MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), a leading manufacturer of commercial and military helicopters, has completed the delivery of a new MD 530F to the Kauai Fire Department.Â The delivery of the MD 530F marks an important milestone in the history of the Kauai Fire Department, as it is the first aircraft they have owned.Â Prior to this delivery, the Department had leased helicopter services from a local operator.
A delivery ceremony was held at the MD Completion Center in Mesa, Arizona at the end of December 2010.Â On hand to accept the aircraft from MD Helicoptersâ€™ Chief Executive Officer, Lynn Tilton, were Fire Chief, Robert Westerman, Fire Rescue Captain, Charles Metivier, and Fire Fighter III, William Keahiolalo.
Strong advocates of the use of helicopters in rescue operations, the Kauai Fire Departmentâ€™s loyalty became even stronger last year when Captain Metivier, rescue operator Kalani Abreu and rescue specialists Roy Constantino and Francisco Garcia received the Benjamin Franklin Fire Service Award for Valor for saving two badly injured pilots of an ultralight flight on a mountain ridge as well as an injured and stranded hunter 20 miles from the first accident on another ridge.Â Both precarious rescue missions were successfully accomplished in an MD helicopter amid blowing rain, dense fog and extremely steep terrain.
International Association of Fire Chiefs President, Jeff Johnson commented that, â€œthe award pays tribute to the proud tradition of the fire service and the unwavering spirit of service, courage and heroism of firefighters around the world.Â Fire 3 not only displayed remarkable resilience, resourcefulness and perseverance in extreme conditions, they risked their own lives to save others.â€
When approval to purchase their own aircraft came a short time later, Chief Westerman felt that the only aircraft that could effectively meet the Department needs was the MD 530F.Â â€œIn Kauai, we need a helicopter that is fast and agile.Â You have to be able to get in and out of tight spaces easily.Â The MD 530F is perfect for our mission.â€
Chief Westerman says that the new MD 530F will also be available for use by the Kauai County Police.
Equipped with the 650 shp Rolls Royce 250-C30 engine and longer main-rotor blades, the MD 530F is the companyâ€™s finest high-altitude, hot-day performer.Â When compared to the MD 500E, the 530Fâ€™s tailboom is extended eight inches, and the tail rotor blades are also lengthenedÂ to provide increased thrust and directional control at high altitudes.
The MD 530F increases the operational capabilities, enabling greater mission versatility and performance. This dependable workhorse has greater take-off power at significantly higher hover ceiling levels than its competitors, with in-ground-effect hover capability of 16,000 feet ISA.Â The MD 530F also retains the family characteristics of speed, agility, low direct operating costs and the ability to operate with ease in confined spaces.
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