Is the circling pattern flown by law enforcement helicopters tracking potential suspects a tactical decision?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

Actually, it takes more effort, energy and concentration to hover a helicopter than to keep it moving. Some more advanced helicopters have auto hover autopilots that may or may not couple to a mounted stabilized camera system.

Here is a great explanation of Translational Lift that is the main factor in the benefit of a helicopter to keep moving instead of stay in a hover:

Why don't helicopters go straight up?

Here are two images showing how airflow acts through a rotor of a helicopter in slow flight and forward flight:

Here is an image of how air moves in a hover:

Here is a video from a Helicopter CFI explaining it a little bit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVL31Ew1YrkThomas Zerbarini

Is the circling pattern flown by law enforcement helicopters tracking potential suspects a tactical decision?

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