Public Domain or Copyright Infringement – helicopters on parade (updated)

It seems once again the video of our intrepid deputy taking the taxpayer funded helicopter (N621LS) out under his control has been pulled — this time due to copyright infringement.

I could be wrong, again, as I said before, I’m no lawyer.  But I believe that a video of a deputy on duty and a pilot on duty, flying a helicopter on duty — all funded by tax payer monies — is public domain.

There are plenty of other videos out there of “fly alongs” on the Sheriff’s Star1 (as seen below). It’s not like we don’t know the thing is in the air and carrying people around, it’s been at issue since the Sheriff got the helicopter.  I often wonder how much the taxpayers are set back in maintenance costs for flying Star1 for two days straight during Best in the West and for other more private events.

So why the mad scramble to pull this video?

Could it be because a deputy who is rumored to not have a commercial pilot’s license was shown flying the helicopter with passengers and on duty – a basic no-no according to the NTSB ?  The “I’m just along for the ride” comment should clearly establish who the PIC is on this flight for anyone interested.  Or maybe it’s that one of the videos showed kids in the back of the helicopter when the office policy is no ride-alongs for anyone under 18 (helicopter or car… just saying)? Wonder if either of our “untouchables” will be hand-slapped for violating office policy on that one.  Could it be that the Sheriff’s office is trying to hide that they’re using their helicopter to make a few extra bucks by using it as a commercial trainer and they’re pulling this as a “personnel training matter” making it magically not-so-public?

Whatever the case, the “guy in a helicopter” video just got a lot more suspicious.  I hear that a student acting as PIC with a passenger on board is a serious violation.  Perhaps some one needs to check into whether all people piloting Star1 are properly licensed.  For some people it might be a good thing the NTSB has had to lay off almost all it’s investigators due to the shutdown.  They should be behind for awhile.

ADDED NOTE:  I received a couple messages asking who Mark Sinks is in the first video “Star 1 delivering Mark Sinks to San Jose Giants game on June 7th, 2013.”  Mark is the son of Cupertino Councilman Rod Sinks.”  He is on the helicopter because he found a man lost in the woods.  Don’t you know everyone who finds some one missing in the woods gets a ride on Star1 to be honored at a local baseball game?  No?  Well you’d be right, only Councilmember’s sons appear to get that.  In the interest of political disclosure, Mark is now an intern for the Ro Khanna for Congress campaign.