s preferred UAS is the DJI Inspire, which records 4K-video and takes 12 megapixel stills. Kent’s team is currently working on a business case to request expanded funding from the NSW Treasury.


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California Man Sentenced to 18 Months for Laser Offense

California Man Sentenced

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced on April 18 that a 26-year-old Bakersfield, CA, resident would spend 18 months in prison for aiming a laser at a Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter. The man pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to tracking and repeatedly striking the law enforcement helicopter with the laser.

The key-activated laser used by the man was a 1-watt laser beam 2,000 times more powerful than what is legally permissible. “This is an egregious case of a laser strike,” U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd said. “The circumstances are inexplicable.” The laser strike caused the pilots to experience flash blindness, glare, blurry vision, eye discomfort, headaches and irritation.



ALEA Hosts Online Group Meeting for UAS OperatorsALEA Online Meeting

ALEA will be hosting anonline meeting for UAS Operators on Monday, May 9, from 1-2 pm EDT (1700 UTC). To receive meeting information and be added to the mailing list for future notices, send an email to


 Man Pointed Laser at HCSO Helicopter 'As a Joke'E Newsletter May 2016 HCSO

A Tampa man is facing charges after investigators say he pointed a laser at a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office helicopter.  Two pilots in a HCSO helicopter saw a dark vehicle with three people who were shining a laser/light device into the helicopter's cockpit.

The pilots sent patrol units to the vehicle, and deputies who arrived saw a black Toyota Corolla parked in the apartment complex.  Investigators say the driver was identified as Ismail Abdullah, 20, and a 6-inch laser pointer was found in the front passenger-side door.  Abdullah was taken into custody.

Investigators say he told them he was the one who was playing with the laser and that he had done so as a joke.  Abdullah was booked into the Orient Road Jail on charges of misuse of a laser lighting device.



ALEA Newsletter3.26.2016 Baldwin


Northeast Region UAS Unit Gains Nationwide Authorization

Northeast Region UASThe Northeast Region Unmanned Aircraft Systems Unit on April 14 received Federal Aviation Administration authorization to conduct UAS operations nationwide. The Northeast Region UAS Unit is the first agency in North Dakota, and one of the first in the nation, to receive nationwide flight authorization. Previously, the unit had FAA authorization to fly within 17 North Dakota Counties and one Minnesota County. FAA refers to the nationwide authorization as a “blanket certificate of authorization.” The blanket certificate will enable the unit to respond to requests for assistance from any public safety agency, regardless of location.

The Northeast Region UAS Unit, coordinated by the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, was established in 2011 and became operational in 2013. The unit consists of members from the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department, Grand Forks Police Department, East Grand Forks Police Department, University of North Dakota Police Department and Cass County Sheriff’s Department. Since 2013, the unit has responded to 27 calls for service, including evidence collection at four homicide scenes, searches for victims and suspects and documentation of disaster scenes. For more information, contact UAS Unit Chief Pilot/Deputy Alan Frazier at (701) 777-2959.

SOURCE: Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department


Enter Air Beat Magazine’s Photo Contest; Win iPad with SMS!

Air Beat Mag Photo Contest

Enter your best photos in Air Beat magazine’s 2016 Photo Contest to win an iPad Air2 and a one-year ARGUS Prism Professional SMS subscription. The iPad Air2 includes 64 GB of memory and the PRISM SMS subscription will be accessible to not only the contest winner, but also the winner’s entire unit from any mobile device or computer. All unit personnel willhave access to the PRISM SMS website to help implement and sustain their SMS, as well as easy-to-use FRATs, GRATS and hazard reporting tools. 

To satisfy the contest requirements, the photographer must be an ALEA member in good standing, and the photos must have a public safety aviation element (aircraft, crew, mission, training, etc.) and include a caption. The contest ends June 15, and entries are being accepted at The more photos you submit, the greater your chances of winning. This grand prize benefits the winner’s entire organization and will significantly enhance safety.

The iPad Air2 and ARGUS subscription will be awarded on July 21 during the General Membership Meeting at ALEA EXPO 2016 in Savannah, GA. The winner is not required to be present. 


