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Aviation Unit

Location:

Administrative Office:
7411 Airfield Drive
Richmond, VA  23237-2250

Unit Commander:  Lt. H. Jay Cullen

Fax: 804-743-2235
Phone: 804-743-2228
E-mail: Aviation@vsp.virginia.gov

The State Police Aviation Unit was formed on January 1, 1984, to provide for the administration and coordination of the department’s aviation resources. The Unit’s primary mission is to provide aircraft for search, rescue, law enforcement and medical evacuation. During its 26 year existence, the Aviation Unit has recorded 98,695 flight hours responding to 70,455 flight requests.

The unit utilizes three bases located in the following Virginia localities:

The Unit’s primary mission is to provide aircraft for:

Between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010, the Aviation Unit flew 2,407 hours responding to 2,519 flight requests.

Medical Evacuation

The Department operates three helicopter medical evacuation programs that serve Central and Southwest Virginia. These programs provide rapid response, advanced medical procedures, and transport for critically injured patients to level one trauma centers. Combined, these programs serve 43 hospitals and the citizens residing in 59 counties and 34 cities.

Med-Flight I began operations on April 1, 1984, and responds to calls for assistance in a 60 mile radius of Richmond.

Med-Flight II began operations on January 1, 1987 and responds to calls for assistance in a 60 mile radius of Abingdon.

Med-Flight III began operations on September 1, 2000, and responds to calls for assistance predominately along the Lynchburg-Route 29 corridor to Danville and in a 60 mile radius of Lynchburg.  Effective April 30, 2010 the Med-Flight III program closed, it is now used only for law enforcement operations.

In 2010, all three programs responded to a total of 2,519 requests with 876 patients transported.  From April 1, 1984 to December 31, 2010, the Med-Flight programs have responded to 28,872 calls and transported 17,223 patients.

Search and Rescue

Utilizing a Forward Looking Infra-Red system on one helicopter and a 30 million candlepower searchlight on the other helicopters, the Unit has been successful in locating fugitives, missing persons, and lost children.  

During 2010, the Aviation Unit responded to 531 requests for searches for escapees, missing persons, criminals, and stolen property.

Surveillance

The Aviation Unit also utilizes aircraft to conduct surveillances, and in 2010 received the following requests:

As a result, 2,531 marijuana plants were located at a value of $2,500,000.

Other Law Enforcement Duties

The Aviation Unit provides aerial support to any Federal, State, or municipal agency whereby the solution of a police problem or mission may be obtained.

During 2010, the Unit provided aerial support to 34 requests from agencies external to the Department of State Police. These flights included photographing crime scenes, providing support for presidential motorcades, participating in multi-agency task force efforts, and demonstrations of the capabilities of the Aviation Unit’s aircraft.