NC will keep trying to unload unwanted helicopter

Posted June 9, 2014

Sikorsky helicopter owned by the state of North Carolina.

— North Carolina was unable to unload a state-owned helicopter after receiving no bids for the aircraft in an eBay auction, but the Department of Transportation will keep trying.

Gov. Pat McCrory put the 1998 Sikorsky S-76C+ helicopter on the block last month, saying the aircraft isn't often used and that the state could save money by selling it.

The seven-seat helicopter cost $265,000 to operate in fiscal 2012-13, and it logged about 417 hours of use from 2007 to 2013 at a cost of about $2.2 million.

State agencies used the helicopter, which is based at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, to monitor disaster recovery and take trips for economic development, but they were negotiating a contract with a private helicopter owner for use of an aircraft when needed.

The state set a $1.5 million opening bid for the helicopter, but no one met the asking price before the eBay auction closed at noon Monday.

The DOT is relisting the item, said Josh Ellis, a spokesman for McCrory. If it doesn't sell again, the agency will continue to pursue options to sell it, he said.


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  • Gene Parsons Jun 11, 2014
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    I do not understand why the state of N.C. attempts to sell their surplus aircraft on Ebay and pay a percentage selling fee when they could advertise them on Barnstormers.com which would only cost a donation of $20.00 dollars.

  • archmaker Jun 10, 2014

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    People with business sense know that if the government donates something to charity, the government doesn't get a tax write off from the government…

  • juliomercado Jun 10, 2014

    They obviously don't understand auctions or the reality of depreciation. If it was bought for 2.2 million new and now its 16 years old, its nowhere near worth a million 5.

  • Hal Price Jun 10, 2014
    user avatar

    I'll give em $250 that's my final offer.

  • sendusmessage Jun 9, 2014

    Just pay an aircraft broker and be done with it. Or hand it over to the troopers or something. No one serious buys aircraft on Ebay, cute as the idea sounded.

  • workerbee Jun 9, 2014

    Ebay? Really? Is this where all the people who want to spend $1.5 million on a helicopter go to shop? You'd think there be something a little more appropriate for this market.

  • Richard Eskridge Jun 9, 2014
    user avatar

    I actually prefer for the governor to have a helicopter. They have already paid for the thing anyway. Keeping it might be better for the purpose of not having to explain to a bunch of over-priced lawyers that a helicopter ride from a private party does not constitute some sort of endorsement, party favoritism or worse. The state could just as easily go bankrupt on lawyer fees alone. Besides, the helicopter was made in America. Can't go wrong there.

  • "Screen Name-8/20" Jun 9, 2014

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    I'm shocked they have it stored at RDU.

    Why was it not out at the SHP helipads and heli storage buildings???

    Storing it at RDU is absurd.

  • Greg Boop Jun 9, 2014
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    The hanger and storage fees at RDU airport are very steep. They would be much better off storing the copter elsewhere if the government does not plan to use it.

    They need to lower their starting bid on eBay by at least 60% if they expect anyone to bid.

  • Tim Pearce Jun 9, 2014
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