ASL Adds Paris-based Medical Beech 350 King Air to its fleet

ASL Adds Paris-based Medical Beech 350 King Air to its fleet

Belgium-based company ASL and France-based company Avionix.fr have established a partnership regarding the management and the operation of a medical equipped Beech 350 Super King Air in Paris Le Bourget.

As a result of this partnership, ASL will introduce a new Beechcraft 350 Super King Air to its fleet and AOC (Air Operator Certificate). The aircraft, owned by the company Avionix.fr has been modified in order to perform medical missions (evasan, medevac, organ and transplant).

The aircraft, previously operated by a UK-based company, will benefit from ASL’s experience in both B350 operation (the company already manages and operates two B350 and two B200) as well as in medical operation.

Dr. Phil Clarke, CEO of Avionix.fr who is is both a Commercial Pilot and a Repatriation Physician, highlighted a few important key features regarding the partnership between ASL and Avionix.fr:

“Being a pilot and a physician myself, I am thrilled to establish this partnership with ASL as I feel that this will be allowing the best possible Air Ambulance tailored solution to be provided on a case-to-case basis. Avionix.fr is specialized in medical flights, and combined with ASL’s experience in business aviation and medical flights as well, I really think that this can generate a long-term win-win cooperation to the benefit of transported patients.”

ASL Chief Executive Officer, Philippe Bodson, also shared his excitement about this new venture:

“I am delighted to establish this partnership with Avionix.fr for the operation of their Beech 350. This is a great opportunity for both companies to expand their network and their activities as well as to enhance the quality of our Medical services. ASL has promoted the fact that business jets are also very often used to save lives by transporting patients or organs throughout Europe, and beyond.

“The fact that we have experience in operating the B350 and in operating medical flights generates a positive momentum for this partnership and I am also thrilled, thanks to this partnership, to have a new base at the airport of Paris Le Bourget, which is the most important business aviation platform in Europe!”

The aircraft is medevac dedicated, dual stretcher equipped, with 220V power supply, vacuum and compressed air to operate pediatric incubators. In dual-stretcher configuration, 3 family members may fly along with 2 Medical Crew members. The aircraft may be provided with or without its resuscitation medical crew members. Passengers and medical crew members can enjoy free phone/SMS/e-mail usage through Iridium Satphone to enhance Patient safety.

This King Air 350 is RVSM and GNSS approved and has recently been retrofitted with a Garmin G1000 fully integrated avionics suite with continuous weather satellite provided data updates as well as with the new 5 blade BLR / MT Prop propellers to increase performance and reduce noise generation.

The aircraft is based in Paris Le Bourget, representing ASL’s first base in France, and is a strategic location for medical missions, guarantying a 90-minute typical response time between flight confirmation and take-off on Medevac, Critical Care or Organ Transplant flights.

Beijing 999 Orders the First H145 for Medical Rescue and SAR Missions in China

Beijing 999 Orders the First H145 for Medical Rescue and SAR Missions in China

Beijing 999 Emergency Rescue Center, a subsidiary of Beijing Red Cross Foundation, signed an agreement with Airbus Helicopters for the purchase of one H145, the first of its kind to be configured with a hoist for medical and search and rescue in China.

The rotorcraft is scheduled for delivery by 2019.

Beijing 999 currently operates two H135s, the first fully-equipped air ambulance in the country, providing emergency medical services (EMS) around Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei region in China.

“This is a further step in our excellent cooperation with Airbus Helicopters on the SAR/EMS market in China,” said Li Libing, Director of Beijing 999. “The know-how, expertise and extensive experience of Airbus Helicopters in this segment enable us to promote the efficiency and development of medical emergency and rescue services in China. It will also help Beijing 999 to become a leader in China for these missions.”

The new H145 will be the first in China equipped with both a hoist and a full medical interior, allowing it to perform either mountain rescue operations or long range air ambulance transfer. It is also equipped with a weather radar and floats.

“The H145’s entry into China’s SAR/EMS market is a remarkable milestone for this light twin-engine rotorcraft, which is recognized worldwide for its excellent performance, spacious cabin, and multi-mission capability,” said Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany. “It’s a perfect solution to accelerate the development of this fast-growing sector in China.”

Today, some 1,100 H145s (previous EC145/BK117) are in service worldwide – logging a combined total of more than four million flight hours. Bringing a large cabin, a compact airframe, and powerful engines, the H145 responds to a multitude of mission needs, especially for public services, such as EMS, SAR, and law enforcement.

French Emergency Medical Services First Fleet of H135s Fully Operational

French Emergency Medical Services First Fleet of H135s Fully Operational

Airbus Helicopters has completed deliveries of three H135s, the latest version of its family, for emergency medical services (EMS) operations by SAF Group.

The first aircraft is in service in Toulouse while the second and third helicopters are destined to perform EMS missions in Alençon and Besançon. These helicopters are the very first H135s to be used in the EMS role in France.

