After more than two weeks on the ground, the Omaha Police Department’s Air Support Unit is flying again. Flights had been suspended on Aug. 10 when a routine inspection discovered a serious problem with one of its Bell 206B Jet Rangers.
"We examined one of the fuel filters in the helicopter and saw some black material that we didn’t like," said Lt. Mike Davis. So, to be on the safe side, Davis suspended all air operations until the base’s Jet-A fuel storage tank could be fully inspected.
Although the examination did revealed microbial growth inside the storage tank, a simultaneous inspection of the department’s other aircraft determined that the fuel filters had prevented the spread of the contamination to the helicopters. Continued inspections conducted by the agency’s in-house maintenance person showed that the sludge found in the aircraft was the result of a fuel boost pump problem.
All aircraft were returned to service after the inspections were completed and airworthiness was assured.
Omaha Police Department operates two Bell 206Bs and two OH-58s. It also has several other military surplus OH-58 frames that it uses for parts.