Jim Hasburgh’s extensive helicopter pilot training at the U.S. Air and Marine Operations’ National Air Training Center coalesced on one cold and rainy winter day near McAllen, Texas five years ago.
AMO’s sister agency, the U.S. Border Patrol, had worked all night in the rain to apprehend a group of undocumented immigrants but couldn’t locate an 8-year-old Central American girl. A helicopter crew consisting of Hasburgh, Border Patrol agent Aron Quintanilla, and an EMT was assigned to look for her.
The crewmembers searched and searched but even with the help of a FLIR thermal camera, they couldn’t locate the child. With visibility conditions nearing AMO minimum requirements, the crew made the call to halt the mission. Then just as Hasburgh banked to the left, Quintanilla spotted the shaking little girl, all covered with mud and soaking wet.
“I remember the girl hugging us both,” Quintanilla recalled. “I just told her, ‘There’s an angel looking after you.’ Even now I get chills thinking about it. I have a lot of experience doing this, and our chances of finding her were maybe five percent…It was a miracle.” [Read More...]
National Air Training Center
US Border Patrol
There are hundreds of law enforcement helicopters operating in the US today and most fly traditional law enforcement missions. Naturally, you might be thinking, what is a traditional mission? Some might think it’s to take off from a dolly, fly little circles, patrol a highway, and then land back on the dolly. Well, in a general sense, if you throw in some pretty cool technology like.......... [Read More...]