MD Helicopters, April 27, 2017 - Mesa, Ariz. - MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is proud to announce a new agreement with the Columbus Division of Police, Columbus, Ohio, to upgrade its two (2) remaining MD 500E helicopters.
The two E models will be overhauled and re-certified as F-models (Type Certificate 369FF) with zero-time engines in a period of just a few weeks. The FAA-approved factory recertification takes place at MD Helicopters’ manufacturing facility & completions center in Mesa, Arizona.
"Our FAA-approved E-to-F conversion program is an outstanding way for operators to upgrade from the E-model to what is essentially a new, factory-built FAA-certified F-model at a fraction of the cost,” said Nick Nenadovic, Vice President Aftermarket and Customer Support for MD Helicopters, Inc. “In just a few weeks, these aircraft will return to service stronger, faster and more capable of executing their mission than ever before."
As with the Columbus Police Department’s four previous E-to-F conversions, the primary enhancements will increase the hot-and-high performance capability of the aircraft as well as improve the operational range and flight time. They include:
- an engine upgrade from the Rolls Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30,
- replacement of the blades and stabilizers,
- installation of the Garmin G500H dual-screen electronic flight display,
- addition of a Fargo Auxiliary Fuel Tank.
The Columbus Police Department converted four (4) of their MD 500E aircraft to certified F-models via this same program in 2015. With the completion of these final conversion efforts, the Helicopter Unit will operate 6 single-engine turbine MD 530F helicopters flown by 16 sworn officers and supervisors; making them the second largest all-MD municipal law enforcement aviation unit in the United States.
“The Helicopter Unit plays a critical role in the direct support of ground patrol officers in the execution of suspect searches and apprehensions, vehicular pursuits, and delivering aid to other law enforcement agencies throughout Central Ohio,” said Lieutenant Jack Harris, Columbus Police Department Aviation Section. “Air support for our officers delivers an invaluable degree of force multiplication that contributes to the safety of citizens and officers alike.”
Averaging 5,000 flight hours per year with base flight operations of 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Columbus Police Helicopter unit, statistically, is directly responsible for over 300 felony arrests and over 200 misdemeanor arrests annually. It is first on the scene of dispatched runs approximately 40% of the time, with an average response time of just 1.3 minutes.
“The past conversion efforts for the Columbus Police Department and others have met or exceeded all expectations,” Nenadovic concludes. “The MD 500 is a great airframe – perfect for our law enforcement operators – and we couldn’t be more proud CPD’s Helicopter Unit and they work they do. We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with the Columbus Police Department for decades to come.”
Delivery of the Columbus Police Aviation Unit’s newly certified MD 530F helicopters will take place this summer.