“We are very happy with the additional capabilities, including night flying, further reduced sound levels, and increased payload, that the H135 is providing us for these critical missions.” said Christophe Rosset, CEO of SAF. “We require helicopters with a high level of reliability and availability, always ready to transport critical patients 24/7 from an accident site or from one hospital to another and the H135 meets our stringent requirements” he added.

SAF Hélicoptères operates seven days a week for all types of civilian rescue and protection operations, alongside safety services with a fleet of 40 Airbus helicopters including 27 EC135s – an earlier variant of the H135 family.

“We are proud that SAF group has decided to renew their trust in Airbus Helicopters’ products” said Olivier Michalon, Senior Vice President and Head of Sales in Europe. “The H135, with its large and flexible cabin best suited for treating patients, and the lowest direct maintenance cost in its class, is the reference for emergency medical services” he added.

A light twin-engine helicopter, the H135 is the latest upgrade version of its family. The new model’s improved features include increased flight performance in hot and high environments, at sea level, during CAT A missions and in OEI (One Engine Inoperative) situations. This was achieved by enlarging the rotor, modifying the air intake, modernizing the FADEC flight control software and adding new features to the cockpit. The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) is increased by 30 kg to 2,980 kg. These measures dramatically improve flight performance, power reserves and safety margins.

A helicopter can cover distances three to five times faster than a ground vehicle. Being able to land as close as possible to the accident site and transport a medical team quickly to the patient can make all the difference. Airbus Helicopters, with 60 per cent of the market share is the uncontested leader of the EMS market. Approximately 1,200 Airbus helicopters are currently in service worldwide for EMS missions.

REACH Air Medical Services Opening Roseburg Base

REACH Air Medical Services Opening Roseburg Base

REACH Air Medical Services announced plans to open a new air ambulance base in Roseburg, Oregon with service expected to begin in early summer.

The company responds to calls from the 911 emergency response system, flying patients from trauma scenes to the nearest appropriate medical facility. REACH also responds when hospitals call to have their critical care patients transported to another facility for a higher level of care or specialized services.

Located at the Roseburg Regional Airport, the base will be staffed 24/7 with a critical care flight crew consisting of a Flight Pilot with thousands of hours of experience, and a highly skilled team of clinicians to provide an ICU level of care for patients throughout the transport experience.

Sean Russell, REACH President, said:

“Having this base in Roseburg is a win for everyone. The community gets a vital air medical resource, hospitals and EMS crews get a dependable partner to help with patient care, and we get to work, live, and be part of this community.”

REACH has bases in Oregon and Northern California that have served this region for years. The new Roseburg base, with its central location, will provide air ambulance services to residents of Roseburg and surrounding areas. It will also be an additional resource to support the company’s service in neighboring communities.

“When minutes matter, having an air ambulance located available in the area is a great benefit to the community, it saves lives,” shared Anna Blair, REACH Vice President of Strategy, who began working with REACH as a Flight Nurse eleven years ago. “REACH is a great company that provides a tremendous service.”

The helicopter chosen to serve this area is an Agusta A109E Power. Known as fast and powerful air medical helicopter, its twin engines allow it to fly at airspeeds up to 170 miles per hour. The aircraft comes equipped with safety features including night vision goggles, an advanced terrain awareness warning system, and Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) capabilities, which allow it to fly safely in less than favorable conditions.

REACH is a provider to AirMedCare Network (AMCN), the nation’s largest air medical transport membership program. When transported by REACH, AMCN members pay no out of pocket costs for a medically necessary flight. Membership is just $65 a year for an entire household. In addition to covering flight costs for REACH, membership extends to AMCN’s 260 base locations across 32 states.

Bell Helicopter and United Rotorcraft Deliver First Emergency Medical Service Helicopter in China

Bell Helicopter and United Rotorcraft Deliver First Emergency Medical Service Helicopter in China

Bell Helicopter and United Rotorcraft announced the delivery of a Bell 429 to Reignwood Investment (Reignwood).

The aircraft will serve as the first Bell helicopter for Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) missions in China.

“We are proud to partner with United Rotorcraft to deliver the first HEMS Bell 429 to our friends at Reignwood,” said Patrick Moulay, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president, Commercial Sales and Marketing.

“There is a critical need for HEMS in China and we are honored Reignwood has selected the Bell 429 to assist in life-saving missions.”

United Rotorcraft installed the medical interior which consists of a machined aluminum floor, additional medical crew seating configurations, and product improvements for patient care and access.  In addition, the aircraft is equipped with a rescue hoist and other program specific support equipment.

“This delivery and Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) validation for the medical interior represents a two-year effort to bring our product into China and we are delighted to be working with Bell Helicopter and entering this new market segment,” stated Frank Graham, senior director of Global Sales and Marketing for United Rotorcraft.

“We are confident this will be the first of many opportunities in China available to us because of our product’s CAAC validation.”

The Bell 429 is one of the most advanced light twin helicopters ever developed. It delivers exceptional speed, range and hover performance, and offers operators a state-of-the-art single pilot IFR helicopter with top user-rated in-service support. The powerful and reliable Bell 429 serves the full spectrum of segments including air medical, law enforcement, oil & gas, utility, and corporate.

