$9.6 million dollar H145 investment will replace the cities ageing military surplus UH-1H rescue helicopter, adding modern functionality to the unit that performs dozens of rescues in the area each year.
Heliweb Magazine learned through sources that the highly anticipated H145 ordered by the Las Vegas Metro Police Aviation Unit was officially accepted recently and will be making its way back from the Airbus Helicopters facility in Grand Prairie, Texas to its home in Las Vegas.
The helicopter purchase was approved in March of 2016 by the city government, making its first appearance on the show floor of the Airbus Helicopters booth at HAI 2017 in Dallas and completing delivery this week. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Search and Rescue Team is made up of part civilian volunteer crew members and part sworn law enforcement personnel and previously operated two 1973 Bell UH-1H Huey’s that had begun to show their age in recent years. The departments aviation unit that maintains, flies and provides crews for the aircraft also operates several MD helicopters models in a law enforcement capacity for patrol work.
While military surplus helicopters have served a number of aviation units for many years, the 1973 models of the Las Vegas Metro Police were starting to show general deterioration from many years of service that became costly to maintain at the same time that parts for the over 50 year old airframes were becoming harder and harder to obtain.
The police departments financed the purchase of the helicopter from the sale of an older patrol helicopter and also used funds gained from a lawsuit in which they were successful plaintiffs that netted the agency several million dollars. The twin engine H-145 will suit the demands of the hot and high environment that they operate in constantly, regularly performing rescues in nearby Red Rock Canyon. The helicopter has been fitted with a winch system that will enable the departments Search and Rescue team to continue providing their valued service to the community.
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