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News > Flight For Life's New EC145s Ready for Service

Flight For Life's New EC145s Ready for Service

July 1, 2009

Grand Prairie, Texas The first of the Flight For Life Transport System’s two new EC145s has entered into service. The aircraft was inaugurated on Tuesday, June 30, during a ceremony at Flight For Life’s Waukesha, Wisconsin headquarters, where the helicopter will be based. The aircraft, as well as the second EC145, was completed by Helicopter Specialties (HSI) in Janesville, Wisconsin, where the EMS interior and numerous enhancements were installed.

Flight for Life EC145Some of the features include wire strike protection, Honeywell Mark II Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, dual WAAS GPS units, weather radar, XM weather, Sky Connect Satellite Tracking System with satellite phone and a Technisonics TDFM 7158 Digital Radio  with UHF/VHF/800 capabilities and channel capacity of  510 channels per band. The aircraft is Night Vision Goggle (NVG) compatible, and is scheduled to be NVG operational by the end of the year. The EC145s are certified to be flown single pilot IFR, a capability Flight For Life plans to have in place within the next eighteen months. The aircraft also features the very first NAT Digital Audio Control System (DACS) to be installed in a helicopter in the United States.

“Flight For Life’s number one priority is safety,” said Jim Singer, Transport System Director for Flight For Life. “Our organization, and the aircraft we fly, is built around safety of the patients, the agencies we interact with, and our personnel.

“When we were ready to expand our fleet, we looked at available twin engine aircraft as well as at upgrading our current aircraft, and concluded that the EC145 was the best product to meet our needs,” Singer continued. “Improvements in technology and aircraft design have created a wide variety of safety options to choose from that were not available even a few years ago.  Acquiring the EC145s and outfitting them accordingly made the most sense for us.”

“The EC145 is particularly well-adapted to EMS missions and has seen wide acceptance with a growing number of air medical operators in the United Sates and around the world,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter.  “We are very pleased that a fine organization such as Flight For Life has added the EC145 to their fleet.”

The EC145, powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines, offers excellent performance and a fast cruise speed. Its high set main and tail rotors, rear-loading clamshell doors, large cabin, extra payload capacity, unmatched visibility and additional safety features have made it the helicopter platform of choice for EMS and other missions.

Flight For Life has three bases located in Waukesha/Milwaukee and Fond du Lac, WI, and McHenry, IL. Their second EC145 is scheduled to enter service by mid-July and will be based in McHenry. Two BK-117s are also currently owned by Flight For Life. The organization is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Since its inception in 1984, Flight For Life has completed over 27,000 safe transports, with a goal to link critically ill and injured people to resources that provide the optimum in medical care and outcomes.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the American 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 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, Mississippi and its West Coast Regional Support Facility, in Long Beach, CA.

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