Local News

Highway patrol's Christmas present – new helicopter

Posted December 31, 2008 11:14 a.m. EST
Updated December 31, 2008 2:48 p.m. EST

— 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.