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US/Florida: Tampa Police Dept Replaces Bell 407 with a LongRanger 4

7th December 2008 - 14:24 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Tampa Police Department is now flying a more energy efficient helicopter that costs the department $100 less an hour to operate. The Aviation Unit sold a Bell 407 with a 4 bladed rotor system at the peak of the market for $2.1 million. That money was used to purchase a Bell 206 Long Ranger 4 after the market dipped. It has a smaller engine with a 2 bladed rotor system and flies up to 140 miles an hour. This trade took place just as the original Bell 407 was approaching a 5,000 hour inspection that would have cost the city $400,000.

The Aviation Unit has also revamped its flight deployment to fly smarter and cheaper. Based on crime analysis, officers now fly when crimes are most likely to occur. This cuts down flight patrol time to 7 hours a day. The new flight strategy also improves officer and citizen safety by positioning the helicopters to be in the air when pursuits are most likely to take place. A helicopter can follow a suspect allowing ground units to slow down.

 

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