Law Week Justice Journeys

A day in the life of a Tactical Flight Officer

No day is the same for our staff who participated in the 2016 Justice Journey’s program. Gain an insight into their role and responsibilities within the justice and legal sector and read about their experiences.

Tactical Flight Officers (TFO) aim to create interoperability with all police through effective working relationships and operational awareness.

Tactical Flight Officer starting his day

So, what does that mean?

It is their duty to provide all officers quality service and by using the aircraft as a platform TFO’s are able to assist officers on the ground, from street disturbances to full scale operations.

TFO’s operational role includes:

  • Rapid response to crime
  • Offer real-time intelligence and analysis of tactical environments
  • Patrol hot spots based on intelligence
  • Patrol public order events
  • Patrol roads, waterways, public transport corridors
  • Surveillance of police pursuits/evading vehicles
  • Support specialist police units
  • Search & rescue (not equipped to extract)
  • Disaster relief and assistance
  • Overlay security of critical infrastructure
  • Digitally record incidents
  • Gather evidence

If Polair can assist, they will.

A typical day in the life of a TFO

0800 hours – Commence shift.

Mission prep.

Check emails and intelligence and phone tactical crime squad. Identify any areas, vehicles or persons of interest.

Prepare personal equipment.

Vision googles, check.

Life-jacket, check.

Torch, check.

iPad, check.

Helmet, check.

Tactical Flight Officer commencing his shift

0930 hours – Tasking’s assigned.

Conduct situation awareness, use mission map to identify targets, map routes, and identify any potential hazards.

1030 hours – Briefing with pilot.

Discuss routes, weather forecasts, and potential hazards or restricted airspace. Conduct pre-flight checks of the helo.

Discuss tasking’s for the shift with the Pilot.

1115 hours – Lift off.

Track route, cover suburbs of interest, scanning for persons or vehicles of interest.

Observed and located suspect and vehicle.

Contact ground crew. Provide description of the vehicle, driver, position and direction of travel.

Work with the ground crew until the vehicle is intercepted by police. Once the ground crew have the matter in hand, show is clear, over.

1300 hours – Refuel

Track back to base and refuel.

Tactical Flight Officer refuelling

1400 hours – Lift off.

New tasking, suspect person.

Track route up North, scan area of interest.

Potential suspect located.

Contact ground crew and provide description of the physical characteristics and position of the person of interest.

Work with ground crew and help them to locate the suspect.

Suspect arrested by ground crew, show is clear, over.

Track back to base.

1530 hours – Touch down

Digitally record incidents.

Complete log books, download footage, update reports and unit correspondence.

1600 hours – End of shift.


Tactical Flight Officer ending his day