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News > American Eurocopter delivers 2 EC145s, 1 EC135P2+ to EastCare air medical transport service in NC

American Eurocopter delivers 2 EC145s, 1 EC135P2+ to EastCare air medical transport service in NC

October 11, 2010

Grand Prairie, Texas – American Eurocopter has completed delivery of three new helicopters to EastCare, the critical care transportation service of University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina, Pitt County.  Two EC145s and one EC135P2+ now comprise the EastCare rotorcraft fleet, replacing three BK117s.

EastCare’s three new helicopters are fully configured for single and dual patient trauma care and life support during transport with a flight staff of eleven pilots and six mechanics under contract with Air Methods. The fleet completes more than 2,000 emergency evacuation and inter-facility transfer missions for trauma victims and cardiac patients each year with 30-minute average one-way flight times. 

Replacement of the BK117s has enabled EastCare to expand its service area and outreach to community hospitals in Eastern and Coastal North Carolina.  The service’s three new helicopters help improve mission efficiency and reduce long-term operating costs.  The new rotorcraft can handle heavier useful loads and are equipped for IFR flight with GPS approach capability.  Safety improvements include night vision goggles (NVGs), terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) and enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS).  EastCare and its helicopter fleet are currently accredited with commendation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS).

“Our decision to purchase these new helicopters was based on the need to enhance flight safety for our air crews, medical personnel and patients,” said Rhonda Reeder, EastCare Helicopter Services administrator.  “The new helicopters utilize several important safety systems not available on our previous fleet.”

Eurocopter’s EC145 is a twin-engine civil helicopter widely used for passenger transport, search and rescue and aeromedical services with capacity for two stretchers, three medical staff and one or two pilots. The helicopter earned FAA certification in 2002.  Powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turboshaft engines that each deliver 738 shaft horsepower (550 kW), it features a larger cabin than the BK117 design from which it was derived.  It is fully equipped for instrument flight (IFR). Cruise speed is 153 mph (133 kn/246 kmh) and range is 426 miles (370 nm/680 km).

The EC135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter widely used in law enforcement and aeromedical service.  The rotorcraft completed FAA certification in 1996 and has accumulated more than a million flight hours. The P2+ is the most recent production model rated for IFR with two 667 shaft horsepower (498 kW) Pratt & Whitney PW206B2 turboshaft engines that permit a 6,415-lb (2,910 kg) maximum takeoff weight.  Cruise speed is 158 mph (137 kn/254 kmh) and range is 393 miles (342 nm/635 km).

About EastCare
EastCare is the critical care air and ground transport service of University Health Systems of Eastern North Carolina, based at Pitt County Memorial Hospital in Greenville.  Started in 1985 and expanded in 1994, it that provides both rapid transportation and advanced medical care to critically ill and injured patients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. EastCare supplements local emergency services through helicopter and critical care ground unit service, neonatal transport and basic life support transport. As part of University Health Systems, EastCare is able to extend a high level of trauma service and specialized medical expertise throughout Eastern North Carolina’s 29-county region. EastCare is currently accredited from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). The Association of Air Medical Services (AAMS), the international association of air and surface medical transport systems, selected EastCare as the Program of the Year in 2000.  EastCare also received the Helicopter World/Air Ambulance SAR 2001 Award in March 2001 based on the unit's excellent performance during Hurricane Floyd and its subsequent flood.

About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer that produces, markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer in the United States. The company is a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defense and related services, and is an affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world. American Eurocopter’s product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. Company headquarters and main facilities are located in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS, that produces the UH-72A for the U.S. Army’s Light Utility Helicopter program.

For more information on American Eurocopter’s presence at AMTC 2010, see the related coverage from Fort Lauderdale, Florida:

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