The Houston Police Department officially honored fallen Fox Tactical Flight Officer Jason Knox (EOW: May 2, 2020) with the dedication of the department’s newest helicopter, an Airbus H125 which the command staff believes will be better suited for the tricky tasks often performed by the helicopter fleet.
HPOU President Doug Griffith was among those present. “I’m extremely impressed with the helicopter and I think it’s fitting that Jason be honored in this way.
“He loved to fly, he loved the department and truly cared about the history of the organization.”
The $7.5 million chopper was designated with the tail number N2374F, the number portion being Knox’ badge number. The beloved Fox officer was widely recognized for his restoration projects involving vintage HPD patrol cars. He died in the line of duty when a helicopter piloted by Officer Chase Cormier crashed into an apartment clubhouse after spinning out of control. Cormier survived but retired for medical reasons.
The very moving dedication ceremony at HPD’s Hobby Airport facilities saw Keira Knox, Knox’s wife, and his father, City Councilman Mike Knox, a retired HPD officer, join Chief Art Acevedo and Fox crew members for the ceremony.
The Airbus, funded by a Department of Public Safety grant, was already in its development4 stages at the time of Knox’s death. The officer’s memorial ceremony was one of the most moving in recent history. It featured a video of his HPD interview of why he wanted to become a police officer. Piloting a Fox helicopter was a life-long ambition.
The new machine sports an Houston Oilers blue stripe in recognition of Knox’s restoration of a color used on an earlier version of HPD patrol cars.
Acevedo and Fox flight leaders believe the new machine will enable pilots to have better control over the tail rotor, thus becoming less likely to spin out of control as did the chopper that crashed, killing Knox and severely injuring Cormier.
The Airbus will be better suited to handle search and rescue missions as well as fighting fires and overseeing various security operations.
Jason Knox also is memorialized in another way. Part of his ashes are buried near the Fox helipad at Hobby.