The newly established airborne law enforcement unit of the Plaquemines Parish, La. sheriff’s office received the keys to a Model 480B Guardian from Enstrom president and CEO Jerry Mullins on Sunday at Heli-Expo. Plaquemines Parish is Enstrom’s third U.S. customer for the 480B and its 25th worldwide.
Mullins said that most of the 480B units have sold outside the U.S. because the procurement process for domestic municipal customers often stretches into a second budget year. But for many of Enstrom’s other customers, he said, “When they say they want it, they just get it.” Mullins added that Enstrom hopes to gain orders for the 480B from customers who considered its erstwhile competitor, the Bell 206B3.
The Plaquemines Parish 480B comes equipped with a cargo hook, a Spectrolab SX-5 searchlight and a gyrocam infrared camera system. The parish is the southernmost in Louisiana, situated where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, and the 480B is meant to serve calls to the sheriff’s office from both offshore oil and gas operators and the region’s seafood industry.
Sheriff’s office pilot Patrick Becnel will begin training to operate the Chelton Flight System 3-D synthetic-vision EFIS 6.0B glass cockpit on the 480B, the first such installation in an OEM helicopter. The 480B is on display at Heli-Expo Booth No. 2231.