Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Taking a ride with the LAPD

Some of us got to take a ride with the LAPD last week. The morning weather wasn't the greatest, but it got better as the day wore on. Our chariot was a Eurocopter AS350 A-Star that picked us up on the ramp at Atlantic Aviation and ferried us to the LAPD downtown heliport.

Our ride awaits

They have a nice moving map display with a little helicopter icon to mark their location. That said, what's wrong with this picture?

I have no idea why this American is parked on the cargo ramp

The southeast corner of LAX: A2 and ICC

Terminals 6 & 7

Delta and United maintenance ramps

Mid-field crossing ~ 1000'. These are the 25s, looking to the east

Wonderful airborne visibility: The ATIS was reporting 4 miles

See if you can find the airplane in this shot!

Destination: LAPD's downtown heliport

Instrument panel of an LAPD helicopter on display. The moving map display on the left has been switched to show the camera in the hose. There's a guy standing right in front of the helicopter - nice knees!

LA County Fire Department

LA County Sheriff Department

This is a brand new Robinson R66, flown by the Fontana PD. Robinson helicopters are built in a factory in Torrance, California; less than ten miles south of LAX. Fontana is about fifty miles east of LAX

MD 500E flown by Pomona PD. Pomona is about thirty miles east of LAX

This is one of four US Coast Guard helicopters based out of LAX; I worked it out on a rescue mission later that same day

Time to go!

This shot was taken an hour or so after the earlier shot of the train station. Notice the much-improved visibility

The visibility may be better, but where's the airport?

Follow that plane!

There's an airport around here somewhere . . .

Not THAT airport!

Another view of the southeast corner of the airfield. In the foreground is the 105-405 interchange
That's the same Southwest that appeared in the air-to-air shot above; you can't outrun the LAPD!


Parting shot. Thanks guys!
We landed on the Atlantic Aviation ramp next to a Delta Airbus that was awaiting its outbound charter passengers

The early-morning visibility was yucky, but the payoff came that evening: Gratuitous sunset photo!


  1. Great photo series! I remember the LAPD heliport was also used for the movie "Blue Thunder" Was this some sort of Open House for the public with all the visiting helicopters from other PDs?

    LA smog is something I don't miss at all! I used to live near the 10-710 interchange. A friend visited a couple times while I lived there. First visit the smog was thick giving that ghostly gray cast that you have captured so well in your photos. Next visit the visibility was much of the things friend asked was "When did those [San Gabriel] mountains get put in?" LOL

    Eugene, Oregon

  2. Old maps.
    1. South runway, No center taxiway.
    2. Was: Hughes Space and Comm, Is: Boeing Space and Comm

  3. Nice series. The map has not been updated to show taxiway H.