Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to Add New MD 500E to Division of Enforcement Aviation

Legacy of speed, agility and payload capability make the MD 500E an outstanding rotorcraft addition for Minnesota DNR

Mesa, Ariz., November 03, 2015

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) announced today the purchase of a new MD 500E by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Enforcement. The custom-built MD 500E will perform a variety of missions in support of the DNR’s responsibility to manage natural lands, maintain healthy wildlife populations, and support law enforcement, firefighting and general forestry operations across the state’s more than 5.5 million acres of managed land.  

This will be the first MD helicopter to join the DNR since the Aviation Unit was born in 1947. The MD 500E will join six (6) fixed wing aircraft and two (2) additional rotorcraft in the DNR hangars. In 2014, these aircraft combined to fly nearly 2,000 mission hours.

“From wildlife surveys to baiting, relocation and reconnaissance, and from fire detection and control to search and rescue efforts, telemetry studies and fish stocking, the DNR Aviation Unit plays such an incredibly important role in resource management,” commented Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer for MD Helicopters. “We are honored the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources chose to expand their fleet with the MD 500E.”

The MD 500E is a highly capable aircraft known worldwide for its speed, payload capability, maneuverability and cost effective operation. The Minnesota DNR’s MD 500E will feature the Rolls-Royce 250-C20B 420shp turbine engine, Fargo 21-gallon auxiliary fuel tank, wire strike protection system, provisions for the Talon LC Keeperless hydraulic release cargo hook to support external loads up to 2,000 pounds, and Onboard load weigh system. High-contrast main rotor blades, a Nightscanner® HID searchlight, and NVISB interior will provide improved visibility when flying through areas of dense brush or in low-light scenarios.

The right-hand command aircraft will have a cockpit configuration that features the Garmin 500H EFIS flight display and Garmin GTN650H touchscreen GPS/Navigation and Communications system, and the AMS44 dual channel audio panel.

“We needed an aircraft with a great safety record and small footprint that was affordable to operate. This helicopter will be a great addition to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ fleet of aircraft,” said Tom Buker, Chief Pilot for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. “It will help us better meet our ongoing commitments to conserve and manage the state's natural resources.”

The new MD 500E is scheduled to begin service with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in March 2016.

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