Second group of Botswana police pilots training on Enstrom 480B


The second group of pilots from the Botswana Police Service Air Support Branch have arrived in South Africa for their second Enstrom 480B Helicopter Pilot Type Conversion Training course.

They are flying Enstrom 480B registration BPS-12, the second of three helicopters to be delivered to the Botswana Police Air Support Branch. The first (BPS-11) was delivered in November 2020 and is already in operation in Botswana, Safomar Aviation said on 16 February.

The pilot training for this project is being facilitated by Safomar Aviation Operations along with aircraft maintenance engineer training which was facilitated by Mega Aero Training Academy. Both training companies are members of the Safomar Aviation Group of Companies.

The Safomar Aviation Group of Companies has been able to offer the Botswana Police Service Air Support Branch a turn-key solution for this project, from aircraft type acquisition to mission equipment selection and integration, maintenance support services, spares support and supply, logistics plus pilot and engineer training.

Safomar Aviation, Enstrom’s local dealer, in December 2019 announced the Botswana order for three Enstrom 480Bs. Once in service, the upgraded Enstrom 480Bs will be used for crime prevention, wildlife conservation, command and control and search and rescue as well as training.

The new helicopters are customized to the Botswana Police Service specifications and include navigation and communication equipment, cargo slinging and light emergency medical systems. Apart from specialist police duties, the aircraft can be quickly configured for the passenger role and carry three to five people.

Australia’s Trakka Systems is supplying A800searchlights and TC-300S multi-sensor cameras for the helicopters.

The Enstrom 480B multi-role light turbine helicopter is in service in more than 30 countries and this includes with the Indonesian National Police, Japanese Ground Self-Defence, Royal Thai Army, Colombian Air Force, Chilean Army, US Police departments, Venezuela Air Force etc.

The type first flew in 1989 and entered service in 1993. It is powered by a Rolls-Royce 250-C20W turbine producing 313 kW although maximum continuous power is 206 kW. This gives a maximum speed of 230 km/h and endurance of five hours.