2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8 Reply 1, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1289 times:
Most of the time the helo will stay at about 1000 ft agl. This keeps them away from wires etc...and gives them an overall view of what is going on. One of the great values of a helo in a pursuit is their ability to tell ground units what is coming up, ie...cross traffic at an intersection. I will have to check on the FAA restrictions on altitude, but I think they can use any altitude. Altitude will also depend on the type of A/C they are flying and what equipment it has on board. For night time they may have a Night Sun or FLIR. That flying flashlight can be a very intimidating sight. (But the FLIR is a much better tool at night.)
2912n From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 2013 posts, RR: 8 Reply 2, posted (11 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1257 times:
According to my departments SOP the minimum altitude is 300' agl. However they usually are at 1000-1200. The FAA req is that they "maintain a safe altitude from which they can recover in an emergency situation." Kind of open ended there.