Rose Bowl Provides Setting for Police Helicopter Training Rose Bowl

The Pasadena (CA) Police Department Air Operations Section performed its 27th annual disaster response exercise in mid-April on the grounds of the Rose Bowl. The renowned football stadium is a possible staging area for helicopters in the event of a natural disaster.

On April 13, the section and its regional Foothill Air Support Team program performed various exercises in order to “be ready,” according to Lieutenant Michael Ingram, who oversees unit, echoing the theme of the training mission. “Airborne law enforcement is a force multiplier, and our talented crews play a key role in the public safety arena, so it is incumbent upon all of us to be prepared,” he said.

Numerous aircrews from throughout southern California descended on Pasadena for the training, coming from as far away as San Diego County. In all, 25 helicopters from the law enforcement, fire, military, emergency medical services and electronic newsgathering communities participated in the exercise.



BMS Downlink Systems


U.K. Police Force Becomes Nation’s Largest UAS OperatorU.K. Police Force

The Sussex and Surrey Police in the U.K. have acquired four new Aeryon SkyRangers unmanned aircraft systems, growing their fleet of the aircraft to five. The original UAS has been used to support policing operations at Gatwick since March 2014. A police statement said the new UAS would be used to safeguard civilians and assist in crime investigation. The Surrey and Sussex Police have been awarded more than $350,000 to fund the UAS. The addition of the four new aircraft makes the fleet the largest of its kind in the U.K.




University Offers Free Aircraft Accident Investigation Online CourseUniversity Offers Free

In May, Embry-Riddle Worldwide will offer its sixth Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called “Aircraft Accident Investigation” for free. The course runs from May 16 to June 12. Students will learn various aspects of the aircraft accident investigation process, from initial field investigation to publication of the final accident report. Special emphasis will be placed on the study of human factors and survival investigative techniques and the application of accident investigation findings in industry and research. The course also includes critical analysis of selected aircraft accidents and an evaluation of causal factors. Additionally, students can try their hand at data collection using Embry-Riddle's Virtual Crash Laboratory. You can register at

Source: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Canadian Aviation Unit Reaches 10,000th Flight HourCanadian Aviation Unit Reaches

The Durham Regional Police Air Support Unit, which polices one of the five jurisdictions of the Greater Toronto Area, recently recorded its 10,000th flight hour in its Bell 206 JetRanger. Captain Bruce Buck was at the controls when the aircraft reached the landmark on March 29. He was also the pilot when the aircraft made its first flight in December 2003.

Durham Regional Police established its aviation unit in 1999, becoming the first municipal agency in Ontario to benefit from a helicopter. The unit began operations using a leased JetRanger before purchasing its current Bell 206 JetRanger new. Based out of the Oshawa Municipal Airport, the unit covers all 2,500 square kilometers of Durham, making it the largest regional police service in Ontario in terms of geography.



2016 05 Helicopter HTAWS RAD ALT ADS B 2Garmin


ALEA Offers Free Training to Members

Did you KnowDid you know that ALEA offers free training for members? If you are a Individual Member, you can attend one or all of ALEA’s safety seminars each year free of charge. Great classes, a mini-tradeshow highlighting leading products and services, and sponsored networking events…this is a valuable member benefit that you should be taking advantage of. There are three safety seminars scheduled during the second half of 2016 in great locations including Palm Desert, Sault Ste. Marie, and Austin. Information on these and all ALEA events can be found at                                  


Senate Debates Provision Against State UAS LawsSenate Debates

The U.S. Senate is debating legislation aimed at preventing states and cities from adopting UAS laws amid an ongoing battle between the federal government and local lawmakers. Dozens of states have adopted laws on subjects such as banning weapons on remote-controlled aircraft and requiring police to issue a warrant to use drones for surveillance. But FAA contends it alone governs national airspace.

The U.S. Code states the federal government has complete sovereignty over airspace, but Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to limit that sovereignty. “Reckless drone use varies significantly in different states and even within a state, which is why we need to maintain the ability for states to set their own standards of drone operation,” she said. “One in five incidents of reckless drone use nationwide has occurred in California, and densely-populated areas with critical infrastructure like Los Angeles and San Francisco need flexibility to enact rules that address their unique challenges.”



