Through an exclusive, FAA-approved factory-recertification program, two Columbus PD MD 500E helicopters return to service as zero-time MD 530F helicopters
MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced today the delivery and return to service of two (2) Columbus Police Department helicopters. Operated as MD 500E models since 2007, the two aircraft are rejoining the Columbus Aviation Unit as new, factory-built, FAA-certified F-models.
In June of this year the Columbus Division of Police committed to a revitalization of their Aviation Unit through the MDHI-exclusive, FAA-certified E-to-F Conversion program. The first two of four aircraft to be converted arrived in Mesa on June 24, 2015. Each aircraft received a complete inspection and all required maintenance was completed. The conversion consisted of an engine upgrade from the Rolls-Royce 250-C20B to the more powerful RR250-C30, replacement of the blades and stabilizers, and the addition of a Fargo Auxiliary Fuel Tank. The result is an increase in the hot-and-high performance capability of the aircraft, as well as improvements in operational range and flight time.
Lieutenant Greg Estep, who oversees the Columbus Police Department helicopter unit, and members of his team accepted delivery of the two newly certified, zero-time F-model helicopters on September 9, and after completing the required Type training flew their new, zero-time F-models back to Columbus where they will return to active service.
“The Columbus Police Aviation Section is looking forward to flying the newly converted aircraft,” Estep commented. “We believe that the new aircraft will allow us to more effectively support the officers of the Columbus Division of Police, and better serve the citizens of the City of Columbus.”
Columbus’ two remaining MD 500Es will arrive in Mesa this month and return to service with a new, FAA-approved 369FF type cert in December.
“Air Units are invaluable law enforcement resources, and the Columbus police have relied on MD helicopters to help protect and serve their local community for years,” said Nick Nenadovic, Vice President of Aftermarket and Customer Support for MD Helicopters, Inc. “In less than 12 weeks, our MRO and completion teams transformed two of Columbus’ MD 500Es into essentially brand new aircraft. They are returning to service stronger, faster, more capable aircraft and we are honored to play an ongoing role in the work they do.”
PHOTOS: To access and download images of Columbus Police Department’s zero-time F-models, click here.