A couple of years ago I was leaving the Fed. courthouse downtown and the security guys were talking about some unidentified small plane buzzing around downtown. By the time I walked back to my office in the Wachovia bldg. one of these things was hovering just outside. Not only do they exist, they’re not that far away.
Looks like a Bell 430, a very nice aircraft. Too bad the photo doesn’t show the registry, we could have looked it up. Bell’s website advertises the 430 as having law enforcement/homeland security applications, and there was a press release and a news item mentioning a contract with DHS/Border Patrol for these aircraft back in ’04.
There are also five Bell 430’s registered in Florida to civil operators (assuming it’s local):
Oh yes, Nic, I recognized it. The 430 is an excellent aircraft, and a wonderful platform for customization. (Certainly beats the snot off the AH-64 Apache, one of which seems to crash every time you turn around?) Paint it black, pop in an engine silencer, and I can’t think of anything smarter for our shadow government to be using. Surely you don’t think they’re having their own stuff custom made, do you? Nah, they’re way too smart for that.
Onajide’s post-processing stripped the EXIF data off the photo, but I wonder how fast a shutter speed you’d need to perfectly freeze the motion of a stock 430’s rotors?
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