New helicopter for Rusa

2015-06-11 06:00
The new Rusa helicopter.x

The new Rusa helicopter.x

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REACTION Unit South Africa (Rusa) flew in their new helicopter to its base in Verulam on Friday.

The aircraft was flown in by helicopter pilot and Rusa head, Prem Balram from Virginia Airport with crew from Tracker KZN, Amitesh Bagwandeen.

The Robinson R44 Raven 2 has replaced ZS-HFO, the Helicopter that crashed on Friday, 3 April.

Investigation found that the cause of the crash was negligent engineering by an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation in Durban who had serviced the aircraft days before and had left fuel pipes loose that led to the crash.

The pilot escaped death and sustained minor injuries while his crew, paramedic Jerome Samduth suffered serious spinal injury and is recovering.

Rusa and a London based insurance company are expected to lodge a massive civil claim within a few weeks against the maintenance organisation.

The aircraft was written off after its damages totalled R3.1 million.

Spokesperson for Reaction Unit South Africa, Sunika Hobraj said that the company had searched for a suitable aircraft in the USA, United Kingdom and in South Africa and eventually found the helicopter in Durban.

Hobraj said that the aircraft was fitted with crime fighting tools and more equipment was ordered from Europe that will be fitted in the aircraft when approved by Civil Aviation Authorities. A thermal imaging camera will be fitted to track suspects in the dense bushes and buildings at night and aviation approved spotlights and communication systems have been ordered to be installed in Johannesburg.

Hobraj said the aircraft had also been fitted with navigational equipment, aviation Garmin GPS and cameras for recording.

She added that the branding on the aircraft had been changed to a new design in an attempt to “fade the memory of the traumatic crash of ZS-HFO”.

Hobraj thank the hundreds of well wishers that visited the Rusa offices within hours of the aircraft landing. She also thanked the public for taking time off on Friday to witness the first landing of the aircraft

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