With deer hunting season and oyster harvesting reaching their peaks, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has added a new conservation enforcement tool to its fleet: its own helicopter.
The black-and-gold aircraft, Natural 1, has resumed its place after a seven-year absence on the department’s roster.
The helicopter will be used as a surveillance platform to assist Natural Resources Police officers as they patrol 17,000 miles of waterways and nearly a half-million acres of public lands.
The police aviation unit, founded nearly 70 years ago, was eliminated by the previous administration in 2009. The helicopter was then transferred to the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and painted deep blue.
About a year ago, the 1972 Bell Jet Ranger became available and Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton became determined to bring it back home. His effort to restore the department’s aviation capability received the strong support of Governor Larry Hogan.
“Once we heard that the helicopter was available, we jumped at the opportunity to bring it back to the department to aid our conservation and enforcement activities,” said Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton. “Natural 1 will assist our officers patrolling our public lands and waters ensuring the safety of our guests and visitors as well as the protection of our most precious natural resources.”
After a year of refurbishing, the helicopter returned to service last week with one of its original pilots at the controls to carry out oyster enforcement patrols as well as aid in the search for two missing people.
“I think it goes without saying we are all elated to have this valuable asset available to us again,” said Natural Resources Police Colonel Robert “Ken” Ziegler Jr. “This is one more major step forward for our department and its conservation mission.”
The helicopter will be used during the hunting season to enforce conservation and management laws, serve as backup to officers on patrol, and help speed rescuers to emergency accidents and incidents.
- Teletronics awarded $45M contract for Acquisition of V-22 Data Hardware
- General Electric awarded $143M contract for Procurement of 22 T408-GE-400 CH-53K helicopter engines
- Bell awarded patent for Tiltrotor aircraft having spherical bearing mounted pylon assemblies
- Honeywell International awarded patent for surveillance system using micro mobile drones and IP cameras
- North Island Hospital opens new campus
- Russian Helicopters Concluded the First Export Contract for the Supply of Mi-171А2
- 150th H145 delivered to HTM
- Air Ambulance Awards of Excellence 2017
- Iron Mountain awarded $7M contract for Foreign Military Sales for the Utility Helicopter Project Office.
- Safran celebrates 40 years in Brazil
- ASU Obtains NVIS Transport Canada STC on AS350
- Abu Dhabi Aviation expands Leonardo AW139 fleet
- New FAA Guidance for Electronic Flight Bags
- Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey Fleet Tops 400,000 Flight Hours
- S92 Helicopters Certified to Operate in Mexico
- Nova Scotia customer 4 orders Bell 407GXP
- Abu Dhabi Aviation sign new PWC support agreement
- Helicopters of Russia handed over Mi-28UBs to the Russian Defense Ministry
- Conklin & de Decker Release Aircraft Cost Evaluator 17.2
- V-22 Osprey readiness rate is 48%