The Martin County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) Aviation Unit uses OH-58 U.S. military surplus helicopters to provide air support to a growing county. The MCSO Aviation Unit consists of Chief Pilot and a Tactical Flight Officer (TFO). The TFO is responsible for many valuable functions in the sky such as back up navigation, field observation, communications and camera operations. The Aviation Unit has four other pilots that serve in other capacities and can be called to the flight line as needed.
The sheriff's helicopters have been outfitted with modern infrared technology, radio systems, GPS moving maps and a video downlink system. Our pilots fly with night vision goggles which greatly increase the aviation unit's night time capabilities.
The Aviation Unit supports a variety of local, state and federal agencies. Flight missions include:
Aerial photos of crime scenes for courtroom presentation
Assisting in the location of fleeing felons
Command and control during firefighting operations
Daily back-up for our ground units
Search and rescue
The air units often patrol vast tracks of land in western Martin County that are not easily accessible by ground patrol vehicles. The ability of the Aviation Unit to be the Uniform Patrol Watch Commander's eye in the sky is invaluable for law enforcement ground operations