The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) received its first two of six ordered Bell 407GX helicopters on 22 July 2014. They will replace part of the current aviation fleet of nine helicopters and five airplanes, assigned to six aviation patrol units across the US state.
Several new components on each ship will enable the Pennsylvania State Police flight crews to more rapidly and effectively pinpoint exact ground locations from the air as well as provide for interoperable radio communications with ground-based first responders, which operate on a multitude of radio frequencies. The new capabilities also provide real time situational awareness to incident commanders and first responders during times of critical incidents or disasters. ABC News has a picture of one of the new Bell 407GXs.
Bell Helicopter has supported the Pennsylvania State Police since 1969 when it delivered two Bell 47s, the first Bell helicopters to be part of an airborne law enforcement team. The new Bell 407GX can accommodate six passengers in the cabin, plus a crew of two.
The aircraft feature the fully-integrated Garmin G1000H flight deck, that includes high resolution LCD screens with primary flight and multi-function display information, including a Helicopter Terrain Avoidance Warning System, Helicopter Synthetic Vision Technology, Traffic Information Systems and more. The 407GX also features a tail rotor camera, allowing the pilot a clear view of the tail during take-offs and landings.
Until the arrival of the new Bells the Pennsylvania State Police operated five or six Bell Jet Rangers plus a Bell 407 bought in 1999, from various locations. Each of those can carry up to four passengers, or two litter patients. In 2003 the PSP bought two Agusta A117 Koala helicopters, with re-configurable interiors to allow for the use of stretchers, cargo handling or extra passengers. The fixed-wing flight of the PSP Aviation Department of five aircraft includes at least four Cessna 182 Skylanes.
Source: Bell Helicopters / Pennsylvania State Police