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30 August 2019
30. August 2019 Helicopters

Flying at night over the City of Tech

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes with night vision goggles and camera equipment

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes
with night vision goggles and camera equipment, opening a new world for officers patrolling Silicon Valley鈥檚 southernmost city.

Article: Heather Couthaud -聽Read more in聽Rotor magazine N掳116

Photos: Jonny Caroll

B

uckle up for a quick tour of Silicon Valley and San Jose: three major airports dot the length of the Peninsula 鈥 San Jose, San Francisco, and Moffet Field 鈥 not to mention the ever-busier Palo Alto and San Carlos airports. On the freeways, don鈥檛 be surprised to see self-driving cars emblazoned with adds for apps and start-ups. And while the air space over its major cities is lit by a white glow of light, the region鈥檚 mountain ranges and prized public parks present limitations to night-time visibility.

Policing the vast sprawl that is San Jose, California is challenging at the best of times. 鈥淲e鈥檙e in the middle of a valley,鈥 says Officer Andy Lacayo of the San Jose Police Department. 鈥淲e have a ridge line that we鈥檙e surrounded by. There are public parks nearby. Just last night, there was a missing person in the mountains. If it wasn鈥檛 for the fact that we had night vision goggles, we wouldn鈥檛 have been able to look for this person, because it鈥檚 completely dark.鈥

H125 San Jose Police 2 DTX Media
 / 
H125 22 February 2019

H125 San Jose Police 2

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes with night vision goggles and camera equipment, opening a new world for officers patrolling Silicon Valley鈥檚 southernmost city.

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H125 San Jose Police 3 DTX Media
 / 
H125 22 February 2019

H125 San Jose Police 3

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes with night vision goggles and camera equipment, opening a new world for officers patrolling Silicon Valley鈥檚 southernmost city.

Read more
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H125 flying over San Jose DTX Media
 / 
H125 22 February 2019

H125 flying over San Jose

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes with night vision goggles and camera equipment, opening a new world for officers patrolling Silicon Valley鈥檚 southernmost city.

Read more
  • High Resolution
  • Low Resolution
Back of H125 DTX Media
 / 
H125 22 February 2019

Back of H125

The San Jose Police Department鈥檚 new H125 comes with night vision goggles and camera equipment, opening a new world for officers patrolling Silicon Valley鈥檚 southernmost city.

Read more
  • High Resolution
  • Low Resolution

鈥淎 BIG JUMP FORWARD鈥

The San Jose Police took delivery of a new H125 in July 2018 and with it, a serious increase in the force鈥檚 public safety capabilities. In addition to a night vision-goggle compatible cockpit, the helicopter can handle a load of mission equipment that was less adapted to the department鈥檚 previous H120. In supporting ground patrol units during searches and suspect pursuits, and supporting the fire and sheriff鈥檚 departments, 鈥渇lying the H125 was a big jump forward for what we do,鈥 says Lacayo. 鈥淲e have more equipment: the camera system, the lighting system, police radios. And we hope to help in rescue missions鈥攖hat鈥檚 more weight, but the H125 is capable of expanding to that mission.鈥 Despite the area鈥檚 kilometres of jam-packed freeways 鈥 or perhaps because of it 鈥 the police department鈥檚 air support unit plays a starring role in suspect pursuits. A chat with one of Lacayo鈥檚 fellow officers sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie. 鈥淲e had a shootout with officers,鈥 says Officer Kris Kubasta. 鈥淭he sheriff鈥檚 department tried to stop a stolen car with two suspects. They started shooting at the deputies. We picked up the vehicle just as it started driving the wrong way at speeds of 80 miles per hour on the freeway. We followed until the suspects ditched that vehicle and fled on foot with the shotgun until they came upon a UPS driver. They took him hostage at gunpoint, forced him into the UPS truck, and then fled.鈥 Happy ending: after a hostage standoff, both suspects were taken into custody, and no officers were hurt. 鈥淭he suspects would have been in the wind, had we not been overhead and without the capabilities of the H125, its camera system, and its advanced electronics.鈥

H125 San Jose Police Department

 

We have more equipment: the camera system, the lighting system, police radios. And we hope to help in rescue missions鈥攖hat鈥檚 more weight, but the H125 is capable of expanding to that mission.

- Officer Andy Lacayo of the San Jose Police Department

鈥淎 WHOLE NEW WORLD鈥澛

Whether it be following lawbreakers down neighborhood streets or apprehending criminals (the H125 was integral in finding a bank robber the first day the helicopter was put into operation), its pilots laud the greater mission capability the helicopter provides. 鈥淲e can fly longer, we can fly higher,鈥 says Kubasta. 鈥淭he equipment that it can carry is phenomenal. The space in the cockpit is great, enough to have a larger screen, more room to look around, and visibility. Plus with the night vision cockpit upgrade that we have鈥攚e鈥檙e in a whole new world.鈥

H125 San Jose Police
One of Helitrans鈥 AG真人计划 H125 helicopters delivered with digital logcards. The Norwegian company has become the first H125 operator able to manage the maintenance history of its aircraft components digitally.

Public services

鈥 AG真人计划 Helicopters has accelerated the set-up of new pilot and technician training capabilities in Ukraine. The company will be delivering an H225 Full Flight Simulator (FFS) that will be based in Krementchuk, as well as delivering the first two H125 for pilot training purposes by the end of December 2019.

The multi-mission H125

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