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)