Metro Air Unit Has Never Had A Mechanical Failure
By John Auble
January 28, 2010
CLAYTON, MO (KTVI - FOX2now.com) - When police call for a helicopter, the "metro air unit" responds with state-of-the-art crime fighting equipment. But, they also carry the expertise of a man who has developed a national reputation for keeping them flying. Some call him the "wizard of the whirlybirds."
Capt. Kurt Frisz, left, Col. Tim Fitch, Sheriff Tom Neer and Col. Daniel Isom unveil their new crime-fighting and rescue tool.
The St. Louis Metro Air Support Unit has another tool in its crime fighting quiver that also doubles as a search and rescue tool.
The unit bought a 2009 MD500E, made by MD Helicopters Inc., for $1.5 million in grant money through an Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Homeland Security grant, along with the St. Louis Area Regional Response System (STARRS).
Pilot Jim Hilderbrand performs a pre-flight check on a St. Louis County helicopter before flying his shift.
(Rick Graefe photo/Suburban Journals)
Helicopter pilot Jim Hilderbrand is none too happy with the outcome of the evening's events. He openly expressed his feelings as he settled in for a late-night cup of coffee in the ARCH Air Medical Headquarters break room.
What's got the St. Louis County police helicopter pilot so frustrated is that moments earlier, a suspect he was chasing by air apparently had eluded police capture ... for now, anyway.
"We did what we could. You're too hard on yourself, brother," his co-pilot, Korey Kline, reassured him.