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Above: Bad weather operation, Stefan Haupt shortly after a landing on airfield of Dolmar Photo: Stefan Haupt

story of a middle-aged man who went out row- ing on the “Bleilochtalsperre” (Germany’s biggest barrier lake). He was so absorbed in his sport that by the time he decided to return to where he had parked his car at the waterside, it was dark and he was lost on the lake. A hiker was alert- ed by the man´s cries for help, spotted him on the water and informed the police. When the helicopter crew arrived the rower was fully dis- orientated and was paddling in circles in the middle of the lake. After the FLIR operator dis- covered the man´s car at

the shore the pilot

switched on the searchlight and pointed towards the car –guiding the man back to shore. “Our squadron is one of the few police

helicopter units in Germany, which train in coop- eration with the “Bergwacht” (mountain rescue). In addition to practicing winch operations we also train cargo flights with sling loads like the


Bamby Bucket. This particular training really helps us to prepare for difficult situations. An example is a wind energy plant, which stood on fire after being struck by lightning. The fire brigade wasn't able to reach the burning rotor blade, because of the height of the structure. We could extinguish the fire with only two approaches, saving the energy plant from being completely destroyed, thus preventing a costly damage,” Stefan Haupt adds.

When asked if likes his job, Haupt smiles.

“There is no better work than flying,” he answers. Like most boys he dreamed of being a pilot or a police officer when he was young. By combin- ing both professions he is living his dream. During the time of the German Democratic Republic he fulfilled his conscription in the armed forces or “NVA” (National Volks Armee) in a military police unit. After the mandatory service


time, he elected to enlist in the regular police force. Since applicants have to have a completed training in a different profession before signing up for police school, Haupt first trained as a motor mechanic in order to meet the requirements. After passing the basic police training and study- ing at the university from 1993 until 1996, he was chief of the civil task force and worked as regu- lar police officer. By chance Haupt came across an advertise-

ment stating that the police helicopter squadron was searching for new pilots – he made an appli- cation and passed the tests of DLR (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, German Aerospace Center) in the city of Hamburg in northern Germany. After receiving his pilot licence and logging several hundred hours of flight time, he worked as a flight instructor for the German Police as well as for the German Border

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