The Michigan State Police Aviation Unit provides essential aviation support to all Michigan law enforcement agencies and to the citizen community at large in such areas as:
- Search and Rescue
- Traffic Enforcement
- Traffic Control
- Aerial Observation
- Border Surveillance
- Inland Search and Rescue
- Investigative and Administrative Flights
- HEMP Flights
- Thermal Imagery
- Suspect/Evidence Transports
This is accomplished with a fleet of three aircraft--two helicopters and one fixed wing aircraft. The fixed wing aircraft is a four-place Cessna 182. The rotary wing aircraft are comprised of one six-place Bell LongRanger III and one eight-place Bell 430. The unit also rents additional aircraft from the Bureau of Aeronautics as needed for public safety.
The Michigan State Police also work closely with the Michigan National Guard and the United States Coast Guard air stations.
The Chief Pilot is Lt. Patrick Lawrence, and the Unit Pilots are Sgt. David Halliday and Sgt. Jerry King. Mr. Chris Bennett is the supervising airframe and power plant mechanic. He is assisted by A&P mechanic Mr. Gary Kutz. The Aviation Unit, located at Lansing's Capital City Airport, can be contacted at (517) 335-9900.
Pictured is HELO 2. This 1990 Bell LongRanger III is equipped with a 30 million-candle power NiteSun searchlight and Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) detection device. This helicopter and its pilots have been credited with saving the lives of lost and disoriented citizens and assisting in the arrests of numerous criminals.