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About Air-1

The Air-1 Aviation Program provides multi-agency support throughout Onondaga County.

For Law Enforcement
Aerial Surveillance
Investigation Support
Aerial Incident Command
Infrared Visual cameras to locate individuals/vehicles

For Fire Departments
Scene Illumination
Wildland Firefighting
Hot spot location with infrared
Rescue services on land & water
Transport personnel to inaccesible locations

For EMS Agencies
Medivac to the regional trauma center
Physician/surgeon response to incident scenes

For Search & Rescue
Locating & rescuing victims

For Homeland Security
Patrol area infrastructure
Special event availibility


Air-1 History

Video-Air-1 Past & Present


The Onondaga County Sheriff's Aviation Unit started in 1975 and was known as the Air Stop Program. The first helicopter used was a 2 person Hiller. The HIller flew at an air speed of 75 mph. There was little, usable payload with this helicopter. It was equipped with three clustered landing lights, police and fire radios and a 100 watt PA/siren system.

pic-1st air 1 helicopter-Hiller
Hiller  OH23D- N663

In 1980 the Air Stop Program was re-named the Air-1 Program. The Hiller was replaced with a Bell 206 helicopter. This ship had a 5 passenger capcity and an air speed of 125 mph. The Bell 206 was configured for medivacs and was equipped with a stretcher, medical telemetry which was connected to area hospitals, O2 & suction systems, an EKG and defibrilator. It had a fuel extender for longer range flight, a Night Sun flood light, FLIR (infra-red), flotation gear for water rescues, Billy Pugh rescue net & ring, radio system for all public safety agencies and a 200 watt PA/siren system.

2nd Air-1 helicopter-Bell 206
Bell 206 - N213SD

In 1999, the Bell 206 was replaced with the Sheriffs Department's current Air-1 helicopter, the Bell 407. This ship boasts a bigger engine, 4 rotor blades and can fly at a top air speed of 162 mph. It can seat 7 adults and is equipped for medivacs. The Bell 407 has a 3 hour/300 mile flight range and has a larger payload capacity than the ships that came before it. Additionally, it is equipped with a 30 million candle power Night Sun, the newest FLIR which is synced with the Night Sun, flotation gear, Billy Pugh rescue net & ring, a repelling hook for SWAT placement, Bambi Bucket for fire suppression, Project Life Saver equipment, video recording & downlink capabilities, a complete communications system that can access all frequencies and a 200 watt PA/siren system.

pic-current Air-1 helocopter-Bell 407
Bell 407 - N407SD