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News > Ontario PD puts third AS350 B2 into service

Ontario PD puts third AS350 B2 into service

February 12, 2012

Dallas, Texas – The Ontario (Calif.) Police Department has placed its third AS350 B2 into service. The aircraft, now complete with an advanced all-glass cockpit design, is performing patrol and surveillance missions for the City of Ontario, California.

“The dedication of the Ontario Police Department to the AS350 B2 confirms the position of the AS350 series as the helicopter of choice for U.S. law enforcement agencies,” said Ed Van Winkle, American Eurocopter’s Law Enforcement Market Manager. “The power and flexibility of the AS350 B2 have made it a capable and cost-effective choice for agencies that perform a wide variety of missions.”

Each of the Air Support Unit’s B2s are equipped with Spectrolab searchlights with 30 million candlepower, L-3/Wescam forward looking infrared (FLIR), and avionics for communication and navigation. As many as 60-70% of the Unit’s missions are flown at night, so outfitting its helicopters with additional high-tech equipment, including night vision goggle capability, is a necessity. Carrying a modern mission equipment suite may have been a problem for smaller, less powerful helicopters, but the AS350 B2 is able to do so with useful load to spare.

“The AS350 B2 continues to provide the power, cabin size and flexibility we need to successfully complete our missions,” said Sergeant Eric Weidner, Officer in Charge for the Ontario Police Department’s Air Unit.

“The cockpit and flight decks are the most easily configurable out there. It lends itself to almost anything we want to do, and since so much of our flight time comes at night, having that cockpit customized to our own specifications cuts down on the workload and fatigue for our pilots. There was no question as to what we wanted when it was time to purchase an additional helicopter; the B2 continues to be the right tool for the job.”

The Ontario Police Department’s Air Support Unit was founded in 1989, and it converted to Eurocopter aircraft and the AS350 B2 in 2002. In addition to performing the normal patrol and surveillance missions, the Unit’s helicopters also provide assistance to the Identification Unit for aerial photography, the SWATTeam for its specialized operations, the Detective Bureau, the Narcotics Unit, and occasionally other agencies within the City of Ontario.

For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at Heli-Expo 2012, see the event page.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter’s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.

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