Monday, June 25, 2007

Heat and Helos at Hansen Dam!

So I was waiting on this post to see what, if any, photos would pop up on the Internets from Saturday's "American Heroes Airshow" out at the Hansen Dam Recreation Area in the deep San Fernando Valley. Despite my fairly cursory search, I was unable to find any good pics, though I saw at least five or six credentialed photogs out there in the 88 degree heat with their telephotos. The best I can do is link to this from 2006's show taken by some guy (please ignore the many random pictures of dudes, and also note the hardware was slightly different this year, with less heavy military presence).

****I found the one above on the LAFD Blog's Flickr site from this year's show****

This was the first time I've made the trek out to Hansen to see the show (I meant to go last year, but probably overslept and didn't feel like making the 45 minute schlep). Got out there around 11:30 a.m., and just parking in the lot brought back fond/painful memories of many hot summer days more than a decade ago at air shows in places like MCAS El Toro (deactivated), NAS Miramar (now a Marine Corps air base), Pt. Mugu NAS and out at Edwards AFB.

I trudged from my car past the hot dog/churros booth and past a ton of static displays that were part of the "CODE 3 Recruiting Fair". Lot's of helos on static display.


--LACoFD Copter 15 (video), one of the big bad-ass "Firehawks"--a converted Blackhawk.

--USCG HH-65 Dolphin helo out of USCG Air Station L.A. (based at LAX) and an HH-60 Jayhawk out of Sector San Diego.

--The FBI brought quite a presence to the show and career fair! The coolest helo on display was the Bureau's Bell JetRanger SWAT ops model. It's sick JetRanger with an all glass-cockpit in a gunmetal gray profile with a blue stripe. Based out of Pt. Mugu, it's the FBI's sole (allegedly) rotary-wing asset used for HRT, SWAT and (obviously) surveillance duty. There was nothing overtly cool about the bird, but it was so sleek and speedy looking that you know it totally kicks ass in the air.
Meantime, the FBI's static displays were pretty damn impressive, especially give how hard it is to get hired by the FBI (I, for instance, smoked a bit too much dope during my college years and slightly beyond to ever even bother applying for the august agency). Besides the bomb squad, dive team, evidence techs and SWAT team, the Feebies brought along their ridiculous one-year-old Mobile Command Center, which they keep down at the Federal Building in Westwood. Once inside, it's a mess of flat screen TVs, computers, printers and other gadgets...pretty goddamned cool.
All in all, a nice day of public safety porn.
photo: Chester Brown

No comments: