COMPETING “EYES IN THE SKY” OVER RURAL SOUTH CAROLINA
A pair of Lake City, S.C. pilots recently faced a decade of hard time for flying a helicopter that’s at the center of a power struggle between two local governments.
Pilots Dusan Fridl and Hemming Hemmingsen flew the contested Bell OH 58-A helicopter on April 6, 2015 – a day before ownership of the aircraft was allegedly transferred from the Lake City police department to the Florence County, S.C. sheriff’s office.
Fridl and Hemmingsen were found not guilty of the charge of “unlawful entry of an aircraft” earlier this week, but the scandal surrounding their “illicit” flight is still reverberating across the law enforcement community in the Pee Dee region of the state.
According to The Florence Morning News – a.k.a. the “Flo-Mo” (or “Slow-Mo”) – the bird was at the center of a heated dispute between the two local governments. In fact a lawyer for the defendants claims the county government pressured the city to turn over the helicopter because Florence County sheriff Kenney Boone “did not like the idea of a competing air unit.”
Obviously all of this is related to the ongoing prosecution of America’s failed “War on Drugs,” which local authorities in South Carolina fight in some cases … but not in others.
Sort of like the state’s maddeningly inconsistent approach toward addressing public corruption.
Anyway, could similar “selective enforcement” be at the heart of this helicopter battle?
“Them saying ‘no competing air unit’ is another way of saying they didn’t want any other eyes in the sky,” a source familiar with the dust-up told us.
All we know is it’s pretty sketchy a pair of pilots were facing a decade behind bars over this allegedly “illegal” flight. Which leads us to believe there’s something more at play here than just a dispute over a helicopter …
If we find out what’s really going down, we’ll be sure to let our readers know …
UPDATE: Sources tell us Fridl and Hemmingsen will be filing a wrongful arrest claim related to this case. The drama continues!
First sign of a Third World State emerging from the ashes of poverty –
get a goddamn fucking helicopter
So they’ze can fly around and checks on the trees.
They’ve got Federale’ copters circling over Irmo now and then, I have no idea why…it appears to be an Apache’ none the less.
They are probably training for some kind of civil breakdown or something stupid along those lines.
This begs the questions, how does one distinguish “civil breakdown” from everyday life in Irmo?
lol, good question
Wasn’t too long ago some guy got busted for growing weed in his backyard in plain sight.
Oh, the horror!
Nah,that was me in 1970…;some things never change
Yep, the next time they raid a meth house, a swat team will emerge from the copter yelling with black shadow under their eyes. Hell, they will probably pull a tank or armored car upon the lawn and aim it at the front door.
I mentioned to someone the other day how one of the things I noticed during my Xmas trip to Toronto, Canada and the surrounding area was virtually zero police presence. Over 9 days I saw a total of three cops-
One in downtown Toronto, a female sitting in a cruiser who looked up and smiled at my kids, & the other two at a fireworks display that had a road blocked off so it could go off without a hitch.
The response I received to this note was “Well, we need cops everywhere here”…to which my response was “Chicken or the egg?”…I got a blank stare in return.
Every time I hear someone say “we need more law enforcement” , my answer is “for what”. 85% of people do the right thing always. That leaves 15% screw ups. Most of them hurt themselves or each other. Other than money collecting , law enforcement just gums up the works. How many times have you been driving along several miles over the limit when everyone sees the cop , slows down and then you have a traffic tie up ? I too have seen that blank stare.
We waste plenty of money with law enforcement. Lexington County spends a lot of money on their dogs, housing of them, dog food, personnel to handle them ,SuVs an? trailers, vets etc. Why can’t a private concern furnish dogs. One centrally located , can be in most locales within an hour and a half. How many times are they needed anyway?
Every time, I pass a school I see an expensive SUV parked outside. Can they not ride in a cheaper vehicle? Why not let the officers report to a central location and let them be taken by vans to their posts? Our elected officials are more interested in building their little fiefdom than they are in saving tax payer money.
That is what power dose to normal people. Once they get it, all they want is more and more. One more reason for term limits.
“Every time, I pass a school I see an expensive SUV parked outside”
lol….I remember the good ole days when the enforcer/ass kicker was the gym teacher…and if he had to kick your ass then you got another ass kicking after getting home.
Heck, I’m not even sure it’s 15% of the population. The US is the world’s leader by far in incarceration per 100,000…it’s not even close, but it’s still only on average around 750 per…meaning far less than 1%.
Was the female officer Andy McNally of Division 15?
I’d actually beg to be handcuffed by her.
No shit, man!!!!
I’d also demand my right to be stripped searched by her on the spot.
That too! I’d convince them I was a biting or spitting risk and suggest they put her underwear on my head as a precaution.
Canadians are too polite to need cops.
“Chicken or the egg?”
The swat team should slide down the ropes air assault style.
The guard flies a training loop that way, they can practice navigating using the roads and river.
Didn’t realize Irmo was such a hot bed of unrest. :)
No argument there.
Ever notice the smaller the town the larger amount of blue lights on their cop cars???
And the bigger the roscoes?
Backup isn’t so close so they need that extra edge in case they wind up in some deep doodoo.
At one little town I worked at, back in the days of revolvers, I carried a 6″ S&W Model 28. It was the same frame as Dirty Harry’s Model 29, but was .357 rather than .44 Magnum. It was a constant annoyance to my chief who said the gun looked like it was wearing me.
Kinda sorta like the 2nd “Dirty Harry” flick with David Soul???
Seems like they sported .357 Pythons…(would love to have one of those…)
I was lucky to buy one of those “reintroduced” Ruger .327 Magnums a few months back, Damn thing is perfect for self defense – not quite the recoil of .357 but more velocity than a .38 Special or.38 P+
You can use 4 different calibers in the thing (.32 Police/.32 long/.32 H&R Magnum & .327 Federal Magnum)—–It’s a keeper fer sure!!!!!!!
I didn’t know Ruger had reintroduced the .327 Magnum. What kind of platform, a SP-101, GP-100, or something else? I always wanted one.
SP-101 and the LCR are both available in .327 Magnum.
Thank You, Quietus! Hmmm, if they don’t steal too much from me for not having 0bama care at tax time, maybe I can afford one.
I like that these guns have 6 shots, rather than the 5 that are typical for this size gun in .38 spl. Now I gotta look and see if S&W offers a similar J-frame offering without the “Hillary Hole”.
Been considering this little fella for the past weeks
Would like to see the face of the asshole who rushes in after hearing two barrels going off thinking I’m empty
That IS an interesting gun, Jim! I don’t know if you’ve seen this yet or not, but Hickok45 has a neat video review of that gun, its features and its idiosyncrasies.
Speaking of Chiappa, for reasons I cannot well articulate, this gun intrigues me. .17 HMR is an interesting cartridge. This gun has no practical defense purpose but if I lived in the country, I would buy one just to plink with.
One advantage would be that even though the bullet is screaming out of the muzzle at 2500 fps, that light bullet would shed velocity fairly quickly, especially in dense brush and foilage, thereby making it less of a hazard at some distance, downrange.
SP-101 & LCR
They reintroduced it last spring (2015)
It always had a niche following. They stopped making it it to make other firearms for all the paranoid schizos but after their appetite was satisfied (for now anyway….) Ruger bought it back by popular demand.
Every time I got a survey from Ruger that was the thing I brought up in the comments block (“bring back the .327”)
I had wanted one myself and figured I’d buy one sooner or later then they stopped making it and I kicked myself in the ass for not getting one. When I learned they were available again, I was able to get a new one – it took me a while but I located one (SP-101 at a fair price at that!)
A “slight” correction: “4 different rounds OF the same caliber”
Not 4 different calibers
sorry for the syntax error………….
I have some friends that are volunteer firemen. We were at work one night and several of us were in the next room as they were looking at used fire trucks on the internet. I thought they were looking at a porn flick, all the oooing and aaahing. We got quite a laugh out of them. LOL
I was reminded by a mentor/freind in his upper 70’s that the whole of Lexington town was once served by volunteer fireman and that someone ponied up for an old army truck that was converted to fight fires(by recollection)…without taxpayer money. That segued into a talk about how at the turn of the century insurance companies footed the bill for fire departments before government thugs moved in and monopolized everything.
“at the turn of the century insurance companies footed the bill for fire departments”
You had to display their placard on a street-facing wall for their fire team to save your building. I have one of the placards (emblems?).
That’s a cool piece of history right there you own.
I actually have to disagree with you on that one. We used to be all volunteer. Too many hours spent in fund raisers to buy essential equipment. Too many people never added a cent to the operation yet expected service. Then the whole thing of fire contracts. I and a friend watched as a persons home was destroyed by a small kitchen fire that the fire dept. let burn because the owner didn’t have a contract. I know the reason but it went against my definition of what is right. We passed a fire tax , added to our property tax and now we have adequate fire service and everyone pays. It would have been better if it had been added to the sales tax , but that was all we could get passed.
“Too many hours spent in fund raisers to buy essential equipment. Too
many people never added a cent to the operation yet expected service.”
You needed a patron, like an insurance company.
They could use it for traffic reports. “Yes Bob, it’s early Monday morning and here’s our traffic report for Florence and Horry County – out near Conway on 378 – there’s – (whomph, whomph, whomph) – there’s a car. A red one. Driving on the road. Back up at the 95/20 merge, there’s five or six of them.(whomph, whomph, whomph) And we’re seeing a lot of traffic backed up near 52 and 95, oh wait, (whomph, whomph, whomph) that’s the McDonald’s drive through.”
They could give the locations of the cops in Timmonsville. LOL
These tin-horn law enforcement agencies would take a squadron of A-10’s or Apaches with full ordinance if they were offered the hardware from Uncle Sugar’s “surplus” military hardware program.
Spartanburg County’s sheriff “Chuckie” Wright would die of a massive erection if he had a squadron of up-armed OH-58’s or Apaches instead of the single surplus OH-6 (as nimble as it is) he presently has in his inventory of aircraft…..
Greenville has one, I built the hangar fit it years ago.
One what??? An OH-6???
I crewed on OH-58’s for a little while back in 1973 at Bragg
I see “Chuckie’s” surplus OH-6 flitting about from time to time. Guys in “Nam” thought there was no finer scout chopper than the OH-6 and I would agree.
During “Chuckie’s” annual “Rolling Thunder” (aka: grab all the confisicated shit you can on I-85 for multiple counties in the Great State of South Carolina),l I’ve seen every military surplus helicopter you can think of (except CH-47’s and Cobras) trolling I-85 from exit 72 to the Sprtanburg/Greenville County line!!!!!
Man the fleet has grown, OH-58, UH-1 and a Cessna 182. http://www.gcso.org/special-teams.php
Shit, they’ve got more aircraft than the SC Highway Patrol!!! (which is think is NONE!!!).
If I remember readiing in the newspaper correctly, the SCHP lost their sole Cessna due to cutbacks under Queen Namrata’s budget cuts years ago………….
The TAG can order up a helicopter for them from the Guard under his authority as the director of the state Emergency Management Division.
So fucking what?????
That don’t do jackshit for traffic control/monitoring/speed enforcement (like most other states use their Cessnas for)
This fucking state is so far behind it is pitiful…………….
I know..,i know…. you’re poor but you’re proud………….right?????
I don’t know that it was a bad decision to get rid of the aviation division and rely on Guard aircraft.
The Guard has several brand new UH-72s that Uncle Sam provided, pays the lion share of the maintenance cost on as well as training the pilots for. Seems like a good idea to me. Not to mention the UH-60 and CH-47s that we also have.
Just about every state’s Army Guard aviation unit has its share of UH-60’s, AH-64’s,OH-58 variants and probably 30% or more have CH-47’s………….Nothing special about that……….
And as you post, “Uncle Sugar” fronts a lot of the bill………….
If “Uncle Sugar” didn’t do that most states would have Huey’s or 2-bladed OH-58’s/Jet Rangers(if they could even afford that….)
Yes, a lot of the state’s have ARNG units with aviation assets but the SCARNG 1/151 is a high priority attack unit (one of three in the US) and as such has more gear on hand, more flight time, more wrench turners, parts etc.
Without a doubt…..
Just like ‘ol Strom got Serkerolina the first F-16’s for Guard units back in the late 80’s………
Say what you want but having some political pull gets some nice toys!!!!!
Aye, and a blessing that was, too! Talk about predatory enforcement !
Probably so but it would be a plus if they could keep the fucking traffic flowing from time to time when the Interstates are choked up on a daily basis…..
Maybe that’s where drones will fill the space…..
that’s what I was posting. You could have saved yourself a few electrons……….
Just for the record, the picture is of an OH-58D – the 1033 Program doesn’t generally sell Hellfire equipped helicopters to local police forces.
We can dream. We can dream. Maybe Lee Bright can work on that.
Speaking of which, I wonder how Leon is making out with his 1033 issues as of late. He got into deep shit with DOD when he traded one or two Sherpa aircraft for something more useful to LE. On top of that, the aircraft company he supposedly traded them to in Chicago reportedly brought a civil suit against him when they had to return the Sherpa(s) to DOD after the trade with TCSD had been made.
A while back, Leon had to return the large tank-like vehicle he dubbed “The Peacemaker”, supposedly because DOD was recalling tracked vehicles, not because he had done anything wrong. I was eating lunch with someone from a department that has 1033 equipment and let them read that article when it was on WIS’s site.
The whole time they werevreading it they were saying, “lies, bullshit, more lies, damn lies, more bullshit”.
For whatever reason, Fitsvdoesn’t seem interested in digging into that one and giving us the “Paul Harvey”, if indeed there is one.
Old Leon ‘Miami Vice’ Lott.
the only narc in the world who’s ‘never smoked pot’ or _____
His large “tank like vehicle” was nothing more than an old ‘Nam era M113 armored personnel carrier.
Hardly a dangerous device and they’re ideal for getting in close to a drug house during a raid when there’s a threat of kinetic energy devices filling the air with Pb or rescuing people during an ice storm (been there done that, got the t-shirt)
Hadn’t heard about the Sherpa’s that’s a nice plane, fun jump and handy as hell when you need to move 4 tons of crap from A to B.
Hi Colonel! Sorry, I didn’t mean to say that it was, although with the borrowed belt-fed .50 cal machine gun that was occasionally mounted on it, it probably could be. :-)
Still, there may be residual questions regarding the reason for its recall.
I’m not sure but I think the .50 was missing the bolt… I know that the department is short a few nuts and bolts…
Can I borrow the t-shirt,just for one night? I’m KIDDING,I think…
Except in the desert. The heat made the Sherpa’s performance decrease by 30-40%.
I know…. we had the Alaska ANG’s Sherpa’s working out of Balad and they could never take the loads they planned on taking so we ended up taking up the slack…fuck,,,, we ended up taking up EVERYONE’s slack!!!!!!
Still would like to have one if i was Bill Gates though (just to haul my car or BMW bike around (gotta be mindful fo the car height however….)
My last jump (ETS jump) was tailgating out of a Caribo onto Merie-Eglise DZ in September 1974
Never heard of anyone jumping Sherpa’s……….but that would have been way after I left active duty anyway…….
They gave the shoes to the army in the late ’80s (and just retired them last year). The best thing about jumping then tailgate is they fly so slow you actually fall a bit before the chute opens when you’re jumping static line. I only used them personally in Afghanistan and they did okay, I think we he’d the loads to under three tons for planning, seems like they maxed out at four and a half.
You fall off the ramp on EVERY aircraft IF you’re “tailgating”……or even out the paratroop door for that matter……
You don’t go straight out
I’ve been on “both sides of the fence”….(jumping it and rigging it)
I can recite the emergency actions for a “hung” trooper off the ramp if you’d like…
I had to do that shit every time I had a tactical check-ride……….
