Aircraft mentioned in this article :
Airbus Helicopters, January 29, 2021 - Houston police officer Jason Knox once spent months researching the precise color of blue for a vintage police car he was meticulously restoring.
A longtime car aficionado, Knox dreamt of starting a museum to detail Houston’s police vehicles throughout the decades.
That same color of custom blue now graces a single stripe on Houston PD’s new Airbus H125 helicopter as a poignant tribute. Officer Knox’s end of watch with Houston PD tragically occurred in an accident on May 2, 2020. He was 35 years old.
Knox’s badge number — 2374, retired by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo — is written in black letters on the new helicopter as its FAA registration number - N2374F.
On January 27, the Houston Police Department dedicated the aircraft to Knox in a ceremony with the support of the local community, and teams from Airbus Helicopters, Davenport Aviation, and Metro Aviation – who worked together to deliver the unit’s new H125 the month before.
"Jason loved policing, and he loved this community. He believed in being an ambassador for his profession and worked tirelessly to build relationships,” Chief Acevedo said. “We lost an officer, friend, family member, colleague, public servant and guardian of the peace. He is sorely missed.”
Officer Knox, a tactical flight officer, had served on the Houston Police Department for eight years and was preparing to train as a pilot. He is survived by his wife, two children and parents.
Colleagues remembered Knox as a dedicated husband, father and officer, who frequently showed off the restored police cars at community parades and other events. The airborne law enforcement community is a tight-knit group, and many from around the industry offer their condolences for a life lost too soon.
“As a retired State Trooper from Mississippi, my thoughts and prayers always go out to the family and friends for the loss of a brother or sister in blue. Not only do we at Airbus mourn the loss of Officer Knox, but we feel for his family, friends, and colleagues,” said Ron Kelley, Airbus Helicopters Inc.’s segment manager for airborne law enforcement. “His legacy will live on and he will always be remembered.”
"We are always honored to do work for our nation's crimefighters, and this particular completion meant so much to our entire team,” said Metro Aircraft Configuration Coordinator Amy McMullen. "Our hearts are with Officer Knox and all who knew him, and we're humbled to play a part in this aircraft, ensuring his legacy lives on.”
“We were proud to participate in a program which honors the legacy of Officer Knox,” said Rob McMillin, Davenport Aviation’s Senior Program Manager. “His loss reminds us of the sacrifices made daily by members of Law Enforcement and their families to keep our communities safe.”
This will be the first H125 for the Houston Police Department, which operates one of the largest air units in the country.
Houston needed an aircraft that could meet its versatile mission needs, including surveillance, search and rescue, port patrol and firefighting support. The H125 checked all of the boxes, Acevedo said.
“We’ve got the right bird with the right capabilities,” he said. “I’m so proud that this aircraft will not only enhance and strengthen our crime fighting capabilities, but also honor a truly fine officer taken from us too soon.”
Houston PD takes delivery of new H125
Metro Aviation, February 10, 2021 - The Houston Police Department, one of the largest air units in the country, recently took delivery of a new and very special H125.
It’s the first H125 for the department and will be utilized for fighting violent and property crime, and assisting with search and rescue, homeland security and firefighting support. It is also a lasting reminder of one of their own.
Houston Police Officer Jason Knox was 35 years old when his watch came to an end on May 2, 2020. His badge number – 2374, retired by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo – is written in black on the new aircraft as its FAA registration number. Knox, a tactical flight officer, had served on the department for eight years and was preparing to train as a pilot.
"We are always honored to do work for our nation's crimefighters, and this particular completion meant so much to our entire team,” said Metro Aircraft Configuration Coordinator Amy McMullen. "Our hearts are with Officer Knox and all who knew him, and w're humbled to play a part in this aircraft, ensuring his legacy lives on."
Metro outfitted the multi-mission aircraft with a FLIR camera system, TLX Searchlight, Bambi Bucket, AirTEP Rapid Extraction Device, Tyler fast rope and bench system, Goodrich hoist, and floats.
“Airbus is proud to support aerial law enforcement teams by delivering aircraft that allow them to serve and protect their communities,” said Johannes Dienemann, VP of Civil Programs and Industry at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “We’ve worked alongside the teams at Metro Aviation for countless deliveries over the years and it’s by sharing common values of quality, safety, and customer satisfaction that we are able to provide the helicopters our customers need to save lives, protect communities, and ensure critical infrastructure across the country. Thank you to the entire Metro family for your great work and continued partnership.”
In addition to the new H125, the Houston PD utilizes six MD 500Es, 1 Bell 412, and three Sikorsky S-300C/Schweizer 269C helicopters.
Metro Aviation is located in Shreveport, Louisiana and delivers an average of 35 aircraft annually.
About Metro Aviation: Metro Aviation, Inc., based in Shreveport, Louisiana, United States is a worldwide provider of completion services for all missions and types of helicopters and specializes in the EC135 and EC145 with several Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) developed by the company for these and other aircraft. Metro is an FAA approved repair station, approved Airbus (Eurocopter) Service Center and FAR Part 135 air medical operations provider at several locations across the United States. The company is privately held and is one of the largest traditional air medical providers in the country.