MCSO unveils new helicopter dedicated to fallen deputy

Apr 18, 2021, 6:30 AM | Updated: 7:36 pm
(Screenshot/MCSO Facebook Video)...
(Screenshot/MCSO Facebook Video)
(Screenshot/MCSO Facebook Video)

PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office unveiled a new rescue helicopter Friday, dedicated to a deputy who lost his life in the line of duty.

The new Bell 429 helicopter has been named after Deputy Kenneth Blair, a 22-year Air Force veteran and a deputy sheriff with MCSO for eight years before he was killed on Sept. 28, 1995.

On that day, Blair responded to a domestic violence call at an apartment complex near Luke Air Force Base. As first on the scene, he called for backup but then decided to enter the home after hearing a woman scream from inside.

Upon entering, Blair was shot and killed immediately.

“Ken Blair was a man who spent his entire adult life in service of his country and community. He was an air force veteran, a deputy sheriff, Ken was a hero,” Lieutenant James Schoeninger said during the dedication at the MSCO Training Center in Phoenix. “He was a husband, he was a friend, he was a squadmate.

“He and his memory and his sacrifice will never be forgotten. This helicopter is dedicated to his memory and is a constant reminder to honor those from our past who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as we continue our march into the future.”

The twin engine helicopter is larger than MCSO’s current helicopter and has a heavy rescue capability, which will allow the department to conduct hoist rescue operations, officials said. It also provides more efficiency for missions and a higher margin of safety for rescues that may occur at a high altitude such as in the mountains.

The aircraft features Blair’s badge number “812” displayed on the engine as part of the aircraft’s FAA registration number.

“Not only is hopefully Ken watching over us these days, he cared about the community, he cared about this agency, he cared about law enforcement,” MCSO Chief Deputy Russ Skinner said. “Now, he has another tool with honor of his number on that piece of equipment to watch over and serve the public.”

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Valley contractor owes employees $2.6M in wages, damages in settlement

A Phoenix-area construction contractor agreed to pay $2.6 million in back wages and damages as part of a settlement reached last month, authorities said.
24 hours ago
President Joe Biden tours the building site for a new computer chip plant for Taiwan Semiconductor ...
Associated Press

President Joe Biden touts economic plan at TSMC chip plant in north Phoenix

President Joe Biden on Tuesday visited the site for a new computer chip plant in Phoenix and touted his economic plan.
24 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Child killed in 2-vehicle collision on Thomas Road in central Phoenix

A child is dead and three other people are in the hospital after a collision in central Phoenix on Tuesday morning, authorities said.
24 hours ago
(Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)...

Special counsel investigating Trump sends subpoena to Valley elections officials

A federal investigator wants know what Donald Trump and his surrogates said to Maricopa County elections officials before and after the 2020 election.
24 hours ago
(Unsplash Photo)...

Pecking orders from Chandler expand rules on keeping backyard chickens

Families in a Phoenix suburb will be counting their chickens, but only up to five, after the city government approved backyard chickens.
24 hours ago
(KTAR News File Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Police say possible gun at Scottsdale school was just computer equipment

The student who reported a possible gunman at a Scottsdale high school last week actually saw somebody carrying computer equipment, police said.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
MCSO unveils new helicopter dedicated to fallen deputy