Four California law enforcement agencies have bolstered their crime fighting and public service capabilities by taking delivery of new Airbus Helicopters H125 AStars, the highest performance, best-selling helicopter for airborne crime-fighting and rescue work.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. recently delivered six H125s, including two each to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, and one each to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and Ontario Police Department.
The H125 (formerly AS350 B3e) is the latest version of the renowned AStar family of high performance, single-engine helicopters that are the benchmark in the U.S. law enforcement community. The AStar is known for its performance, reliability and multi-mission flexibility.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) took delivery of its fourth and fifth H125s, part of a five-year contract to upgrade its entire helicopter fleet. CHP has been flying AS350-series helicopters for 30 years, and the new H125s, equipped with hoists, have already performed numerous high-profile rescues across California. Hangar One Avionics in Carlsbad, Calif. performed completion services for the CHP H125s.
LAPD recently took delivery of its second H125, part of a multi-year contract to upgrade the department’s fleet of AS350 B2 helicopters to the more capable H125. LAPD Air Support Division, customers of Airbus Helicopters for 25 years, operates its AStars 17,000 to 18,000 hours per year.
“Nobody flies as many hours as we do and our AStars perform the brunt of our missions,” said LAPD Lt. Phil Smith, one of the unit’s 45 pilots. “It was time to make the change to the H125 for the upgraded performance and safety features.” Completion services for the LAPD aircraft are performed by the Los Angeles Department of General Services.
Ontario Police Department took delivery of its first H125, an addition to its fleet of two AS350 B2s. Ontario PD’s Air Support Unit recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and it has been a customer of Airbus Helicopters for 15 years. “The H125 helicopter checks all the boxes. It excels from an operations perspective, enhances safety and is economically superior, thanks to its dual hydraulics, FADEC fuel control system and increased time between overhauls,” said Sgt. Eric Weidner, Unit Commander for the Ontario PD Air Support Unit. “The power this aircraft affords, combined with the safety features, makes it a logical choice for us.”
Hangar One is performing completion services on the Ontario PD helicopter, which will be in-service in spring of 2016. Ontario PD is having an autopilot installed on its H125, which Weidner said will elevate the aircraft to a new level in light single engine helicopter safety and efficiency.
Riverside County Sheriff’s Office recently took delivery of two H125s, after they were completed by Hangar One. “The Airbus Helicopters AStar continues to be a workhorse for us,” said Sgt. Adam Vallejo, of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation unit.
“The AStars are a versatile, multi-mission platform. We can go and do all of our missions. They are the complete law enforcement helicopter. The H125s have more power and the ability to get high and hot, which will enable us to do more work in the mountains,” Vallejo said.
“Many California agencies are replacing or upgrading their aging helicopter fleets, and the H125 AStar is the ideal platform to meet the demanding needs of California law enforcement,” said Ed Van Winkle, Senior Sales Manager for Airborne Law Enforcement for Airbus Helicopters Inc. “These deliveries demonstrate the continued high level of trust that each agency has in Airbus Helicopters Inc. to support their operations.”
Airbus Helicopters’ H125/AS350-series are the most widely purchased helicopters by U.S. Law Enforcement agencies. More than 225 are in use nationwide with 44 different law enforcement agencies, more than 75 of them delivered in the last five years. The H125 brings next-generation performance to the family. The H125 is powered by a Turbomeca Arriel 2D engine that delivers a higher cruise speed and is equipped with a new dual-channel FADEC and Engine Data Recorder, which enhance safety and systems management.
Airbus Helicopters Inc. is a subsidiary of the Airbus Group, a global aerospace and technology company. Airbus Group affiliates purchased $1.6 billion in goods and services from nearly 100 California suppliers in 2014, directly and indirectly impacting more than 24,000 jobs.