Kern County Sheriff - AIR SUPPORT - Helicopter fleet - Airbus H125 helicopters N912KC N913KC

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Kern County Sheriff - AIR SUPPORT - Helicopter fleet - Airbus H125 helicopters N912KC N913KC

Post by Brian »

N912KC & N913KC

10 March 2022
Kern County Sheriff’s Office orders two Airbus H125 helicopters
The Kern County Sheriff’s Office in California will acquire two new Airbus H125s as part of a plan to modernize its aging fleet of helicopters.
A first-time Airbus customer, Kern County selected the H125 platform following a thorough vetting process and several flight demonstrations throughout 2020 and 2021. The new helicopters will protect and serve the county’s population of roughly 900,000, which includes the city of Bakersfield.
“We operate in a challenging environment with hot summers over 100 degrees, cold winters with temperatures below freezing, and as we tested and compared the H125 with other platforms, it quickly became evident that the H125 was the best helicopter overall for all of our missions and provided the best value for the County of Kern,” said Kern County Sheriff’s Office Air Support Lieutenant Joel Swanson. “We’ve operated an Air Unit for 50 years, and we are the only law enforcement airborne support in a county the size of small states. We cannot wait for these aircraft to be delivered and be put to use to support our deputies and serve the citizens of our community.”
Kern County spans roughly 8,100 square miles with a diverse terrain that includes valleys, mountains and desert, elevations of 300 ft. to 8,000 ft. Its temperatures in summer can exceed 105 degrees, requiring a helicopter than can deftly navigate hot and high conditions. In addition, the sheriff’s department sought a platform with impressive endurance, payload capability and the most advanced safety features on the market.
A multi-mission workhorse, the H125 boasts a powerful performance, enhanced maneuverability and reduced pilot workload, all in one cost-effective platform. As the leading airborne law enforcement helicopter for many state and local agencies, the H125 account for nearly half of all intermediate single-engine helicopters delivered for that mission in North American over the last decade.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to the Airbus family,” said Ron Kelley, airborne law enforcement segment manager at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “The H125 has become a trusted tool for law enforcement agencies across the U.S., and we are proud to support those missions.” ... elicopters ... -new-h125s ... licopters/ ... elicopters

Sheriff’s office buys new helicopters for $12 million
March 26, 2022

The sheriff’s office is preparing for liftoff after buying two new Airbus helicopters. Two others will be decommissioned, after decades of service.
The sheriff’s office ordered two new Airbus helicopters, similar to these ones used by the California Highway Patrol. KCSO is retiring two choppers, one of which was first used for training during the Vietnam War.
“Our current helicopter, the one behind us, is a Bell OH-58A. It was manufactured in 1969,” said Lt. Joel Swanson of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. “We received it from the military in 1994, and spent a couple years refurbishing it for law enforcement work. It’s been flying over the skies of Kern County since 1997.”

The sheriff’s office has two more helicopters, but they aren’t much younger.
“We purchased those new in 1986,” said Lt. Swanson.
The new Airbus copters cost $6 million each. Deputies say they look forward to upgrades.
“The old helicopters aren’t powerful enough to pick up three people with a full tank of gas. We can either spin circles while we burn gas so we get light enough to pick someone up,” said Lt. Swanson. “Or, we can land, put someone in the helicopter, and then leave the second officer behind and come back and up that officer. These new ones won’t have any issue with that.”
This comes as gas prices soar to record highs.
“Initially with the county, we had a fuel contract through the airport which had stabilized prices,” said Lt. Swanson. “We have since gotten notices from the vendors that their costs are increasing. So yes, we’re starting to feel the effects of the fuel.”
Meantime, none of the department’s current helicopters have doors.
“These don’t have air conditioning. That’s what keeps our pilots cool,” said Lt. Swanson. “When it’s 100 degrees out and 110 up in the air, they’re flying around with doors off trying to keep themselves cool.”
Lt. Swanson says the Airbus helicopters have cameras that can spot a car up to two miles away. That’s a far cry from the 15-year-old gear the department uses now.

“We can be the eyes for the officers, letting them know suspects are fleeing, there’s victims on the ground, or we don’t see anything,” said Lt. Swanson. “Helping us find suspects hiding in orchards, or kids that wandered into the forest. “
He says the department uses helicopters for hours, nearly every night. Deputies took to the skies to chase down a domestic violence suspect in East Bakersfield Wednesday night.
“Ultimately the driver was taken into custody off of Highway 178 and arrested, and had a loaded firearm on him,” said Lt. Swanson. “I don’t think we would have found him without the helicopter.”
The sheriff’s office says the incoming helicopters can make deputies’ jobs safer and easier by allowing them to see more. But that’s not all.
“There’s seats that will absorb on impact if for some reason a helicopter should go down. Fuel tanks that don’t rupture on crashes,” said Lt. Swanson. “There’s a lot of safety features that the FAA is putting into place on helicopters that our helicopters don’t meet. They’re considered grandfathered in, but they’re still safety features we should have.”
The changes are welcome as the sheriff’s office recently grounded one of the 50-year-old copters for becoming a safety risk.
“We’re the only airborne law enforcement in Kern County,” said Lt. Swanson. “The other OH-58 not flyable, it reduces our fleet a little bit more. We’re using parts from that one to keep this one flying.”

Lt. Swanson says most law enforcement agencies replace helicopters after about 10,000 flight hours. KCSO’s older helicopters have been used nearly twice that amount. In the eyes of the sheriff’s office, the new helicopters represent $12 million well spent.
“As soon as those are delivered, we’ll be returning the OH-58A’s back to the military,” said Lt. Swanson.
Deputies say the new helicopters will be used in patrols by next summer. ... 2-million/

• Item No. 68 AM session: 
• The Board approved the Kern County Sheriff’s Office request to purchase the outfitting of two Airbus H125 Helicopters, heavily investing in equipment upgrades and resources at KCSO. ... /684/34810

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Re: Kern County Sheriff - AIR SUPPORT - Helicopter fleet - Airbus H125 helicopters N912KC N913KC

Post by Brian »

The H125 helicopters been delivered.

Completion being done by Hanger One Avionics at Palomar airport. ... 9868395160


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