New Helicopter Arrives at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City

It was a big day at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City as a new helicopter arrived.

In October, the Air Station announced they’d be getting a major upgrade to their helicopter fleet.

Their four MH-65 Dolphin helicopters are being replaced with three bigger MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters.

Thursday, the first one landed at the station.

A fully loaded MH-60 weighs about 22,000 pounds.

It can carry more fuel and make longer trips.

“There’s a big difference in terms of on scene endurance when we’re doing a search,” says Rob Donnell, operations officer at Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City. “With that capability we can get to any of the extremes of the Great Lakes region. So Duluth, Chicago, Buffalo on one fuel load in the H-60 and then search for a couple of hours before having to stop and get gas.”

The rest of the fleet will arrive this summer.

Crews at the Air Station will also be transitioning this summer.

13 new pilots will be coming on board ready to fly the new helicopters.