Fresno County Sheriff’s Office air support unit welcomes new MD 530F

MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI) is proud to celebrate the delivery of a new, custom-configured MD 530F with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO). Officially accepted into operation in February, it is an honor to deliver EAGLE 1 to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office fleet, Sheriff Margaret Mims, and the Fresno County Board of Supervisors.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office Air Support Unit has flown more than 30,000 hours to perform search-and-rescue missions, pursuit, and aerial surveillance in support of ground operations. MD Helicopters Photo
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit has flown more than 30,000 hours to perform search-and-rescue missions, pursuit, and aerial surveillance in support of ground operations. MD Helicopters Photo
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With this delivery, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office air support unit becomes the first airborne law enforcement unit in the country to fly MD Helicopters’ advanced, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified all-glass cockpit.

“Our law enforcement operators are part of the unshakeable foundation of MD Helicopters,” said Lynn Tilton, MD Helicopters, Inc. chief executive officer. “I could not be more proud that an air support unit with more than 20 years of providing over watch to their citizenry in MDHI-branded airframes is the first to fly our advanced, all-glass cockpit in the execution of law enforcement operations.”

An MD Helicopters 500-series operator since its inception, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit has amassed more than 30,000 flight hours in the execution of search-and-rescue missions, pursuit, and aerial surveillance in support of ground operations. When necessary, the air support unit also provides air support to other law enforcement agencies during life threatening, emergency situations.

“Our MD Helicopters aircraft patrol 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and have played an integral role in ensuring the safety of all who live, work and visit Fresno County,” said Margaret Mims, Sheriff, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office. “We are excited to welcome this MD 530F to our air support unit, and to the expanded search and rescue and high-altitude capabilities it will deliver, and thank the County Board of Supervisors for their support.”

The addition of this new F-model – known worldwide for unparalleled durability, reliability, speed and maneuverability – will also deliver increased performance and payload capability as well as a reduction in annual operating costs for the FCSO.

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Cockpit and Custom Law Enforcement Configuration

FCSO’s glass cockpit features the Garmin 500H EFIS flight display, Garmin GTN650H touchscreen GPS/navigation and communications panel, Aero Computers UC-6000 airborne mapping system, and a Garmin GTR 225 audio panel.

Powered by the Rolls-Royce 250-C30 650shp turbine engine, EAGLE 1 also boasts extended landing gear, a 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. Additional mission equipment integrated by MDHI includes:

Hi-viz blades
TFO transmit switches
Satellite phone
PA system
FLIR 380HDc
NVISB interior
5″ and 12″ displays
M4 mounts

“The MD 530F is one of our most versatile airframes,” Tilton concludes. “It is a proven performer, delivering the overall performance and reliability airborne law enforcement agencies require. I am confident it will be an effective, efficient addition to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office air support unit.”

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