By Michael YEGHIAYAN
Helicopter enthusiasts gathered at the Hansen Dam Sports Complex on Saturday to take part in the American Heroes Air Show. The helicopter exclusive show featured a variety of aircraft as well as emergency preparedness information and a career fair.
The free admission event was first held at the Santa Monica Airport in 1993 and was designed to demonstrate to the public the role and necessity of helicopters across a number of government agencies. The show is held in cities around the country, including Austin, Las Vegas, Fort Myers and Seattle.
At Hansen Dam, attendees gathered to watch a number of helicopters run airborne exercises and they had the opportunity to inspect a number of aircraft on the ground.
In addition to the helicopters on display, military and public service representatives were present. Public safety personnel provided information on emergency preparedness as well as several demonstrations of search and rescue operations.
Recruitment teams were also on hand as part of a CODE3 career fair, which looked to “profile careers and curriculum in law enforcement, government service, homeland security, emergency preparedness and national defense.”
Among the ground demonstration representatives was a sergeant from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept. who spoke of the importance of helicopters to the department’s operations and was glad the public was given the opportunity to “see their tax dollars at work.”
“The biggest advantage of the helicopters is their ability to support the deputies on the ground,” said Sgt. Jim Sully, who is part of the tactical/emergency unit. “It adds an element of safety and allows us to carry out our missions effectively.”
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. also demonstrated the capabilities of their Air Rescue 5 search and rescue helicopters. Los Angeles County is among the worldwide leaders in search and rescue operations, with several hundred such missions carried out annually.