FAA Hosts UAS Symposium; Explains Primary Integration GoalsFAA Hosts UAS

On April 19, 2016, FAA hosted the first day of its 2016 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Symposium. The purpose of the Symposium is to provide a forum for UAS industry and stakeholders to provide input to FAA decision-makers on topics related to UAS integration. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta opened the Symposium by discussing, in part, the agency’s three main goals with respect to UAS integration: (1) safely enabling UAS operations in the National Airspace System (“NAS”); (2) facilitating the integration of future technological advancements; and (3) ensuring that the United States retains a leadership role with respect to the development and operation of UAS. Importantly, he also mentioned that the new small UAS rules might be available by the end of “spring”. Subsequent panels discussed airspace management, aircraft certification, and technological challenges. Read can read Huerta’s speech at

Source: FAA



2015 12 7 FLIRALEAeNewsApril2015


NASA Tests UAS Management SystemNASA Tests UAS

A NASA-developed air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft systems has been developed and was tested for the first time in late April. In the first coordinated test of the system, 24 UAS took to the skies from locations across the U.S.

Called UTM, for unmanned aircraft system traffic management, the platform is intended to allow greater numbers of UAS to fly while avoiding mid-air collisions with piloted aircraft and other unmanned systems. It allows UAS operators to enter a flight plan and request clearance for the flight; the system then checks the plan for conflicts with other planned flights and accepts or rejects it.





Helicopter Crew Saves Marriage ProposalHelicopter Crew Saves

Michael Banks, 27, climbed to 600 feet in early April and proposed to his girlfriend via the Facetime app. She said she’d marry him, but Banks never would have made it down for his engagement if it weren’t for a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

After the proposal, the new fiancé took a different, steeper path down the mountain's eastern face and became stranded on a small ledge. The CHP helicopter was called to the scene, and a rescue technician was lowered via cable to pull Banks to safety. The daredevil Casanova was issued a misdemeanor citation for trespassing and will be billed for the helicopter transport.



Scottish Man Jailed for Shining Laser at Police Helicopter

Scottish Man Jailed

A man who admitted shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter flying over Glasgow was jailed for 14 months beginning in late March. The 31-year-old man targeted the aircraft on Nov. 28 and caused the pilot to take evasive action. He was caught after ground officers were directed to his home in the city's west end.

The man said he accepted his guilt and understood “there is a clear need to punish anyone who commits this serious crime.” His sentence was reduced from 18 to 14 months because he pleaded guilty. The pilot of the targeted helicopter was killed the next day in a crash into a Clutha pub that killed nine people.



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ALEA Welcomes New Members

ALEA would like to welcome the following corporate and individual members who joined during April 2016:


Corporate Members

Aerial Technologies Ltd
AeroBrigham, Inc.
Canadian Helicopters Limited
Draganfly Innovations Inc.
Guardian Mobility
Justice Technology Information Center (formerly NLECTC-National)

