The Metropolitan Police helicopters are aerial observation and communication platforms, providing an often-vital resource to officers across the Metropolitan Police area. Each aircraft is crewed by a pilot and a tactical flight officer (TFO). Between these two members, an effective level of support is provided to police ground units.
The main activities undertaken by the Air Support Unit are:
Suspect searches are the most common request for the unit whenever a suspect has gone into hiding in a particular area.
The presence of the aircraft allows supervisors to manage the pursuit in accordance with national guidelines.
During darkness, all subjects, police, suspects and missing persons appear as a silhouette on the thermal image camera.
The crew down-link live pictures to either the Central Communications Command or to small size mobile receivers.
Pictured Above: Air Support Unit Flight Crew
From left: Sergeant S. Smith; Officer W. Early (Pilot); Officer S. Solomon (Pilot); Officer M. Wingblade (TFO); Officer J. Haskel (TFO): Officer J. McCormick (Pilot); Officer T. Crabb (TFO): Lieutenant W. Farr (Air Support Unit Commander).