MD gets new order from Polk County Sheriff
March 7, 2013, Mesa, Az. - MD Helicopters Inc. (MDHI) announced a new order for a MD 500E helicopter from the Polk County Florida Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). The new MD 500E is the first order in a program to replace an aging fleet of three military surplus OH58’s.
By Carey Fredericks
“We are pleased to receive this new order to support the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit,” said Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer of MDHI. “The 500E is a versatile, proven aircraft, equipped to support the rigors of law enforcement missions. Its speed, durability, maneuverability and overall performance are unmatched in a police helicopter.”
Following a detailed review of competitive aircraft, the PCSO selected the MD 500E as the best helicopter to support its law enforcement missions. This PCSO Aviation Unit supports ground units with pursuits, backup, surveillance, and the search for suspects and missing persons.
“My staff researched and evaluated helicopters and manufacturers for over a year before we decided that it was in our best interest, and in the interest of the safety and security of the people of Polk County, to do business with MD Helicopters, Inc.,” said Sheriff Grady Judd of the PCSO. “We are proud to announce this purchase of our first MD 500E helicopter to phase out the aging helicopters in our fleet. We are looking forward to a continued relationship with the fine professionals at MDHI.”
The MD 500E helicopter delivers the highest speed, payload and productivity in its class. The newly ordered helicopter will start the PCSO’s replacement plan of its current fleet of aging aircraft. The aircraft will be equipped with a 420-shp Rolls-Royce 250-C20B turbine engine and a complete law enforcement performance package. The MD 500E cockpit configuration will include a full complement of modern avionics with NVG lighting, Garmin radios, an Avalex monitor and a Technisonic tactical radio. Utility features include a Meeker mount, Nightsun searchlight, 2,000 lb. cargo hook, auxiliary fuel tank and wire strike protection kit.
Equipped with seven full-time pilots and 10 part-time flight officers, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit began back in 1972, when it started with two fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopters were added to the aviation unit in 1982. In 1995 four U.S. Army surplus OH-58’s were acquired. Currently the PCSO Aviation Unit operates the three OH 58 turbine helicopters and one Cessna 182 fixed wing aircraft.