(Short) Photo Dossier – Bell 427, 9A-HTI

By Boran Pivčić
All photos author

Here is some living proof that the early bird catches the worm – or in this case, helicopter. I’ve been wanting to nail this thing for awhile now, ever since it came on the Cro register about a year or two back. Owned by a prominent local industrialist who had traded it in for his former Bell 407 (recession? Is that something you eat? 🙂 ), it happened to be at the field on a February 2009 (early) morning when I was present at an inspection of the two AT-402s featured a couple of stories back. Normally it operates from a private helipad in eastern Zagreb, but on this occasion it was at Lučko – probably undergoing light maintenance with the Police squadron, which operates an almost all-Bell fleet (the odd helicopter out being a Robinson R.22) and has experience with Bell types.

Unfortunately, being otherwise engaged with a screwdriver and a rusted bolt, I failed to take any photos of it while it was being rolled out from the hangar (where I’m told it sometimes spends some time – but not on drunk flying charges 🙂 ). When I saw that they indeed meant to go flying soon, I dropped my tools and picked up the camera just in time to catch it after startup – and here are the results:

Serial number: 56056
Former reg: N8010J (Bell factory test registration)

What do all the tube thingies do?

What do all the tube thingies do? Mechanics checking the engines out - with them running - before departure. Despite its 2x 710 HP, pilots on the type say the 427 sometimes runs out of breath in hot and high conditions

Despite being large and relatively intimidating, you can still trace the 427's JetRanger heritage

Though large and relatively intimidating, you can still trace the 427's JetRanger (or rather LongRanger) heritage underneath all the exhausts and stabilizers

Gently lifting off from the Police helipad

Gently lifting off from the Police helipad. Strangely enough, apart from the Police Agusta-Bell AB.212, this is the only twin-engined civil helicopter in the country

And the paintscheme is subtle too :)

And the paintscheme is subtle too 🙂

Departing to the west rather quickly at low level

Departing the field rather quickly at low level

The aforementioned Bell 407. Notice the similar reg - HIT vs HTI, T and I being the initials of the owner, while H is the generic prefix for civil helicopters

The aforementioned Bell 407, 9A-HIT. Notice the similar reg - HIT vs HTI, T and I being the initials of the owner, while H is the generic prefix for civil helicopters

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