|Fairfax County Police Department’s new Bell 429 will be on display at the exhibition. Photos courtesy of Becker Avionics and Bell|
The Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) in Virginia recently took delivery of a new Bell 429 equipped for law enforcement, SAR and emergency medical transport services. Its twin is nearing completion at PAC International in Mount Pleasant, Pa.
The county’s six pilots and 12 paramedics had been operating a two-ship fleet of single-engine, 1996 Bell 407s, which received full avionics upgrades in 2007. One was sold to a Midwest medical transport operation when the first FCPD twin-engine 429 was completed. The second 407 will be auctioned off after the other new aircraft arrives in spring 2012.
“We like the speed and the ergonomics,” said Master Police Officer Paul Schaaf, a 25-year veteran of the force and its chief pilot. “And there’s a lot more room [for the paramedics] to work.”
The county, which borders the west side of Washington, D.C., covers more than 400 square miles, is home to 1.2 million people, and is currently recognized as one of the richest counties in the U.S. according to household income.
|Interior of the new Bell 429, which will see triple duty in serving law enforcement, SAR and EMS roles.|
FCPD’s new light grey and navy blue aircraft is equipped with the standard Bell 429 glass cockpit, Becker Avionics DVCS6100 digital audio system, Avalex moving map, L-3 Wescam MX10 forward-looking infrared, Trakkabeam A800 searchlight, and a full medical services suite. It is on display at Heli-Expo 2012 in Dallas.