By Staff Writer | April 1, 2009
PUBLIC | POLICE
The U.K.’s West Yorkshire Police have surpassed 10,000 flying hours on their MD902 Explorer, known as X99. According to the WYP, X99 (aircraft number 078) has set a departmental record for flight hours, reaching 10,157 hours as of mid-March and still going strong.
"X99 has performed well throughout its operational life with West Yorkshire Police, hitting the 10,000 hour mark within eight years of its service," said WYP spokesperson Lee Kilby. Credit for keeping X99 flight worthy goes to Police Aviation Services of Gloucester, he told Rotor & Wing, "although regular services are also carried out by a regional maintenance company." He added that the ship has never been damaged or involved in an accident throughout its entire operational life.
As for X99’s future, "Discussions are in place to retire the helicopter some time around 2011, at which point we expect the machine to be around the13-14,000 flight hour mark," said Kilby. Hopefully someone will preserve the X99 for posterity given its impressive longevity, he added.