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What's it like to fly on an LAPD helicopter patrol?




Tactical officer Greg MacDonald points his pilot Kevin Cook toward a spot to check as calls come in from LAPD dispatch.
Tactical officer Greg MacDonald points his pilot Kevin Cook toward a spot to check as calls come in from LAPD dispatch.
Grant Slater/KPCC

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At the end of the month, the FAA will propose new rules designed to reduce helicopter noise over Southern California , but don't expect it to go away entirely. The rules won't apply to medical or police choppers.

The nation’s largest police helicopter fleet lives  in downtown Los Angeles. The L.A. Police Department owns and operates 17 helicopters that cover  nearly 500 square miles of the city, from the San Fernando Valley to San Pedro.

Most of them launch and land around the clock from the police department’s spacious helipad, located just west of the Los Angeles River.  

In the first of three reports, KPCC's Erika goes airborne on patrol.