When people think of the NYPD Aviation Unit, they probably picture pilots wearing aviator sunglasses, walking in slow-motion out to the helicopters with the theme of Top Gun playing in the background. While this is true, sometimes, what most people don't know is that the Aviation Unit is also made up of highly skilled mechanics, who's job it is to keep the NYPD's fleet of helicopters running smoothly. This elite group of cops and detectives come from various military and civilian, aviation mechanic backgrounds. Not only do they keep the helicopters in the air, they also cycle through the Air Sea Rescue crew as "Crew Chiefs" (or "System Operators" as they're now called) who's job is to deploy and recover the SCUBA divers and run ESU rappelling operations while constantly relaying commands to the pilots. It always amazes me when there's a helicopter in the hangar stripped to pieces one week and the next week it's back in the air flying. Unfortunately their work rarely gets noticed by the public (or even most cops) but they definitely deserve to be recognized. Here are a few photos I shot of the mechanics re-installing an engine on one of the units Bell 412 helicopters.
I love exploring the city. One of my favorite places to go to is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The views of Manhattan and the East River are spectacular and it's even more special when you have the love of your life by your side. The weather was perfect today. The sun was shining and the temperature was pleasantly warm for mid April. Before heading to the promenade, we grabbed a bite to eat at Heights Cafe (corner of Hicks St. and Montage St.). Our order came out wrong….twice. Seriously though, how do you mess up a hamburger? Either way, the atmosphere was good so we made the best of it. The promenade was busy with people enjoying a beautiful Saturday, either sprawled out on the park benches soaking up the sun or enjoying the views of the city. It wasn't overcrowded though which was nice. Of course I brought my camera along and I snapped a bunch of photos of my beautiful (but very camera shy) girlfriend...sorry sweetheart ;-)
The NYPD's elite SCUBA Team is a 24/7/365 dive team who's job description varies from underwater evidence recoveries to Air Sea Rescue operations. Every few weeks the SCUBA Team (who works alongside the NYPD Aviation Unit) keep their skills sharp by running mock rescues. These exercises include; deploying from one of their (three) Bell412 helicopters, securing a rescue mannequin and being hoisted back into the helicopter. After deploying out of the helicopter, the divers secure the rescue mannequin and signal the Crew Chief (who oversees and executes the deployment and recovery operation) for the rescue basket. The divers place the mannequin inside of the rescue basket and signal the Crew Chief that it is safe to hoist back up. When the mannequin is secured inside of the helicopter, the Crew Chief sends the hoist back down to the divers and retrieves both divers one by one.
The NYPD SCUBA Team is on constant stand-by to help keep the waterways around NYC safe. Please practice safety while boating and swimming and always remember that the ocean is an unforgiving place. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance, the SCUBA Team is just minutes away.