Al Marsh

Gyrocopter aids Somerset, Ky., police

March 1, 2013 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

Calidus Right Side Medium SizeThe Somerset Police Department in South Central Kentucky is using a Calidus gyroplane for law enforcement under a program run by the federal Department of Justice to aid smaller law enforcement groups.

Flown by Lt. Shannon Smith, the Calidus has aided in several arrests for drunken driving, drug violations, and outstanding warrants. Shannon is the second law enforcement officer in the United States to become a certified flight instructor specific to gyroplanes for police operations

Calidus Cockpit ODG Medium SizeSomerset authorities launched an aviation program in April 2012 with the cooperation of the Law Enforcement Aviation Technology program, an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice. The aviation program is administered nationally by the Small, Rural, Tribal, Border Regional Center (SRTB-RC) through The Center for Rural Development in Somerset. The program has assigned 17 aircraft to small law enforcement agencies that might not see aviation as a viable option to their police agency. See it fly here.

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4 Responses to “Gyrocopter aids Somerset, Ky., police”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Unfortunately, the article names the Magni M24, but all of the photographs and video present the AutoGyro Calidus http://www.auto-gyro.com/en/Calidus/ which is a completely different make and model of gyrocraft.

    I congratulate law enforcement for using a gyro which is much more cost effective for such an application, though I believe these models of gyros have a seriously hazardous rotor design. They use teetering rotors which permit the fuselage to intersect the plane of rotor rotation with catastrophic result http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_rotor#Limitations_and_hazards

  2. Randolph Palma Says:

    Alton,
    The pictures you are showing in this article are not a Magni M-24. These are pictures of a Calidus built by the German company AutoGyro GMBH. Somerset did have a Magni at one time but they returned it to the leasing company and purchased the Calidus seen in all your photos. If you want a picture of the M-24 let me know. Also since the subject of gyroplanes is probably very foreign for you I would be glad to proof read any future articles on these aircraft for you.
    Fly Safe,
    Randy

  3. Al Marsh Says:

    Thanks, Randy. I’ll make the change.

  4. alden Says:

    Andew said something about teetering rotors you have to have a tail rotor on the gyrocopter m-24 I believer there no rotor to have rotor thrust that causes the boom to intersect the main rotor tip-path plane. what is the fact because I do not fly. I live in the west part of ky. and Tn. is there a contact in this area to learn more about flying Gyrocopters like the M-24 not the 16

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