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News > LifeLine Critical Care Transport Orders Four EC145s to Upgrade Its Fleet

LifeLine Critical Care Transport Orders Four EC145s to Upgrade Its Fleet

October 21, 2008

From its booth at the 2008 Air Medical Transport Conference, American Eurocopter announced that LifeLine Critical Care Transport, a Clarian Health Partner, has ordered four EC145s to upgrade its current fleet of BK117s. The first aircraft is scheduled to arrive in late 2009 with complete transition to the new fleet expected by the end of 2010.

“We are honored that Clarian Health Partners has selected the EC145 to upgrade their fleet,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “They have experienced over 25 years of success with the BK117, and we look forward to them continuing their success as they move to the EC145.”

“LifeLine has safely relied on the BK117 airframe for over 25 years,” says Shelly Maersch, Program Director for LifeLine Critical Care Transport. “The upgrade to the EC145 was an obvious choice because of the outstanding performance of the BK117 and the tremendous support from American Eurocopter.”

LifeLine Critical Care Transport is the only transport system affiliated with Level I Trauma Centers (Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children) operating in Indiana and it has safely completed over 65,000 missions in the history of the program. LifeLine is also the only “all-mode” transport team, and it operates four helicopters, one KingAir 90 and up to six ground ambulances.

“Our program does a large number of specialty team transports including neonates, IABP and ventricular assist devices with extra crew members, so the large cabin size and increased usable load were all driving factors,” continues Maersch. “The greatest advancement from the BKs will be the addition of IFR to our program."

Powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines, the EC145 offers a combination of speed and performance that, when added to the helicopter’s high set main and tail rotors, large cabin and rear-loading clamshell doors, has made it the helicopter of choice for a large number of AMS programs in the United States and worldwide.

The aircraft is offered in single pilot IFR and dual pilot IFR configurations. Both options are equipped with the modern MEGHAS glass cockpit and digital autopilot, which can greatly reduce pilot workload. Maersch explains that these advancements as well as the available options for enhanced technology such as Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatibility and a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) were also driving factors in their decision to choose the EC145. 

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. subsidiary of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and the company markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopter's headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS and its West Coast Regional Support Facility, in Long Beach, CA.

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