KCRW’s ride along in a ‘ghetto bird’

Written by
Photo by davidabailey via flickr

Have you ever been entertaining house guests or relatives from out of town when an LAPD helicopter starts circling above? It’s a quintessential LA experience that can both chill and thrill your out-of-town visitors. (I’ve had Norwegian dinner guests run to the front yard during a meal and stand to watch a low-flying copter for half an hour.)

Want to know WHY your air space is being invaded? Next time your dinner party (or your good night’s sleep) has been disturbed, here’s who to call to find out: LAPD Air Support Division at 213-485-2600

KCRW producer Matt Holzman wanted answers too, but rather than stop at a phone call Matt embedded with Air Support cops from LAPD. That’s how he ended up on the 4-acre helipad that he calls the “nest of the avian species known colorfully as the ghetto bird” and then in the cockpit of an LAPD helicopter high above LA. Hear his piece below. And if all this gets you riled up about the noise pollution, here are your people: Citizens for Quiet Helicopters.