CLT18R
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Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:22 am

I was driving back to CLT from BHM (Wife's family lives there) and noticed some interesting signs on Interstate 20 outside of Birmingham. The first one I saw simply said "Aircraft Used." Huh? I was like...what is this? The highway is used as an emergency landing strip or something?  Smile

I assumed it meant that aircraft were used in traffic enforcement and this was later confirmed when I saw another sign saying pretty much exactly that.

What type of aircraft are used and what type of enforcing duties are they used for? Catching speeders? Do they have radar speed detection equipment on them?

I am just glad I decided to drive at the last minute instead of flying CLT-ATL-BHM. I would not have liked being in an airport last weekend.
 
clewatcher
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:28 am

I dont think they have speed detection equipment on board, they use math.
I read that there are white lines painted on the side of the road, spaced every half mile or mile, if a car goes past them in a certain time, then they may be speeding.
-Raymond
 
SATL382G
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:32 am

It's a fairly common practice, though most folks caught never see the aircraft.
Pilot and/or observer uses a stopwatch to time a vehicles travel between 2 known points on the ground. The points are commonly white lines painted across the shoulder, but could be anything. If they catch someone over the limit they just radio a cruiser on the ground.

A couple of months ago a speeding motorcycle made the news when he was caught at something absurd like 200+ MPH by an aircraft in Minnesota.
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
andz
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:06 am

I have a DVD called "On Any Sunday" and in it there are old newsreel clips of motorcycle related incidents, one is about planes being used to catch speeding motorcycles....the narrator says "the only problem is that the plane must be within 2 feet of the motorcycle..." LOL
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EMBQA
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:09 am

They have been using aircraft around the country for 30+ years to monitor speed. Its very simple math.. 60 MPH is a mile a minute. They just mark off two fixed points and stop watch you. Anything more then the standard number is speeding. I guess to figure you exact speed, they caculate it out...or just use a speed watch. Most states use Cessna 172's or something like that.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
ACAfan
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:12 am

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drerx7
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:19 am

I believe they are using helicopters in Louisiana--a friend of mine got popped by aerial enforcement on the I-10 bridge between Lafayette and Baton Rouge.
Third Coast born, means I'm Texas raised
 
m404
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:49 am

I don't know of a state where this ISN'T done. It's especially common in the wide open spaces of the west. If you keep your eyes open you can see the markings after you see the sign you mentioned.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
lincoln
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:52 am

The CHP in California use a fleet of (primarily) fixed-wing aircraft for enforce the speed limit on many stretches of freeway/highway -- all ID with "Speed Enforced by Aircraft" signs along the way (CalTrans ID R48-2, if you really care, Page 11 of http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/traffops/signtech/mutcdsupp/pdf/CA-Chap2B.pdf)

It's interesting that the markings-on-the-side-of-the-road idea would seem to be illegal in California:

From the California Vehicle Code (CVC)
40801. No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution under this code.

40802. (a) A "speed trap" is either of the following:
(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.


Lincoln


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Tom in NO
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 6:59 am

a friend of mine got popped by aerial enforcement on the I-10 bridge between Lafayette and Baton Rouge.

The Atchafalaya Bridge is a notorious speed trap. The Louisiana State Police love that section of I-10.

Tom at MSY
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SATL382G
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:57 am

Lincoln,

Try reading that again. The cops can't use the markings to arrest or prosecute. Doesn't mean they can't give someone a ticket on that basis.

regards
"There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as being shot at and missed" --Winston Churchill
 
2H4
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 8:30 am

A couple of months ago a speeding motorcycle made the news when he was caught at something absurd like 200+ MPH by an aircraft in Minnesota.


Not that it makes any difference, really, but the 200+ mph speed was positively disproven by a motorcycle magazine a month or two ago. They tested the guy's bike on a dyno, ran performance numbers, etc, and determined that it could only ever achieve ~160 or so downhill with a tailwind. I forget the exact top speed of the bike, but it was significantly less than 200 mph.


