By Staff Writer | January 1, 2009
The Miami-Dade Police Department, Florida’s largest law enforcement agency, has taken delivery of its first of four Eurocopter AS350B3s. It will join the department’s current fleet of three Bell 206L-4 Long Rangers.
The new aircraft is powered by the Turbomeca Arriel 2B1 engine, which delivers 847 shp. It is revered by many pilots as an excellent power plant for hot, humid climates, such as those found in southern Florida. N806MP is outfitted with emergency floats and a variety of airborne law enforcement mission gear, including a 3-million candlepower searchlight, Westcam MX12 thermal imager and police/fire/EMS radio suite.
"Our mission platform is evolving and we needed a more modern helicopter and updated technology," said Sgt. Tom Turpin, a pilot with the Special Patrol Bureau’s Aviation Unit. "The AS350B3 and its advanced technology will allow us to carry out our evolving mission base and complete the necessary law enforcement and security missions."
The remaining three AS350B3s are scheduled to arrive at a rate of one per year through 2011.