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Tomball Police Department Takes to the "Open" Skies

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2012
2 pages
This article describes the features of the Auto-Gyro MTO Sport, a two-seat open cockpit gyroplane, as well as the experiences of the Tomball (Texas) Police Department in using it as aerial support for ground operations.

The Auto-Gyro MTO Sport can fly at speeds up to 115 mph or perform a stationary hover. It costs approximately $75,000 and about $50 an hour to fly, using the same type of gasoline as automobiles. It needs minimal room to take off and land, and requires little hangar space. The MTO Sport gyroplane was named among the "Top 30 Law Enforcement Technology Stories of 2011" by "Government Technology," and NIJ-sponsored research found it to have an outstanding safety record, in addition to being affordable to small and rural agencies. The Tomball Police Department (a 60-officer agency) has found many uses for the gyroplane, including aggressive driver patrols, incident patrols, aerial photography, and event support. It is recommended that any small agency that is planning to establish a low-cost aviation project work with a partner that already has a full-time program.

Date Published: May 1, 2012