CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

The Helicopter Pests Of L.A.’s Skies

We Were Supposed To Love These New Flying Machines. It Worked Out a Little Differently.

The Helicopter Pests of L.A.'s Skies

Sometime in the mid-1980s, while he figured out the week’s patrol schedule, the former chief pilot of the Lakewood Sheriff’s Station helicopter patrol program—begun in 1966 and among the first in the nation—informed me of the perversity of helicopters.

A plane with wings, he said, naturally wants to fly. It’ll glide if the engine fails. A helicopter doesn’t glide. With the engine off and blades spinning in “autorotation,” a helicopter just goes down. “Helicopters don’t naturally want to fly,” the chief pilot said.

That aerodynamic fact might please irate Angelenos. Many wish …

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