Houston Police Dept celebrates 40 years of air support

Houston Police Dept celebrates 40 years of air support 18 Nov, 10, Source: MD Helicopters

Mesa, Arizona, November 18, 2010… MD Helicopters, Inc (MDHI) joins with the Houston Police Air Support Division in celebrating it 40th anniversary.

The Air Support Division has a fleet of 10 MD 500E Helicopters. Equipped with current technology (including FLIR Systems, spotlights and video downlink) HPD air crews provide fast response times and critical ‘aerial perspective’ information as they assist ground-based patrol officers, supporting felony arrests, search and rescue efforts, storm damage assessment and other public safety missions.
Houston is one of the first cities to establish an airborne law enforcement program in the United States. It was established January 1, 1970 as part of the Traffic Enforcement Division. The original fleet consisted of three Hughes 269B (later re-designated Model 300) helicopters. The current fleet includes ten MD 500E’s, three Schweizer 300-C’s and one Cessna 182.

The Houston Air Support Division flies in excess of 6,000 flight hours per year in support of law enforcement and homeland security missions and has accumulated close to 180,000 hours of flight time on MD500 series aircraft. The speed, agility, payload and proven low operating cost make the MD 500E ideal for law enforcement missions.

Commenting in the Anniversary newsletter, Captain Tom Runyan said, “The dreams of yesterday have become today’s reality. Police aircrews now use night vision technology, moving map systems, gyro-stabilized binoculars, video downlink systems and thermal imaging. Current technology will improve and new technology not yet envisioned will find its way to an aerial platform.

“Maintaining a constant vision of excellence, the Houston Police Department Air Support Division will continue to thrive, providing an ever-increasing level of service, improving the quality of life for the citizens of Houston and the surrounding area.”

MD 500E

For more than 20 years the MD 500E has earned its reputation as a hands-down favorite, delivering the highest speed, payload and productivity in its class.

With a five-bladed main rotor and the choice of a 420-shp Rolls Royce 250-C20B or 450-shp Rolls Royce 250-C20R turbine engine, the MD 500E cruises easily at 135 kt (250 kph) over a range of 258 nm (478 km). For applications where noise is a concern, the MD 500E can be equipped with a four-bladed tail rotor for quiet performance. Proven reliability of the de-rated turbine engine, fail-safe design and a worldwide network of factory-authorized service centers make it a favorite of Police Departments.

“MD Helicopters is grateful to the Houston Police Department for its loyalty to our aircraft and to our company and we look forward to the continuity of our long standing relationship” said Lynn Tilton, Chief Executive Officer of MD.

About MD Helicopters, Inc.

MD Helicopters, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters. The MDHI family of rotorcraft is world renowned for its value, versatility and performance. The MD Helicopters family includes the twin-engine MD Explorer®, and single engine versions of the MD 600N®, MD 520N®, MD 500E® and MD 530F®. The NOTAR® system for anti-torque control is used exclusively by MD Helicopters. The Company is based in Mesa, AZ. For more information about MDHI visit http://www.mdhelicopters.com .

About Patriarch Partners LLC

The Patriarch platform is a vertically integrated private equity firm with robust in-house operational turnaround expertise. Patriarch Partners, founded in 2000, was built upon a proprietary patented financial model designed to manage and monetize the distressed portfolios of financial institutions. Patriarch has since evolved into a global investment firm that concentrates on direct investments in distressed businesses with a focus to rebuild them, managing funds with over $7 billion of equity and secured loan assets with equity investments in more than 70 companies, and controlling interests in approximately two-thirds of these. For more information, please visit http://www.patriarchpartners.com.

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