VASCAR aircraft IRL

ferius

More arrows please
Beginner User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
393
Location
Seattle area, WA
Today I was slowly crawling in a traffic jam on I-405 in Seattle and my phone started to warn me about a WSP airplane approaching. As I know WSP has only 6 not often used VASCAR-equipped aircraft and that was one of them. The chances of meeting WSP-in-the-sky are very low (at least I haven't seen any of them before) so I was really curious. And since the sky was clear at that time I even managed to see it in the sky with a naked eye and take a couple of pictures!

Turns out, it is really hard to spot that light aircraft in the sky without knowing where to look; I had a bearing from application and was in stop&go traffic, and still didn't notice it immediately; even being less than a mile away which is a 100% kill zone it looks like a tiny dot in the air, not much different from a bird.

Here is a flight track: Unknown Flight ✈ FlightAware

wsp.jpg
 
Last edited:

Delaney

Lifetime RDF Contributor
Beginner User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2018
Messages
176
Reaction score
269
Location
Canada
Apparently it was only up for a short hop when you saw them. It just finished being up for 3 hours. I made a GIF of some of the recent flights. Happy I don't have to deal with that here.


2019-09-07_050206.jpg
 

G37X Jockey

Premium RDF Member
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Behind my Steering Wheel
It's actually surprising how often WSP or other departments do aerial vascar. I get alerts on Plane Finder and can see loops they fly in over particular roads. Probably 5 or 6 times per month. Highway Radar is a fantastic app for this.
 

sdrawkcaB

Defender of Light
Security
Advanced User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2018
Messages
4,105
Reaction score
7,840
Location
Here
@ferius I bet it felt really good to see your own app work as designed in real life. Very cool!
 

PHILBERT

left lane, behind your [email protected]$$ ugly SUV_ MOVE OVER!
Intermediate User
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
286
Reaction score
586
I noticed I-4 in Florida had quite a bit of air patrol. They actually have a dedicated radio system for air patrols and it gets busy at times. Once upon a time it was all "in the clear", but last time I checked it was all "coded" (encrypted). So much for the "Sunshine Law" of "transparency". What a joke!

I like that app. What is it? Does it run on iPhone?

Phil
 

G37X Jockey

Premium RDF Member
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
1,060
Location
Behind my Steering Wheel
I noticed I-4 in Florida had quite a bit of air patrol. They actually have a dedicated radio system for air patrols and it gets busy at times. Once upon a time it was all "in the clear", but last time I checked it was all "coded" (encrypted). So much for the "Sunshine Law" of "transparency". What a joke!

I like that app. What is it? Does it run on iPhone?

Phil
The app is Highway Radar and it only runs on Android. You can always buy a cheap Android and hotspot it to your iPhone. The HR app is worth it, since it also monitors Daze and has adjustable alert settings.
 

Deacon

TXCTG
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
10,052
Reaction score
12,254
Location
Hill Country, TX
Turns out, it is really hard to spot that light aircraft in the sky without knowing where to look
Up until about 15 years ago or so, my dad was a pilot in the DEA. There are all kinds of different planes he flew for different purposes, but it was common for them to fly a little single-engine plane to follow vehicles. It doesn’t seem like anyone ever caught on, ever. No one thinks to look up, and even if they did, it’s a plane flying way up high, not just a couple hundred feet up, and it was often along busy corridors. Even in a little single-engine plane it’s an expensive way to follow someone, but it’s safe and effective.

For local/state police taking money from motorists at gunpoint, it seems like they’d really have to be raking it in to make it worthwhile.
 

ferius

More arrows please
Beginner User
Lifetime Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
393
Location
Seattle area, WA
For local/state police taking money from motorists at gunpoint, it seems like they’d really have to be raking it in to make it worthwhile.
One motor-hour of a piston Cessna costs ~$100-200 if your rent it, so even assuming $500/hour cost (incl. equipment, fuel and pilots pay) only 2 tickets/hour should cover this.
 

Deacon

TXCTG
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2016
Messages
10,052
Reaction score
12,254
Location
Hill Country, TX
One motor-hour of a piston Cessna costs ~$100-200 if your rent it, so even assuming $500/hour cost (incl. equipment, fuel and pilots pay) only 2 tickets/hour should cover this.
They own, maintain, equip, insure, fuel, and store their own aircraft fleet. It’s not the same as just renting some beat up 172. That and the force on the ground running people down means a lot of people and equipment. I’m sure it’s still a profitable scheme, it’s just sad that it operates that way.
 

protias

Retired CM enthusiast / Train Horn Advocate
Advanced User
Premium Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
24,397
Reaction score
12,225
Location
WI
Apparently it was only up for a short hop when you saw them. It just finished being up for 3 hours. I made a GIF of some of the recent flights. Happy I don't have to deal with that here.


View attachment 129882
I really need to do this for WI.
 

CA90

Premium RDF Member
Beginner User
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
165
Reaction score
153
Location
somewhere, over the raiinbow
They own, maintain, equip, insure, fuel, and store their own aircraft fleet. It’s not the same as just renting some beat up 172. That and the force on the ground running people down means a lot of people and equipment. I’m sure it’s still a profitable scheme, it’s just sad that it operates that way.
According to this article it costs $600-1000 an hour and that article is fairly old. I saw somewhere that the old statistic for FL was 30,000 tickets issued by aircraft each year. A FL highway safety infographic (link removed) shows 900,000 speeding tickets issued for speeding in FL in 2014. 3% of tickets seems low for the high cost, but it really depends on how much time it must spend in the air to get those numbers.
 
Last edited:

Discord Server

Latest threads

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
77,522
Messages
1,181,266
Members
19,831
Latest member
imran161
Top