Rotary News – HBA to the Rescue!

By me
All photos me too, copyrighted

In living proof that the wheels of bureaucracy grind exceedingly slowly, 9A-HBA – the first EC-135 for the Croatian Police – has finally entered active service, more than a month after originally arriving at Lučko 🙂 . The culprit for the delay was, rather unsurprisingly, the mountain of paperwork needed to transfer the machine onto the Croatian register – paperwork that involved cancelling its test reg in Spain, re-registering it in Croatia, sorting out its insurance, airworthiness, maintenance providers, training programs and various other technical and legal procedures (that are, truth be told, common to all aircraft).

Though not yet fully kitted out – an EO/IR (electro-optical/infra red) turret cam being in the works – HBA had nevertheless still played a policing role on its first mission, providing air support for the commemoration of the fall of the city of Vukovar during the 90s civil war 🙂 .

Old meets new as HBA - mfd in 2008 - taxis past one of the three Police JetRangers, itself completed back in 1979 . Finally registered and airworthy on paper, HBA has in the mean time received additional markings, and had today departed towards the east on a training mission as soon as the morning fog had allowed...
Old meets new as 9A-HBA taxis out past 9A-HDB, one of the three Police JetRangers. Still going strong, HDB was part of a 55-strong batch of Bell helicopters bought by Yugoslavia between 1970 and 1980, a batch that had included a sizable force of 34 JetRangers (of all marks). In law enforcement service since their delivery, these Bell machines have become part of the landscape, making HBA stand out like a sore thumb

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