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Three Organizations: One Goal MD Helicopters + Rotor Resources + Gwinnett County PD = Successful Ops

Posted 3 years 59 days ago ago by Admin

Stephen R. Covey, the American educator and author of the popular book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People once wrote, “Synergy is what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand! It's the profound result when two or more respectful human beings determine to go beyond their preconceived ideas to meet a great challenge.” And such can be the case when it comes to bringing new helicopters into service.

There are several methods for bringing mission-oriented aircraft – such as those for air ambulance, SAR, or law enforcement – from the manufacturing line to community service. There are times when the aircraft will remain at the OEM facilities during the entire production process, and the customer will travel back and forth from their base of operations for meetings to check the progress. This process can be time-consuming and costly depending on how far the customer has to travel.

There is another way, though. If the opportunity exists and the proverbial moon and stars align, working with strategic partners during the manufacturing process can save the customer time, resources, and money. The Gwinnett County Police Department’s new MD 530F is a perfect example of this process.

The Gwinnett County Police Department is a nationally accredited police agency located in the northeastern quadrant of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The department currently has an authorized strength of 878 sworn officers supported by 274 civilian employees with the responsibility of providing law enforcement services to approximately 927,000 residents within an area of 437 square miles.

The Gwinnett County Police Department Aviation Unit, in operation since 1975, is based at Briscoe Field and Gwinnett County Airport in Georgia. The unit uses its fleet of two MD 530F helicopters to provide direct aerial support to its uniformed patrol officers responding to criminal activity, and general support to all other divisions within the Gwinnett County government.

The other two partners in this synergistic equation are MD Helicopters, Inc. (MDHI), based in Mesa, Arizona and Rotor Resources, LLC, based in Hiram, Georgia. MDHI, as the OEM, supports new aircraft sales, aftermarket upgrades, and long-term sustainment of the county fleet through parts supply, pilot and maintenance training, and technical support.  

MDHI partners with a global network of Authorized Service Centers (ASC) and distributors to better meet the local maintenance needs of its customers. The global network supports MDHI customers with OEM-trained maintenance personnel for aircraft missionization, as well as scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

In comes Rotor Resources. Rotor Resources, in business since 2006, is the MDHI Authorized Service Center contracted by Gwinnett County PD. Rotor Resources, an Authorized Service Center with MDHI for years – and located just 30 minutes away from the Gwinnett County Police Department Aviation Unit hangar – provides service and support to a wide range of MDHI helicopter operators across the Southeastern U.S. In addition to being an MD ASC, Rotor Resources also provides maintenance services to operators of Airbus and Bell products.

Rotor Resources is the perfect “middleperson” to be between the OEM and the end user. “We consider ourselves to be experts in law enforcement mission package installations and are well-known in the Southeast U.S.,” said Paul Reese, maintenance manager & chief inspector for Rotor Resources.

History and experiences reinforce this statement. Over the past 13 years, Rotor Resources has performed work for much of the urban Atlanta area law enforcement community including the City of Atlanta, Gwinnett County, DeKalb County, Clayton County, and the Georgia State Patrol, just to name a few. When asked about the key to its success Reese indicates, “In addition to having a capable and competent team, we strive to treat every customer like they are our only customer.”

For MDHI, creating this type of synergy between the operator, the service center and themselves is not unique. “Many of our ASCs have local maintenance contracts in place with MD operators. We are always prepared to provide general maintenance/MRO services here in Mesa (MDHI is Part 145 certified), but we recognize that having strategically located OEM-trained service and support options available to our operators for the provision of day-to-day and/or emergency maintenance actions is a valuable, productivity-enhancing option,” said Nick Nenadovic, vice president of aftermarket and customer support.

Gwinnett LE Mission Package Includes:

  • FLIR 380-HD camera
  • Churchill mapping system
  • AEM loudspeaker system
  • Technisonic tactical radio system
  • Spectrolab searchlight
  • Macro-Blue monitor
  • REBTECHs Night Vision System
The process begins with all three organizations coming together to decide how the aircraft will be configured and what mission equipment will be installed on the aircraft. Once those decisions are made, the teams develop a plan for which organization will do what work. The goal is to divvy up the work in a way that reduces redundant work and saves the operator time and money. For example, it was agreed that MD would install the mount for the nose camera on the 530F, which involved cutting into the fuselage. From a time/cost perspective, although Rotor Resources could have done the installation, it made more sense for the end customer to have MD cut the fuselage prior to paint when the aircraft was still green.

This is the third helicopter that Rotor Resources has completed for Gwinnett. The entire project will take only four months and will have been delivered just prior to Christmas 2019 as this article was being written. Once the helicopter is delivered and begins serving the community, the advantage is still in Gwinnett’s favor because ongoing support is only minutes away. “This arrangement ensures a high level of operational availability while minimizing the need for additional direct county employees and spare parts inventory management,” Nenadovic of MDHI said.

In this three-way partnership, all parties have to rely on one another to some degree. Just as Gwinnett relies on Rotor Resources to competently outfit its aircraft in a timely manner, Rotor Resources relies on MD for technical support throughout the process. “For many years, the support that the MDHI technical representatives have provided Rotor Resources has been excellent, and has helped make us who we are as an MD Authorized Service Center,” Reese said.