SCSO Aviation Unit
The Sumter County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit consists of one Army OH-58C helicopter received by the Sheriff through the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Army Surplus Re-utilization Program. The aircraft was received in airworthy condition with histories of excellent maintenance. A small administrative fee of $200.00 was expended by the Sheriffs Office. This type of aircraft if purchased new would be approximately $900,000.00.
Obtaining the helicopter through the military has also qualified us to enroll in the Government 1122 program. This allows us to purchase new aircraft parts at a considerable discount.
The helicopter is on a "ready" basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Typical calls for service include overdue boaters, missing Alzheimer's patients, late or lost hikers, warrants, missing children and wanted suspects.
Each pilot is required to obtain and maintain a FAA Commercial Pilot License at their own expense.
Flight Observers complete an in-house training program that includes aircraft safety, radio communications and aircraft ground handling. Each Flight Observer also completes extensive training on the use of Forward Looking Infra-Red Camera Systems.
With the assistance of Forward Looking Infra-Red Camera and a searchlight, we have the ability to perform and complete missions at night as well as in the daytime.
Our hanger is located behind the Sumter County Sheriff's Office in Bushnell. The entire facility was paid for by drug seized monies. This allows us to have a place to store the aircraft and do complete maintenance on them.