Rain chances possible this week

Police choppers grounded indefinitely

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- There are two helicopters at the Oklahoma City Police Air Support Unit just south of downtown.

Both of them are out of commission right now because of engine trouble.

Both aircraft are more than 10 years old.

The department does do maintenance and repairs on the helicopters but the trouble this time required both engines to be sent out for work.

"We are certainly going to err on the side of caution, not just for our people but for the safety of the people on the ground too," OKC Police MSgt. Gary Knight said. "When you're flying at the altitude the helicopters fly at, it's obviously different than when you're in a car, and you can just coast to the side of the road."

The police department has been without air support for about a week now.

Police do not know how long both aircraft will be grounded.

"We're going to wait until we get the engines back and make sure they are in good order before we fly them," Knight said. "We don't have that eye in the sky that we're used to having but we have officers on the ground, obviously. So we will work without the helicopter until it's safe to work with it." 

There are only two other departments in the state that have air protection, the Tulsa Police Department and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

According to the OHP, both of their choppers are in working order and ready to fly if needed.