A Saskatchewan man who builds industrial-grade, remote-controlled helicopters is finding his inventions are a hit with the RCMP.
For years, Monty Allan, 26, has been building the high-powered, camera-equipped choppers — also known as unmanned aerial vehicles — at his shop on the family farm near Swift Current.
It started as a hobby, but that changed a few years ago when one of his machines was used to help the RCMP search for a missing girl.
"From that call we had the RCMP interest," Allan said. "They saw it and they were like, 'Ooh, we need this.'"
Allen makes a number of different vehicles, which he has been selling in Canada and the U.S. to police and private companies. Some of them go for $10,000 or more.
RCMP Sgt. Dave Domoney, who's been involved in a pilot project using Allan's machines, says it's changing the way police work crash scenes and rescue missions.
"It's absolutely amazing," Domoney said. "I wish we would have had this technology years and years ago.The pictures that we're getting in the air are spectacular."
Right now, 15 remote helicopter-type vehicles are used by the RCMP across the country — 10 of them built by Allan. The RCMP is looking at expanding the fleet.