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Monday, October 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Wyoming Counties Want to Share Helicopter


Four counties in northwest Wyoming want to share a search and rescue helicopter and get the state to kick in funding for it.

The counties — Teton, Park, Sublette, and Fremont — are proposing a pilot program wherein they would share a Bell Helicopter 407. New or used, a 407 could cost $2.3-2.6 million, according to Bell. The counties now rent a 407 from December through March from Minuteman Aviation of Missoula, Mont. for $30,000 a month, plus $1,500 an hour each time it is launched.

The number of lost or injured skiers at area resorts added to the need for a SAR helicopter, which would need to be equipped with skis to land in snow. A state legislature committee has told the state aeronautics division to look into the proposal.

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