Outside on the nearby tie down area we met up with CHP officers Robert Shannon and Shannon Slover and their aircraft, respectively Cessna T206 and helicopter Airbus (AirStar) H125.
After introductions they briefly outlined some of the CHP Air Division missions, their work roles and some of their experiences. Both men spoke about activities ranging from rescuing stranded hikers, car and individual pursuits, and some medivac operations.
Thereafter it was question and answer time. When asked why they would come out to KSBP when they could be enjoying a Sunday at home they said they always look for the chance to improve their flight proficiency, and because they like to fly.
Both men had early interests about flying and especially if it was as a job, and for the CHP. They added that in order to do that candidates must have a college degree and complete CHP Academy training. There they acquired knowledge of applicable law; undergo weapon and defensive training and other skills for ground patrol duties. After two years as ground patrol officers, candidates can apply for the Air Division. They must have a private pilot license, instrument and commercial ratings and at least 300 hours as pilot in command time. They also must pass FAA and CHP requirements.
Both aircraft generally fly low, about 1000 agl and usually are set up for about a two hour flight, but with full fuel that can be extended. It was mentioned that the helicopter burns 45 gal per hr. Also mentioned were some excessive wind limitations and turbulent flight characteristics.
This reporter because of poor hearing, slow penmanship and windy conditions was unable to fully record the very interesting informative conversation. However, those in attendance were rewarded and well treated.
Following is a little bit about the CHP Office of Air Operations structure, programs and aircraft. Based in Sacramento, the CHP manages the Air Operations Program, which provides a valuable service to the public, to allied agency partners, and to CHP ground patrol units. Its 15 helicopters and 15 airplanes are multi-mission assets, well equipped to work in a number of areas such as search and rescue, advanced life support, and law enforcement. Although these aircrafts are outfitted with specialized equipment such as rescue hoists, medical gear, and cameras the most important assets are the exceptional pilots and flight officers.
Over 150 crewmembers fly out of eight air units located throughout the state. Crew members are trained professionals that begin their careers as patrol officers. Their skills enable them to complete a multitude of missions including rescues, providing advanced life support to injured persons, and managing complex law enforcement occurrences.
Within Air Operations, there is a Chief Helicopter Pilot and Chief Airplane Pilot responsible for establishing pilot eligibility, overseeing pilot training, and annual pilot valuations. They insure that pilots meet FAA and departmental currency and medical requirements. They also assess operational issues, requests for modifications, and developing specifications for and acquiring aircraft and equipment. They are responsible for matters relating to rescue operations, and necessary training programs.
There is an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Coordinator who acts as a liaison between the Department and the Emergency Medical Services Authority. The coordinator also assists Commanders and aerial supervisors with the management of paramedic services and placement of personnel into EMT-P training courses.
Helicopter and Airplane Maintenance Coordinators are responsible for the oversight of the maintenance programs. The Safety Coordinator assumes responsibility for all matters relating to safety. The Chief Flight Officer Coordinator assumes responsibility for all matters relating to flight officers.
The primary aircraft in the CHP fleet are Cessna T206 Stationairs and Airbus (AirStar) H125 helicopters (these formerly known as AS350 Eurocopters). A few Bell helicopters and a Cessna 182 round out the fleet. The Accreditation Program Manager is responsible for the accreditation of the Air Operations Program.
The primary aircraft in the CHP fleet are Cessna T206 Stationairs and Airbus (AirStar) H125 helicopters (these formerly known as AS350 Eurocopters). A few Bell helicopters and a Cessna 182 round out the fleet.
AirStar H125 Specifications: Capacity – 1 pilot, 3- 4 passengers - Powerplant 1 Turbomeca Arriel 2D (845 shp take off power) - Cruise 137 kts - Climb rate 1,773 fpm - Vne 155 kt - Empty wt 2,816 lbs - Useful load 2,409 lbs - Full fuel 143 gal - Max (no reserve) range 336 nm.
Cessna T205H Stationaire Specifications: Capacity 1 pilot, 4-5 passengers – 1 Lycoming TSIO 540 Asia 310 hp - Wing span 36’ - Length 28’3” - Ht 9’4” - Wing area 174 sq ft - Wing loading 25.5 lb/sq ft – Gross wt 3600 lbs – Empty wt 2362 lbs – Useful load 1255 lbs - Payload full fuel 733 lbs - Cruise at 75% 150 kts - Best rate of climb 1050 ft- Vso 54 kt - Take off distance 910ft - Landing 735 ft - Fuel 87 gal - Range at 75% 570 nm - Fuel burn 19 gal/hr - Ceiling 27,000 ft.
The program theme was about airplane annuals with the anticipation that some aircraft owners would relate their pro or con experiences with annual. To preface the discussion the following is a Very Brief Overview about Annual Inspections
According to the FAA, every airplane is required to undergo an annual inspection: "no person may operate an aircraft unless, within the preceding 12 calendar months, it has had an annual inspection and has been approved for return to service by a person authorized by FAR 43.7." Most general aviation aircraft require an annual inspection. Inspection requirements differ with the various uses of aircraft.
Annual Inspection (FAR 91.409) The annual must be completed and properly endorsed by a mechanic with an inspection authorization (IA) within the preceding 12 calendar months.
100-Hour Inspection (FAR 91.409) The 100-hour inspection is required for aircraft: that carries any person (other than a crew member) for hire; or is provided by any person giving flight instruction for hire.The phrase "for hire" refers to the person, not the aircraft.
Items Checked During Inspections (FAR 43) The aircraft's static system, altimeter, and automatic altitude-reporting (Mode C) system must have been inspected and tested in the preceding 24 calendar months before flying IFR in controlled airspace. FAR 43 Appendix E, Altimeter System Test and Inspection, lists the items that must be checked.
Transponders (FAR 91.413) The transponder must be inspected every 24 calendar months. Emergency Locater Transmitter (FAR 91.207) Installed ELT's must be inspected within 12 calendar months after the last inspection for proper installation, battery corrosion, operation of the controls/crash sensor, and sufficient signal strength. While this check is not necessarily required to be accomplished during the annual inspection, that would be a convenient time. For members wanting annual inspection details – search the internet for airplane annual.