Fresno County Sheriff's Office Orders New MD 530F for Air Support Unit

New helicopter will enhance aerial surveillance and crime-fighting capabilities

Mesa, Ariz., December 22, 2015

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is pleased to announce an order by the Fresno County Sherriff’s Office, Fresno, California, for a new MD 530F. Unanimously approved by the Fresno County Board of Supervisors last week, the new MD 530F will deliver greater horsepower, increased payload capability, and reduced operating costs. Currently, Fresno County’s helicopter fleet includes two (2) MD 500E aircraft that have been in service with the Air Unit since 1997.

“We have proudly supported Fresno County’s operation of two MD 500E helicopters since the inception of the Air Unit nearly 20 years ago,” said Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer for MD Helicopters, Inc. “We are honored they have chosen to update their fleet with a new MD 530F. Not only is this aircraft a proven performer that is fun-to-fly, the MD 530F has the speed, durability, maneuverability, and payload capability to support the ever-increasing rigors of a range of law enforcement missions.” 

Fresno County’s current helicopter fleet – known as Eagle One and Eagle Two – have a logged a combined 30,000 flight hours in the execution of search and rescue missions, pursuit, and aerial surveillance in support of ground operations.

“Cost of operation and increased capability were major factors in the decision to purchase this aircraft,” said Capt. Robert Kandarian, Fresno County Sherriff’s Office. “Our MD helicopters play an indispensable role in our ability to protect and serve the citizens of Fresno County. The increased performance and payload of the MD 530F, combined with the exponential reduction in our annual operation and maintenance costs, will increase both our effectiveness and efficiency in the execution of all law enforcement activities.”

The new MD 530F features the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650shp turbine engine, extended landing gear, Fargo 21 gallon auxiliary fuel tank, wire strike protection system and Talon LC Keeperless hydraulic release cargo hook for external loads up to 2,000 pounds. High-contrast main rotor blades, a new Spectrolab SX-16 searchlight, and an NVISB interior will provide improved visibility for both officers and citizens during low-light operations. The cockpit configuration features the Garmin 500H EFIS flight display, Garmin GTN650H touchscreen GPS/Navigation and communications panel, Aero Computers UC-6000 airborne mapping system, the Garmin GTS 800 Traffic Avoidance System, and Garmin GTR 225 audio panel.

Fresno County’s new MD 530F is expected to begin its service in the fourth quarter, 2016.