The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) will soon begin looking to source a replacement helicopter for the MD530F lost in an on airport crash as it departed for a drug interdiction flight on June 26th, 2019.
Although still requiring one more departmental sign off, SLED passed the first hurdle in replacing their badly needed helicopter after passing review from the SC state bond review office.
SLED will now need the final sign off from South Carolina’s state Fiscal Accountability Authority before being able to complete the replacement process, for which SLED is considering purchasing a used airframe for that will be retrofitted with the needed law enforcement mission equipment. SLED officials stated that insurance payments from the downed helicopter will likely pay for the majority of the airframe purchase.
The crash of one of the department’s MD helicopter fleet was the first in the history of the agency, started in 1947. Although no cause has yet been given for the crash, the pilot of the aircraft only sustained minor injuries, with the aircraft sustaining major structural damage, shearing off the helicopter’s tail cone and coming to rest with the nose of the aircraft pointed directly upwards.