Nice gesture from New Mexico State Police here, even if it does coincide with a change in call signs for the department’s entire airborne fleet.
This from an email Tuesday morning from DPS spokesman Tony Lynn:
Effective today the New Mexico State Police Helicopter will now be identified as ABLE-6. The call sign is being changed so that the previous call sign, N606SP, can be retired to honor fallen helicopter pilot, Sergeant Andy Tingwall.
Sgt. Tingwall was on a Search and Rescue mission in June 2009 near the Santa Fe Ski Basin when the tail rotor of his State Police helicopter struck the mountain side causing a rapid decent and subsequent crash killing Sgt. Tingwall and Megumi Yamamoto, a stranded hiker he was trying to rescue from the mountain.
ABLE will now recognize all the State Police rotary wing aircraft. ABLE is an acronym for AirBorne Law Enforcement.
Here is just one of the many articles posted on The New Mexican website following the 2009 crash: