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BCSO unveils new helicopter for Metro Air Support Unit

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Gino Gutierrez
/
KSFR News
The new helicopter, designated "Metro 2" lifts off for the first time at Double Eagle Airport in Albuquerque on Monday morning

Nearly five months to the day after a deadly helicopter crash took the lives of four Bernalillo County first responders, the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office relaunched the Metro Air Support Unit with their new addition, “Metro 2”.

The 2007 A Star B3 helicopter will be capable of carrying up to five people, but general patrol duties will only require two occupants.

The helicopter is also capable of minimal rescue and fire bucket work. A civilian pilot will fly the aircraft to start, with a BCSO sergeant currently training to fly as well.

Sheriff Manny Gonzales III said the road to launching this program has been difficult, but that the maiden flight of Metro 2 is a cause for celebration.

“It’s been difficult but today is a good day, it's a good day because the aircraft is going to go up today. A lot of people were uncertain about whether we were going to be able to move forward and I give all the credit to the staff. It’s been very difficult to be able to come to work everyday knowing the losses they’ve had. But they’ve come to work diligently, working hard with the thought of getting back up into the air.”

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Gino Gutierrez
/
KSFR News
"Metro 2" hovers over the ground shortly after liftoff

After the ceremony concluded, the helicopter lifted off for the first time and will now begin its life of service.

Gino Gutierrez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A lifelong resident of New Mexico, Gino found interest in broadcasting after falling in love with sports and sports broadcasting. He attended the University of New Mexico, where he majored in mass media journalism. While at UNM, he worked the New Mexico Daily Lobo, serving as both sports and managing editor. He can also be heard providing play-by-play commentary for the Lobo Hockey Network.