RCMP police officers in the Atlantic Region have a major crime fighting tool, an AS 350B3 helicopter. It’s a significant improvement over the older models and will be used to respond to policing and organizational needs. It will provide essential air support and assistance to operational personnel by providing surveillance capabilities for investigations, assist in search and rescue operations and transport personnel. The chopper is based in Moncton and serves all four Atlantic Provinces.
Piloting this new crime fighting tool is St. John’s native Cpl. Tom Reid. Cpl. Reid joined the RCMP in Grand Falls/Windsor in 1980 and was stationed in Digby, Nova Scotia. In 1985, he transferred back to Newfoundland and eventually ended up in Harbour Breton. It was there he took an interest in flying after being a passenger on the RCMP Helicopter. He transferred to Gander and on his days off, volunteered to assist the RCMP helicopter that was based out of Gander at that time. In 1994, he decided to become a pilot himself and took leave without pay to get his helicopter license at Universal Helicopters in Goose Bay. He left the Force in 1995 and flew commercially in Ontario and Newfoundland. He also became an instructor. He joined the RCMP again in 1998 and was stationed at Fredericton Air Section in 2003, he transferred to the Atlantic Region Air Section in Moncton and is now a full time helicopter pilot for the Force.