Police helicopters have always been, are and will be needed – it is beyond doubt. While in Poland they are not used as intensively as in the USA, they still play a very important role in the Police structures and support the performance of many activities that would be impossible without the involvement of aviation.
In Poland, there are 6 sections of the Aviation Police deployed in various Polish cities – including Warsaw, Krakow, Wroclaw or Szczecin. The equipment of these bases are PZL W-3 helicopters, Mil Mi-2, Mi-8, Bell-206 and Bell-412 helicopters. From all bases, a 24-hour duty is performed by section in Warsaw (adapted to fly at night), while the remaining units operate only from sunrise to sunset. During the day mainly Bell-206 is used, and at night the most popular machine is PZL W-3 “Sokół”.
Depending on the situational requirements, helicopters must sometimes fly “on the signal” – like a police car. The start is then with the slogan “GARDA” and the machine is treated as a priority in all zones in Poland (of course including CTR or MATZ) – such flights occur, for example, in the case of urgent searches or chases when there is no time to bypass designated areas .
The Aviation Department of the Headquarters of the Police in Warsaw is equipped with Bell 412, which is mainly used to transport people. Bell 412 is a twin-engine machine that has succeeded the Bell 212 – the main difference is the rotor, which has 4 blades instead of two. The machine presented here is the HP (High Performance) version with an almost completely analog cockpit. This helicopter is characterized by high cruising speed – 122 kts, which makes it a very good solution for transporting people or military or medical applications. There is space for 7 passengers + 2 pilots on board. This machine is certified for flights with one pilot, but there are always two crew members present in the police variant.
This helicopter was incorporated into the police structure after the dissolution of the 36th Special Regiment of Transport Aviation – the machine passed the hard check in the Czech Republic, and now is flying in the Police livery with registration SN-18XP. After inheriting the machine from the 36th SPLT it was not modified – due to the fact that in the army it also served to transport people, no changes had to be made to the structure.
Currently, minor renovation works and light technical inspections of this machine are carried out at Babice airport in Warsaw. In the case of heavier defects or C / D inspections, the machine is sent to the Czech Republic. It is worth adding that sometimes this helicopter is also used for exploration flights when other machines are not available.
Thanks to cooperation with the Police Headquarters, we have carried out Air-to-Air shots with the Bell-412HP helicopter. We did the session over Warsaw flying both over the city and adjacent areas. Cooperation with police pilots was, as usual, perfect.
Our partners during photoshoot were: