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Flight Design Makes CT Law Enforcement Light-Sport Aircraft


On August 24, 2011, Sergeant David Williams (captain, retired) of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department in California traveled to Flight Design USA headquarters in Woodstock, Connecticut, to pick up the new CTLE. He and Lieutenant Marsh Carter accepted the keys from Flight Design USA President Tom Peghiny and flew the plane back to California. The CTLE features a gimbal-mounted camera on a pod under the wing that transmits to a screen inside the cockpit. The interior has a special keyboard to control the dedicated equipment and video recorder.

Working with Flight Design’s largest distributor, Air Time of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Roger Crow of Echo Flight Resources installed the Cloud Cap Technology TASE 200 gimbal camera unit on the CTLS’s right wing. Once the equipment was added, the CTLS model was dubbed CTLE, with “LE” standing for “Law Enforcement.” Flight Design now has a specially prepared law enforcement aircraft with specific camera-mounting hard points, an extra alternator, and other extras like high-intensity lights and police radios.

“The Tulare County Sheriff’s Department will be the first agency in the U.S. to put a light-sport aircraft into full-time service in support of patrol, just as many agencies do with a helicopter,” said Williams. The CTLE can slow down to about 50 mph, allowing it to circle and conduct aerial searches for suspects on the ground similar to a helicopter. Pilots of patrol aircraft must go beyond the standard sport pilot certificate because a commercial rating is required to fly for hire.
A Flight Design CTLE burning 4 to 5 gallons/hour will be much more economical to operate than a helicopter requiring 20 to 30 gallons/hour. The initial purchase cost and the maintenance will also be much less. Flying at 130 mph it can deploy faster than a helicopter, it has a lower noise profile, and thanks to the economical fuel burn, it has a longer endurance.

Flight Design is a 24-year-old manufacturer based in Germany. More than 1,700 CT aircraft are flying in 39 countries. For more information, go to http://FlightDesignUSA.com or contact John Gilmore, national sales manager of Flight Design USA, at 612-759-2252 (e-mail: jgilmore@flightdesignusa.com). Also you can contact Flight Design USA in Connecticut at 860-963-7272.


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