The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) will soon become the first law enforcement agency in the United States to operate the versatile twin-engine Airbus Helicopters H145.
The department’s Air Support unit will use the new H145 primarily for high-altitude rescues in mountainous regions of Nevada. LVMPD performs about 170 such rescues each year.
“We fly in some extremely harsh conditions, and we need a helicopter that excels in a grueling hot and high density altitude environment,” LVMPD Chief Pilot Steve Morris Jr. said. “The H145 checks all of the boxes for us.”
To select the H145, LVMPD conducted an in-depth review of all helicopters that met its mission and cost requirements. Airbus Helicopters Inc. then provided an on-site, three-day demonstration of the aircraft during peak summer heat at or near max gross weight. Morris said the aircraft met or exceeded all expectations.
In addition to high-altitude rescues, LVMPD will also use the helicopter to transport specialized officers to scenes in the Las Vegas valley and unincorporated areas of the county as needed. The H145 is equipped with the Wescam MX-10 camera system, Churchill ARS mapping system, SX-16 night sun and MacroBlue monitor for specialized police and rescue missions.
This is LVMPD’s first Airbus aircraft, which Morris said is expected to go into service after pilots and search-and-rescue officers complete transition training.
“We’re proud supporters of the U.S. law enforcement community delivering 61 percent of parapublic helicopters to the U.S. market since 2007. LVMPD is at the forefront of the community with its decision to select the H145,” said Treg Manning, Vice President of Airbus Helicopters Inc.
The Airbus Helicopters H145 leads the light twin-engine helicopter market, incorporating an innovative Helionix avionics suite (also found on the H135, H160 and H175) and 4-axis autopilot. The aircraft’s combination of speed and performance, along with the Fenestron tail rotor, large cabin and rear-loading clamshell doors, makes it an appealing choice for law enforcement customers.