Take Two for May 22, 2013

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

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

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

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

The view towards Santa Monic from a shift with the Los Angeles Police Department's helicopter division.

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

An LAPD helicopter flies toward Downtown Los Angeles on December 19, 2012.

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

A police helicopter takes off from the Los Angeles Police Department helipad in Downtown. During the day, there is always one helicopter in the air patrolling the city skies.

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

LAPD helicopter pilot Kevin Cook exits the helipad after a three-hour shift in the skies above Los Angeles.

LAPD Helicopter

Grant Slater/KPCC

LAPD helicopter pilot Kevin Cook watches a colleague come in for a landing at the helicopter division's downtown helipad.


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.


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