News: Polk County Sheriff’s Office orders new MD 500E

By: Ana Thrasher
Published: July 8, 2013

MD Helicopters has announced the order for a new MD 500E Helicopter from the Polk County Florida Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). This will be the first replacement for the current Sheriff’s Office fleet of 3 OH58’s. “We are pleased to receive this new order to support the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit,” said Craig Kitchen, Chief Commercial Officer of MDHI. “The 500E is a versatile, proven aircraft, equipped to support the rigors of law enforcement missions. Its speed, durability, maneuverability and overall performance are unmatched in a police helicopter.”

The MD 500E helicopter delivers the highest speed, payload and productivity in its class. The newly ordered helicopter will start the PCSO’s replacement plan of its current fleet of aging aircraft. Equipped with seven full-time pilots and 10 part-time flight officers, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit began back in 1972, when it started with two fixed-wing aircraft. Helicopters were added to the aviation unit in 1982. In 1995 four U.S. Army surplus OH-58’s were acquired. Currently the PCSO Aviation Unit operates the three OH 58 turbine helicopters and one Cessna 182 fixed wing aircraft.

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