Mesa, Arizona – March 4, 2013. Phoenix Heliparts has refurbished an MD 500 for Paradise Helicopters of Oahu, Hawaii, which is a copy of the one used in the hit TV show, Magnum, P.I. The aircraft will be signed on-site, at Heli-Expo 2013, by Magnum, P.I. actors: Larry Manetti who played local beach club owner, Rick Wright; and Roger E. Mosley who played helicopter pilot, Theodore “T.C.” Calvin.
Phoenix refurbished the entire airframe and upgraded its avionics suite. The aircraft even matches the original’s multi-colored exterior, and is marked with the same tail number, N58243. The MD 500D also features an automatic re-light system, which is being STC’d by Phoenix, and Diamond J, Vivisun LED Master Caution annunciators and Insco transducer instruments, which Phoenix installed after removing all ‘wet’ gauges from the cockpit.
The MD 500D was originally a Honolulu police department aircraft, but is now destined to fly the islands of Hawaii with tour company, Paradise Helicopters. During the aircraft’s delivery ceremony at Heli-Expo – to be held at 11.30am, March 5, 2013 – Phoenix will present Paradise Helicopter’s owner, Calvin Dorn, with the keys to the refurbished ship. Heli-Expo 2013 also marks Phoenix’s tenth anniversary; the company will hold a customer appreciation event at 2.00pm on March 5, 2013, at its HAI booth C-1527.
Phoenix Heliparts president, Tina Cannon, said, “Refurbishing this Magnum, P.I. copy was an exhilarating experience for the team at Phoenix. We brought a little bit of Hollywood to Arizona. We’re extremely proud of the job we did with the airframe and avionics – I’m sure that Paradise Helicopters’ customers will enjoy the experience of flying in this helicopter just as much as we enjoyed refurbishing it.
“To undertake the ship’s fantastic paint job and ensure it was as close to the original as possible, we collaborated with Straube’s Aircraft Services in Kingman, Arizona, who completed the paint application.”
Magnum, P.I. actor, Larry Manetti, who played local beach club owner Rick Wright, said, “I just came back from Hawaii where I have a recurring part on the new Hawaii Five-0 and seeing the new Magnum, P.I. helicopter brought back a lot of memories. It sure looks like they did a lot of work on the helicopter to make it look like the original.”
Fellow Magnum, P.I. actor, Roger E. Mosley, who played helicopter pilot, Theodore “T.C.” Calvin, said, “Working on the show was a pure blast, a once in a lifetime experience. I’ve been on a lot of shows, and with this one everyone really enjoyed it. The atmosphere in Hawaii is great.
“I think fans of the show who are going to Hawaii for the Magnum, P.I. experience will have a great time on this aircraft.”
The MD 500D features a range of newly installed avionics. Its Flightcell DZMX satellite communications and tracking system, which Phoenix Heliparts is currently obtaining an STC for, allows for usage via the Iridium Satellite network as well as via cellular networks by the installation of a SIM card from any cellular provider. This gives owners the flexibility to use the cellular network when signal is available keeping Iridium service costs down. A wireless router can interface to the DZMX to provide wireless access from the cellular network as well. Also installed were the RC Allen Gyro RCA2600-3 digital attitude indicator and the Garmin GTN™ 635 touchscreen GPS/COMM color map device.