Chopper is part of operation summerThe chopper belongs to the Central Helicopter Service and has been sent to the island for the summer. It is a BO-105 made by Bolko in Germany, and has a crew of two police pilots with a back up mechanic on the ground, who is in charge of maintenance and repairs. The chopper can stay in the air for around three hours. The two pilots take it in turns at the controls, and their missions are dictated daily by police headquarters. The pilots are in constant contact with ground patrols. One of their main missions is to control the city beaches. For example, if they spot a tourist who has floated too far out to sea on a pedalo or a lilo and has difficulty getting back, they raise the alarm and a rescue patrol is sent out. Another of their missions is to be on the look-out for forest fires and if they spot smoke, they not only raise the alert but also look to see if there are any suspects who may have started it. The helicopter unit is also in charge of providing protection for visiting VIPs but above all its main concern is public order in Palma itself. It is no easy task. The helicopter is difficult to handle in high winds, and the pilots must remain on the alert all the time to spot any incidents which may occur in the city streets.
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