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Sweet home, not Alabama

By Jake Beleski

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There is a new sheriff in town that will provide Amalgamated Helicopters with greater range and emergency capabilities.

The McDonnell Douglas 600N aircraft, complete with sheriff logo and Alabama Homeland Security sticker, was formerly used by the Dale County Sheriff’s Department in Alabama, USA.

Last Friday it arrived in Carterton to become the third helicopter in the company’s fleet.

Amalgamated Helicopters co-director Jason Diedrichs said the new addition would allow the company to expand its search and rescue operations, while also continuing to provide quality service to its regular commercial clients.

“It’s important because it will allow us to cover the lower north island and top of the south. It will definitely increase our range.”

The process of getting the helicopter from Alabama to its new home in Wairarapa had taken less than a month.

“It was up in Tauranga for a few weeks getting inspected by our team but arrived here last Friday. The sheriff’s logo will eventually be covered by our company logo but other than that it will stay the same.”

The helicopter has a passenger capacity of seven plus the pilot, and is equipped with a Rolls Royce C47 engine.

It was Amalgamated Helicopter’s preferred choice due to its increased lifting capacity, ability to move more passengers in comfort and ability to work well in remote locations such as the Tararua Forest Park where the company’s aircraft are frequently used for search and rescue missions.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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