2H4
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lincoln
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:24 am

SATL382G -

I could very well be wrong (because, thankfully, I've never gotten a ticket--or even been pulled over so I've never researched it), but it is my understanding that in CA if you choose to contest a ticket it is then "prosecuted" as any other infraction. Thus, assuming I am not incorrect, while a ticket could be issued if the driver chose to contest the ticket, the use of a "speed trap" would be enough to have the ticket dismissed:

Plus there's

40804. (a) In any prosecution under this code upon a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, any officer or other person shall be incompetent as a witness if the testimony is based upon or obtained from or by the maintenance or use of a speed trap.

Lincoln
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xjramper
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 9:36 am

I have seen the chart the Toledo cops used in one of the aircraft they flew...they used times=speed. They then radio down to street cops saying their approximate speed to the cops on the road...and they then radar the speeder from there and pull them over.

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
ordflyer
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:01 am

They then radio down to street cops saying their approximate speed to the cops on the road...and they then radar the speeder from there and pull them over
That's how they do it around here too sometimes on rural Illinois interstates. Its a double check...first from the air then by radar. You can sometimes see a lineup of like 5 or 6 police cars at a rest stop or on-ramp waiting to be radio-ed into action. Best to slow down if you come across this  Big grin
 
HaveBlue
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:21 am

Yeah, we have them down in Florida too, and I can personally attest to them. I've been busted by airplane twice. First time was the SR 524 at I-95 exit in Cocoa on a Labor Day. Second time was at the SR 44 at I-4 exit in Deland on the way to work.

Both times it was an aircraft (Cessna 172) circling one side of the overpass and 4 to 5 State Trooper cars lined up on the on ramp on the other side of the exit. The plane radios down a speed and description of the vehicle (green caravaan, inside lane e.g.) and as you cross the overpass, one of the troopers hops on the interstate behind you. The cop tells you that you have been clocked at such and such a speed by an aircraft.

I've watched them in action a few times other than that, and listened to them on the scanner at least once. Traveling the state for job I've seen them in Niceville (I-10 and SR 85), Tallahasse (I-10 near US 27), the Sarasota causeway on I-75 and the 528 and I-95 exit in Titusville.

Every time I've seen them its been a C 172, usually with State Trooper painted under the wings, one word one each side.

[Edited 2004-12-29 02:26:00]
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United_fan
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 10:49 am

They do it in NY . There are white stripes across the x-way every 1/4 mile . Never actually seen them do it,though.
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Matt D
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:51 am

Is this a great country or what? Using an aircraft, avgas and repairs, a fully trained and paid pilot, an observer, and a unit on the ground to issue that ticket.
 
KYIPpilot
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 11:56 am

When I was at the Dayton Air Show in 2003, the Ohio Highway Patrol had a really cool looking C-182 on display. The sign said they use aircraft to catch speeders on every major highway in Ohio.
"It starts when you're always afraid; You step out of line, the man come and take you away" -Buffalo Springfield
 
10mid
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:19 pm

Once spoke with a CHP pilot and he said speeding enforecment is really low down on their list of things to do.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:22 pm

Some states here use this aircraft (link below) not just for highway patrol but for border, coastal waters and forest patrol also. They say it costs them less than a tenth of what a helicopter would while still being able to do most of the jobs the latter can. Apparently they have been using these since 1990 and have had a great deal of success.

http://www.aeromot.com.br/english/index.php?sessao=aeronaves#200S

Happy New Year!

PPVRA
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Matt D
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:22 pm

Once spoke with a CHP pilot and he said speeding enforecment is really low down on their list of things to do.

You referring to the California Highway Patrol?

If you actually believe that, then I have two 110 story buildings in New York I'd like to sell you.

Don't even TRY to tell me that there isn't a connection between the California "budget crisis" and the meteoric rise in the number of unmarked/low key (meaning no light bar) CHP cars here in the state.
 
alphascan
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Dec 29, 2004 12:30 pm

My first speeding ticket was by aircraft enforcement.

Not very "sporting" if you ask me.
"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
 
fsuwxman
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 12:07 am

Talking from experience, I have been popped for speeding more times then I can count, I can tell you they use a 172 down in Florida.

