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The skies over the South Towns and South Buffalo were abuzz with activity from about 7 a.m. to noon Saturday.

The display was a well-orchestrated drill of the Air Reserve Division of the Erie County Sheriff's Department, said Sheriff Thomas F. Higgins, who -- as part of the drill -- was picked up by chopper from Cazenovia Park. The base for the exercise was the Lancaster Flying Club off Walden Avenue in the Town of Lancaster.

The aerial armada of five planes and two helicopters also measured wind velocity, useful in such emergencies as chemical fires resulting in toxic emissions, and scouted out traffic congestion.

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