ALEA wings high res

Individual Members 

Paul Abshire, Palm Springs (CA) Police Department
Glen Andreasen, Jacksonville (FL) Sheriff's Office
Miguel Armando Avila, Texas Department of Public Safety
Jason Christie, New York State Police
Dennis Cordova, Stanislaus County (CA) Sheriff's Department: Air Support Unit
Russell Cornelison, Fresno (CA) Police Department
John Cunningham, Hawthorne (CA) Police Department
James Daniels, Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy
Gary David, Saskatoon (SK) Police Service
Michael Davis, San Diego County (CA) Sheriff's Department Aerial Support Detail 
Anthony DeMolina, Los Angeles (CA) Police Department Air Support Division
Steven Florio, United States Coast Guard
Maracle Gary, Ontario Provincial Police
Jim Gordon, Stanislaus County (CA) Sheriff's Department Air Support Unit
Larry Hebert, St. Martin Parish (LA) Sheriff's Office
Derrick Hendrickson, United States Coast Guard
Michael Hickman, Fort Wayne (IN) Police Department
Matt Humphrey, Pasco County (FL) Sheriff's Office
Kathy Humphries, New York State Police Aviation Unit
Timothy Kelly, Davis (CA) Police Department (Retired)
Kevin Kemmerling, Tulare County (CA) Sheriff's Department
Casey King, Sarasota County (FL) Sheriff's Office
Micari Lorenzo, Tulare County (CA) Sheriff's Department
Lloyd Mackinnon, Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department Air Support Unit
David McPherson, Washington County (OR) Sheriff's Office
Tim Miller, Washington County (OR) Sheriff's Office
Kenneth Monroe, Michigan State Police Aviation Section
Daniel Muehleck, Washington County (OR) Sheriff's Office
Craig Osmonson, Stanislaus County (CA) Sheriff's Department: Air Support Unit
Willie Pannell, Department of Justice (ICITAP)
Erik Raney, Santa Barbara County (CA) Sheriff's Department Aviation Bureau
Benjamin Rohaly, Columbus (OH) Division of Police Headquarters
Frank Rotella, Niagara County (NY) Sheriffs Office
Simon Shackelford, Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit
Clay Shelton, Texas Department of Public Safety Aircraft Section
Michelle Simoes, Tulare County (CA) Sheriff's Department
Edward M. Stagmiller, Martin County (FL) Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit
Anson Statema, Washington State Patrol Aviation Unit
Brian Sweeney, Portland (OR) Police Bureau
Robert Webb, Saskatoon (SK) Police Service
Wendy Weist, Ontario Provincial Police


ALEA Updates Conference Course and Class Content, Adds New Instructors for ALEA EXPO in Savannah … Register Today!ALEA Updates Conference

This year’s conference features nine courses (Mon-Wed), three of which have been updated with new content and instructors. The 14 subject-specific conference class tracks, conducted Friday and Saturday, consist of 50 classes, 36% of which are brand new. And 11 new instructors make their ALEA EXPO debut!

ALEA EXPO 2016 sets the standard for excellence in the public safety aviation.    Exhibitors will showcase their products and services to the aviation unit decision-makers and end-users, while creating an exceptional learning environment in one central location. Take part in the latest education and training by attending our diverse Conference Courses and Classes, and see the latest technology in our 200-booth exposition. Network with your peers at the vendor-sponsored special events and enjoy the charming city of Savannah.

Advance registration is open through July 10, 2016. If mailing your registration, to receive the advance rate, ALEA must receive the registration form postmarked no later than July 10, 2016, and payment MUST accompany the registration form. After July 10, 2016, all registrations must be handled onsite and will be charged the onsite registration rate. Visit to register now.


Get Your Organization's News Online

Send your press releases, company logos and photos to:

Lisa Wright
Editorial Director

Join Our Mailing List

ALEA's Monthly E-Newsletters are designed to help keep you informed on the very latest information in the airborne law enforcement industry. Our E-Newsletters are distributed by email, as an additional benefit to our membership. To join our mailing list, you must be a member. If you are not a member of ALEA, sign up today!

Advertise in ALEA's E-Newsletter

For rates and availability, contact:

Benay Osborne
Corporate Member Services/Operations Manager
(301) 631-2406 office
(301) 631-2466 fax


ALEA E-Newsletter Staff  
Dan Schwarzbach, Editor
Lisa Wright, Editorial Director
ALEA, Publisher
Benay Osborne, Ad Sales

This newsletter is published monthly by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), a public benefit, non-profit California corporation. The ALEA is comprised of air crew and air support personnel in public safety and others who support, promote, and advance the safe and effective use of aircraft by governmental agencies in support of public safety operations.

© Copyright 2016 by the Airborne Law Enforcement Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this newsletter in whole or in part without written permission from the Editor is prohibited. Product and corporate names mentioned in this newsletter are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA), its Board of Directors, staff or membership; nor shall their publication imply endorsement on the part of ALEA of any content or claims made therein. ALEA disclaims all warranties, express or implied, and makes no judgment regarding the accuracy of posted information. In no event will ALEA be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special or consequential damages resulting from the publication or any subsequent public distribution thereof.

Airborne Law Enforcement Association, Inc.
50 Carroll Creek Way
Suite 260
Frederick, MD 21701
Phone (301) 631-2406
Fax (301) 631-2466



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