Local News

Highway patrol's Christmas present – new helicopter

Posted December 31, 2008

— The North Carolina Highway Patrol got a new Bell 407 helicopter last week, according to Capt. Everett Clendenin.

The Bell 407 is a single engine helicopter capable of carrying up to five passengers with a pilot and co-pilot.

The aircraft comes equipped with:

  • a thermal imaging camera
  • street level mapping
  • 30 million candlepower spotlight
  • video downlink system
  • night vision compatible cockpit for night operations
  • two 800 mhz VIPER capable radios with simulcast capability
  • cargo hook for future rescue operations.

It has a top speed of 130 knots compared with the patrol's aircraft fleet, which is around 100 knots.

“The Bell 407 aircraft will allow the highway patrol to be more responsive to the citizens of North Carolina assisting with searches, local law enforcement requests and rescues during disasters,” Col. Walter Wilson, Jr. said, according to the patrol's news release.

The new aircraft will be placed in service as soon as internal training is complete.


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  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Dec 31, 2008

    "BTW, nice headline WRAL. Why don't you make your disgust a little more obvious."

    Nah, that's what we're here for, LEO.

  • WRALwontdeletemyaccount Dec 31, 2008

    Great, another expensive toy for the HP to play with, funded by you and me.

  • woodrowboyd2 Dec 31, 2008

    maybe they should have bought a hot air model
    keep it green

  • SANDHILL Dec 31, 2008

    A nice present from the taxpayers to the SHP. Does it have rocket launchers so it can take out speeders in high speed chases?

  • TheDude abides... Dec 31, 2008

    NOT a big fan of the thermal imaging camera. If it can see thru walls, then I hate it! Should have to have a warrant.

    Copter should be an even better chick magnet for the troopers that the cruiser.

  • retired and luv it Dec 31, 2008

    The boys and their toys. So much money wasted that should be spent on troopers on the roads not in helicopters and fancy flight suites or on fancy motorcycles with all the bling, and dog units I won t go into. Why can t they stick to the basics and enforce traffic laws minus all the extra stuff and get some effective leadership?

  • Justin T. Dec 31, 2008

    What ever you do, troopers, for pete's sake don't get caught kicking the helicopter on somebody's cell phone video. I'd hate to see this program get shut down, too.

    I would make sure I very lightly used my wrenches and said soothing comments to the helicopter if I was the mechanic, also.

  • 911girl4life Dec 31, 2008

    bryan, How do you know you were being paced? Just because you drive a bright red Trans Am don't make you a target anymore than it does me, I'm a blonde who drives a convertible. They could have been looking for someone else. These leo's do the very best they can and need the very best equipment to get the job done in order to keep us and themselves safe. How can anyone put a price on that???

  • leo-nc Dec 31, 2008

    Pleshy, bless your heart. haha

  • UNCfuturealumi Dec 31, 2008

    Lets just say it beats the heck out of getting the new jet for the Mr and Mrs Easley to relax in for a short flight to the shore.