Onboard Systems Helps Public Safety
Aviators Lift with Confidence

Go to Airbeat Magazine's profile about Onboard Systems

Onboard Systems was profiled in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Air Beat magazine, which is the journal of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association (ALEA). Air Beat is dedicated to airborne law enforcement. To find out more about ALEA membership, please visit their website.

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Onboard Systems has developed certified cargo hook systems for most of the aircraft models used by law enforcement agencies, including the MD 500, Bell 407, Robinson R44 and Eurocopter AS 350, among others. The company has a history of manufacturing a complete line of innovative external load equipment for helicopters under its TALON brand, including belly hooks, remote hooks, carousels, electric swivels, Onboard Weighing Systems and more.

Adding external load equipment has enabled many law enforcement organizations to increase the versatility of their helicopters by equipping them to perform a wide variety of missions, including firefighting assistance, marijuana extraction, animal rescue, search and rescue support, and equipment transport (ATVs, snowmobiles, boats, recovery gear, etc.).

Onboard's products are designed and manufactured in the U.S. using corrosion resistant materials that are optimized for weight, strength and increased safety margins. In 2001, Onboard introduced the keeperless cargo hook, which is now considered to be one of the safest cargo hook designs available. The keeperless hook design can safely handle a wide variety of load ring sizes and styles while helping eliminate the possibility of losing a load that inadvertently gets past the keeper. The U.S. Forest Service now requires keeperless hooks for many contracts.

Onboard cargo hooks are designed to release 2.5 times the rated load to give pilots a significant margin of safety in an emergency situation. In addition, many cargo hook kits include built-in travel limits and/or polymer bumper rings to keep the hook from striking the airframe and relieve strain on the control cables that could lead to an inadvertent release. Most recently, Onboard has begun adding a lock indicator window on the back of its hooks to provide groundcrew personnel with an easy visual signal that the hook is locked.

Many law enforcement organizations with air support divisions rely on cargo hook equipment from Onboard Systems to conduct mission-critical operations such as fire suppression. Because water is heavy, many agencies choose to add an Onboard Weighing System to their aircraft so the pilot always knows the exact weight being lifted. These systems integrate seamlessly with a variety of Onboard Systems cargo hook kits, as well as most popular utility helicopters utilizing existing hooks.

For drug enforcement activities such as marijuana extraction, Onboard Systems manufactures remote cargo hook equipment. Onboard's remote cargo hooks have a durable, high-visibility finish that makes them easy to spot from the ground—even in densely forested areas or rugged terrain. They are built tough for low maintenance and include rugged cages to protect them from above and below.

Onboard's electric swivels are designed to connect directly to the remote hook and longline without additional shackles or load rings and provide a continuous electrical connection between the cockpit release and remote cargo hook. This allows the cargo hook to spin and accommodate external load movement without the longline curling or tangling. The electrical cables on the swivels are wrapped with stainless steel braid with reinforced strain relief for long life.

Onboard carries a full range of cargo nets, long-lines, shackles and other remote helicopter equipment that can be dropshipped to the field.

Onboard's cargo hook kits can be installed on new or existing aircraft using standard hand tools, but what many customers value most is the ease of maintenance and relative low cost of service. Onboard's cargo hooks can be overhauled in the field, at the factory or by a qualified repair facility using simple hand tools, and quick parts availability minimizes downtime.

This corporate profile was featured in the November/December 2013 issue of Air Beat magazine.
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