January 30, 2018 10:40 PM
Inside a hangar at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, U.S. Homeland Security stores the Black Hawk helicopters that will protect airspace during the Super Bowl game on Sunday.
The massive four-blade, twin-engine helicopters have a four-person crew of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents from Air and Marine Operations.
"It's a great, tough, powerful aircraft and it's made for the mission," said Air Interdiction Agent Michael Fuller
Fuller is based on the southern border of the U.S.
"Normally we're tracking down bad guys, drug smugglers, human smugglers," Fuller said. "This gives us an opportunity to provide safety and security to people who want to watch the game."
During the Super Bowl, three Black Hawks will patrol the air around the Twin Cities, joined by other agents flying smaller A-Star choppers.
If an aircraft crosses into restricted airspace around the game, the air intercept units will go into action.
"We'd approach the aircraft," Fuller said. "We'll escort the aircraft out and away, talk to them and find out what's going on."
It won't take the Black Hawks long to catchup to an unauthorized aircraft, since the helicopters can quickly hit speeds upwards of 150 mph.
The Air and Marine Operations agents will also assist law enforcement on the ground if they need to respond to anything suspicious near the stadium.
Updated: January 30, 2018 10:40 PM
Created: January 30, 2018 08:38 PM
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