The sheriff has a new ‘Hawk One’ to patrol the skies over Fayette County

The new Hawk One helicopter gets an inflight portrait taken by its retiring predecessor in this photo provided by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department.

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office has replaced its aging helicopter with a much-newer model.

The AS350 B2 chopper from American Eurocopter becomes the new “Hawk 1” replacing the older Vietnam-era Bell OH-58 unit, purchased in 2002.

The old Hawk 1 was experiencing much more downtime due to maintenance, and parts were becoming hard to come by, said Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah.

“The maintenance issues were getting to where it was down more than it was up,” Hannah said.

The new helicopter, a 2006 model, was purchased for $1.7 million using confiscated drug funds, Hannah said. Equipment from the old unit, such as the radio system and the night vision cameras, were moved from the old unit to the new one, he said.

The new Hawk 1 has already been in service, assisting last week with the search for a gunman in Clayton County who had shot and killed a Clayton sheriff’s deputy.

For those interested in getting a look at it, the new Hawk 1 will be on display Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at the National Night Out event in the parking lot of the Target store at the Fayette Pavilion.

The new unit, unlike the old OH-58, can handle a full load of passengers.

The older helicopter is being prepared for the auction block, Hannah said. Beyond just the downtime, the unit was so old that under FAA regulations, new pilots couldn’t log training hours while flying it, Hannah added.

The helicopter has paid dividends in searching for criminals, in conjunction with the department’s K-9 unit, Hannah noted. Hawk 1 is available to assist other nearby agencies as well, he added.

Hannah noted that the Federal Aviation Administration’s Atlanta Tower has been a big help to the department, as part of its space includes a northern swath of Fayette County. The FAA has been helpful in providing almost immediate clearance to enter the airspace when needed, Hannah added.

moelarrycurly
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Can handle a full load

of passengers. Boy, how did we ever survive without that feature? Who is going along for the ride? Frady and Hearn and buds to take an overhead look at the terrain of the WFB?

Think Hearn could help spot any weed growing in Fayette County for us? Who would he tell when he saw it? Certainly not the SD.

And how far are they going with these "passengers"? And who cares, as long as the drug money pays, right?

PTC Observer
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Incentive

"The new helicopter, a 2006 model, was purchased for $1.7 million using confiscated drug funds..."

Talk about an incentive to keep the drug laws just the way they are....wow!

Any talk about legalizing drugs will stop in the hanger please.

Cyclist
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FCSD Helicopter Toy Thingy

They should not have bought this "toy" for a "man" sized job. By gosh, if you're going to do it right......save up those drug funds and buy one of these:

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/aircraft/helicopter-m/ah64/ah64d_01.jpg

Of course, it will have to come equipped with those newly developed "bust-a-thug" missiles.

bad_ptc
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Cy and the 'man toy'

I just can't imagine how bad the thugs would feel after they successfully robbed the bank, beat the old lady while car-jacking her and then thinking they were going to actually make the mad dash back to Clayton County only to have one of these appear about 500 yards dead ahead.

OH BLEEP! just wouldn't do it justice.

They'd never be able to get that stain out of the seat.

P.S. Can we get one with the shark smile painted on the sides?

How about we use little Cadillac Escalade stickers for the hash marks?

What does it cost per hour to fly one of those things?

Cyclist
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bad: mean machine cost

Let's see....

Cost to crew: $200

Cost to operate per hour: $400

Cost of a BAT (Bust-a-Thug) Missile: $1500

Watching the eyes of the thugs grow large as the missile approaches: Priceless.

We could cut the cost the of crew by a 1/3 by seeking volunteers to act as the weapon launcher. It can't be any more complicated than a video game.

AtHomeGym
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Cy & Machines

Could have probably have bought a Predator for that kind money--but that doesn't get all the electronics needed to remote-control one. Oh yeah--missles are extra! No matter, I think that 1.7 Mil could have been spent in areas that would return much more benefit than that heli. Surelooks like "eye candy" and bragging rights to me. 1.7 mil buys lots of vehicles, training, and some more K9 Dogs--all which would be more useful in DAILY LEA activities, rather than "on demand" heli opns.

roundabout
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GYM

Fayette does not need a helicopter, even when it is free.

Considering the expenses of keeping it going which can not be paid for by dope money, there is no justification nor need.

The money to train and pay pilots and the insurance and maintenance, plus spare parts, must be very expensive.

Fuel at 3-4 dollars per gallon, probably more for aviation fuel, keeps it on the ground much of the time anyway.

There are safety checks and bulletins to keep up with also. Then there are many flights just to keep the pilots trained.

Does anyone know what it costs to run the Fayette Sheriff's office?
The jail ought to be considered seperately.

bad_ptc
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AtHomeGym, you have some good items on your list

however, I doubt the FCSO blew their entire wad on the whirly-bird. Let me say, 'I hope not'.

Somewhere there is an accounting of this money and I'm sure some, if not all, of the things you mentioned could receive additional funding.

That being said, there is also a list of what can and what can't be funded with this type of money.

My question, to anyone who knows, does the county have any say in how these funds should be spent or does that authority rest solely with the FCSO?

bad_ptc
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Cy, pull the trigger, vaproize an Escalade w/thugs...

I'm there!

roundabout
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PTCO

It would also cut out the millions stolen by law officials and politicians nationwide from the cash impounded.
Even tons of dope disappear!

RKS
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Name the plane Clayton

...after all, it will probably be hunting down plenty ClayCo thugs as they come into town to start trouble, rob banks, rob people and shoplift.

roundabout
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RKS, the dreamer

The sheriff has had a helicopter for about ten years. To my knowledge they haven't hunted down one perp yet!
It is a department toy and show off.

SPQR
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compliments

compliments of the war on drugs

mar66cla
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Buy American!!!

Too bad they had to purchase a French made Eurocopter. Where is the patriotism. Bell helicopter makes the best whirly bird in the world.
Come on America, what are we doing to ourselves.