Places in FL to watch out for aerial patrol...

1. Don Shula Expressway between 88th Street and Killean Parkway exits...
2. I-595 in Fort Lauderdale, closer to the intersection with I-75.
3. I-95 in Brevard
4. SR-44 between DeLand and New Smyrna Beach
5. I-75 in Columbia County (Lake City)
6. I-10 in Baker County
7. I-10 in Columbia County
8. I-10 in Madison County
9. I-10 in Leon County, near US-90
---

This is where I have observed them... I always look up now, and if I see a lower flying aircraft along the interstate, guess what back down to 75 mph for me... I have been ticket free for 2 years now.
ASOS... Another Shi#y Observation Station
 
srbmod
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:06 am

Many agencies use helicopters because of the ability to hover over an area in which to do enforcement. I actually had no idea that many state and county mounties did it until about 10 years ago when I was in court on an ticket for a wreck I was in. The guy in the case before me was trying to contest the method the police use to measure speed from the air. His lawyer was trying to say that the method was flawed and therefore the ticket should be tossed. When that didn't work, they then tried to say that the speedometer on the car wasn't working correctly. I learned a lesson there listening to that case.
 
moman
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 2:16 am

Florida does use C172 aircraft to catch speeders along I-4 east of Tampa. Been flying a few times and heard them on the radio.

I think they look for cars traveling faster than the rest of the pack and then radar them on the ground. They also use math to compute speed. Pretty sure that someone on the ground has to verify the speed.

Moman
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pgh234
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:14 am

A few years ago heading northbound on I-75 just before the interchange with I-4, my dad was nailed by a helicopter. We went over the crest of a small hill and saw cops everywhere and people pulled over on both sides of the road. We thought it was an accident at first but soon enough a state trooper motorcycle came up to our side and signaled us to pull over as well. Musta have been 15 or so state troopers working that stretch. As for the verfication of speed, we never even noticed the helicopter let alone someone on the ground to verfiy our speed before we were pulled over.

pgh234
 
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Jan 05, 2005 6:23 pm

Do the helicopters or planes have flashing lights and sirens on them  Laugh out loud
 
copter808
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Wed Jan 05, 2005 10:01 pm

Some of them have sirens (siren,Public Address,radio external speaker) but I know of none with any flashing lights other than normal aircraft lighting.

Often they will also be equipped with search/spot lights.
 
fsuwxman
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Jan 06, 2005 12:35 am

Funny thing... After I replied to this post last week, I went walking over to Flightline here in TLH, and lo and behold, there was the trooper, getting the 172 fueled up ready to go ruin someone's day  Big grin
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transPac
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:04 am

Seems this is becoming fairly common. They do it up here in Washington as well. I was busted by an airplane about 4 years ago on I-5 between Portland and Olympia. Trooper came screaming up behind me and after I was pulled over she told me I was tagged by an airplane. What an abuse of aviation!
 
cainanuk
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Jan 06, 2005 3:50 am

A couple of months ago a speeding motorcycle made the news when he was caught at something absurd like 200+ MPH by an aircraft in Minnesota.


Not that it makes any difference, really, but the 200+ mph speed was positively disproven by a motorcycle magazine a month or two ago. They tested the guy's bike on a dyno, ran performance numbers, etc, and determined that it could only ever achieve ~160 or so downhill with a tailwind. I forget the exact top speed of the bike, but it was significantly less than 200 mph.


2H4








There's the ticket mate. Regardless, He was going wickedly fast!
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toltommy
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RE: Aircraft Used To Catch Speeders In Alabama?

Thu Jan 06, 2005 4:36 am

XJRamper -

TOL Police usually run the sting on 75 between Ottawa River Road and the MI Line. Usually you can see the little Cessna making counter-clockwise circles. TPD puts cruisers on the NB ramp from Alexis, or the SB ramp from Ottawa River Rd. Those of us that drive it daily know what to look for, I love watching the look on the faces of the unsuspecting as the cruiser paces them down the ramp, and slides in behind to pull em over....