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assault. Hamilton, today’s pilot in command had obviously conducted operations such as this many times before. He made his approach over the tree line and delivered the team right on tar- get. After six or seven sorties the team had the operation down pat.


ADDED VALUE One aspect which has sometimes gone for-


gotten, or maybe overlooked, is the added capa- bility this Aviation Unit has brought forward since the acquisition of the 407. With the added power and increased gross weight limits, the unit can now conduct long line insertion and extrac- tion of personnel and equipment.


Above: Elmore County Sheriff’s Tactical Team Right: Team members prepare the 407 for longline operations Below: Team members preparing litter Photos: Dana Maxfield


The next segment of today’s training was to


be a long line insertion, into a heavily wooded area, to extract a wounded Sheriff’s Deputy. Again, the members of the Aviation Unit went about removing the bench kit, installing the long line on the cargo hook, and conducting an assortment of safety checks.


One trooper


reached into the baggage compartment and pulled out a two-foot


square red canvas bag,


which he snap-ringed to his harness. Within a few short minutes they were ready


to roll. Hamilton brought the helicopter to a 100’ OGE hover and two members of the unit attached their harnesses to the hook at the end of the line. Now, here is where training and experience truly make the difference. Making a nice slow and steady climb out, Hamilton insured his “load” was safely clear of all obstacles. After a quick trip around the pattern the team was vertically inserted, in a densely wood-


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL 20


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