Yeah but I grew up “side dooring” 141s, my first tailgate was a Sherpa. Later I did C-17s and it seemed like the slip stream threw you back instead of letting you fall. The Sherpa was more like a helicopter “jump” where you slip out and fall straight down. It’s a relative feeling, the 141 felt like you were sucked out of the door, the 130 you had to physically jump out of.
I made my 2nd jump at Ft. Benning out of a C-141 in 1972…..
Shitloads of 141 jumps at Bragg 1972-1974…..
I’ve jumped 130,s,141’s ,Hueys, and my last one was tailgating the Caribo in September 1974…..
That’s because such an investigation would require real journalistic training and skills, which Will Folks does not possess. He is nothing more than a two bit hack who is several rungs below those so called reporters at the National Inquirer.
Mostly true. While that is a picture of a Kiowa, the OH-58A/C can–and was– outfitted with weapons rails.
I’ve flown one with a side rail (nothing hanging on the rail at the time). The A/C aircraft were old holdovers now used in flight school (to train the now defunct BCS “basic combat skills” section that Flight School XXI replaced back in 2005).
On a more important matter, though…we should be blasting Will for trying to create extra panic by inserting a picture of a gunship (which is also on its way out the door) instead of the true Alpha model. The two aircraft are not even remotely comparable beyond a quick look.
The A model could only carry a minigun on a fixed forward firing rail though right?
Without doing any addition research, that appears to be correct. As a student pilot, you primarily sat in the right seat (as you look forward out the canopy), and I distinctly remember the few times I flew in one with a mini-gun rail and had to navigate over it while climbing in and out of the cockpit.
I do know an older pilot who claims to have fired 2.75″ rockets from a OH-58A+. He said this happened in Yuma.
Why would you expect anything different from Will? It is well established that he is an unprincipled, morally reprehensible, corrupt, convicted CDV, racist asshole who does not possess one iota of journalistic training.
Morally reprehensible? At least he’s doing something right…
What the hell has that libertard frat boy done right? I guess if blatantly untrue lies and inaccurate information is your thing, then he is going something right.
I can think of several govt. agencies where a Hellfire missile would work gust fine. LOL
“the 1033 Program doesn’t generally sell Hellfire equipped helicopters to local police forces.”
Never know when there will be a need to burn a barn full of Mary-gee-wauner!
Ummmmm…Kemosabe…over in the Pee Dee ummmm…that the same region that gave us Pee Wee Gaskins and Spot Mozingo’s death-for-hire songs?
Why I’m sure no one over there wants to protect their BILLIONS-a-year drug market so Tonto’s sure nothing will…go wrong…go wrong…go wrong !!!
TBG sure hopes that the Santee lakes will prevent any low-skilled, Corrider of Shame refugees from the potential Florence County/Lake City confrontation from flooding into his side of the river…lowering wages, committing crimes, importing diseases and such. TBG will be voting for Trump, as he is the only candidate that will fence off I-95 at the Lake Marion bridge. THANK GOODNESS THE CLYBURN CONNECTER WAS NEVER COMPLETED!!!!!
CLYBURN CONNECTER is dead? What’s going to happen to property values in Rimini and Lone Star? I bought property. I thought it would be boom times in Sparkleberry swamp.
Can I still fish off the 301 bridge or is it all torn down? I promise not to sneak across. This Northerner (north of the Santee) needs to know.
boom times in Sparkleberry swamp.
That would be a great band name!
These law enforcement “kingdoms” are corrupt. Having been in and around them for 40 years I see they they can fly helicopters, drive tank type vehicles and spend zillions every year but the one thing that can’t manage is to provide decent policing for the benefit of ordinary people.
Leon Lott ought to have been in jail for the last 20 years. Instead, he and his cronies have been near or in the middle of every scam in the midlands, getting rich and terrifying anyone that disputes their god-like status.
Got $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to maintain this POS?