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Monday, September 1, 2008

Rotorcraft Report: Texas Dept of Public Safety Takes 10th Astar

ALEA 2008

Chief Pilot Jack Reichert of the Texas Dept of Public Safety accepted the keys to the police agency’s 10th Eurocopter AS350 police helicopter at the annual ALEA Conference in Houston in July. The white, black and gold B2 variant was presented by Larry Roberts, VP of commercial affairs for American Eurocopter.

"We are extremely proud that the agency that debuted the first law enforcement-equipped AS350 in the United States has validated that choice by now adding" its 10th, said Roberts in a short ceremony on ALEA’s exhibit hall floor.

"The AStar has proven to be a great platform for executing our mission," said Reichert.

The newest helicopter is powered by a Turbomecca Arriel 1D1 engine that delivers a hefty but fuel-efficient 732 shp. Its mission equipment, which was installed by Metro Aviation in Shreveport, La., includes an L3 Communications thermal and video imaging system, a Spectralab SX16 searchlight, and night-vision goggle-compatible cockpit lighting from REBTECH.

The aviation arm of the department has been in existence for 73 years. In 2007, its aircraft flew more than 2,500 missions, logging well more than 6,000 accident-free hours.

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