REACH Air Medical Services Opens New Air Ambulance Base in Napa

REACH Air Medical Services Opens New Air Ambulance Base in Napa

REACH Air Medical Services announced the opening of a new air ambulance base in Napa County.

The base, located at the Napa County Airport, will begin 24/7 air medical transport service next month. The central location will serve patients and customers in a number of surrounding counties, as well as provide back up to the company’s other bases in the region.

REACH flies patients from the scene of an accident or from one hospital to another when time is of the essence or a more advanced level of care is needed.

On board the medically equipped EC135 helicopter, a team of highly skilled Flight Nurses and Flight Paramedics manage the patient’s critical care.

Sean Russell, President of REACH Medical Holdings, said:

“This base opening means a lot to me. I started my career in EMS within this region. I know first-hand how important it is to have an air ambulance resource like this available in the community. Over the years, our crews have transported more than 135,000 patients to needed care. That is not just a number; it represents individual lives that each touch many more lives. I am humbled by this.”

The company, which started 30 years ago this year with a single base in Northern California, has grown to include 43 air medical base locations in California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Texas as well as four ground ambulance bases.

REACH Medical Holdings, the parent company of REACH, CALSTAR Air Ambulance, Cal-Ore Life Flight and Sierra Lifeflight, also manages the pilots, maintenance technicians and the aircraft for seven hospital or ems agency programs. Under these programs, REACH provides aviation services while the hospital or ems agency manage some of the clinical teams and daily operations.

As the company continues to grow, it is important to Mr. Russell that they do not lose sight of the founder’s guiding principal. Dr. John McDonald, who was a medical pioneer in many ways that have benefitted the EMS field, founded REACH with the philosophy always do what is right for the patient.

Mr. Russell notes that direction has served REACH well for three decades and he expects that legacy to carry on today.

HeliKorea Launches Emergency Medical Service with Leased AW169

HeliKorea Launches Emergency Medical Service with Leased AW169

Milestone Aviation, the global leader in helicopter leasing, announced today that it has leased a Leonardo AW169 to HeliKorea to accelerate its expansion into Emergency Medical Services (EMS) operations in South Korea.

The helicopter was sourced from Milestone’s order book with the manufacturer.

“We are excited to begin this new partnership with HeliKorea, as we reinforce our industry-leading support for operators conducting life-saving missions around the world,” said Milestone President and CEO, Daniel Rosenthal. “HeliKorea has become the largest helicopter operator in South Korea by providing highly skilled and reliable service to meet diverse needs, and we are very pleased that they trusted Milestone to arrange their first commercial lease.”

“HeliKorea has built a strong track record in serving military and commercial needs and our expansion into EMS operations and this partnership with Milestone marks an exciting new chapter for our company,” said HeliKorea’s President, Kyong Jo Min.

“Milestone understands our business, and their expertise and considerable knowledge of the EMS industry made them the ideal partner for our first lease. We are confident that this new area provides us with significant opportunities for growth, and with Milestone’s personalized support, we were able to create the optimal fleet to provide the best service possible to Korea’s National Medical Center.”

REACH Air Medical Services to Open New Air Ambulance Base in Murrieta, California

REACH Air Medical Services to Open New Air Ambulance Base in Murrieta, California

REACH Air Medical Services announced the planned opening of its critical care air ambulance base in Murrieta, California with service starting in April 2017.

The base will be located at the French Valley Airport and provide 24/7 air medical transport to the local community and surrounding region.

For 30 years, REACH has served patients needing emergency air transports from the scene of an incident, or from one hospital to another for a higher level of care. To date, the company has transported more than 100,000 patients to needed care. Since its founding in 1987, REACH has expanded to include 45 bases serving patients across the Western United States.

This is the eighth air ambulance REACH has positioned to serve Southern California patients and customers. Placement of this helicopter is the result of many years of planning and the diligent efforts between the community and REACH. Sean Russell, President of REACH Air Medical Services, noted, “We are proud to become part of this community and look forward to providing high-quality medical care to patients and hospitals in the French Valley area as well as the Riverside County at large.”

Anna Blair, REACH Vice President of Strategy, said:

“In addition to serving the French Valley community, this helicopter will serve as a backup resource to the REACH air ambulance bases already providing service from Imperial, Riverside and San Diego Counties.”

The highly skilled flight crews consist of a critical care nurse and paramedic, or two nurses, and an experienced pilot with thousands of hours of flight time. The team is equipped with night vision goggles to enhance safety during nighttime operations. The medically-equipped helicopter chosen to serve this area is an AirBus EC-135, with dual engines that can fly at airspeeds up to 150 miles per hour. The helicopter’s IFR capability allows it to fly when other aircraft may be grounded due to weather. It has the capacity to transport the patient, flight crew, and whenever possible, a family member.

REACH encourages residents of the area to consider membership with AirMedCare Network, the nation’s largest air ambulance membership program. It covers out-of-pocket expenses for members in the event of an emergency air transport by REACH or any of the AirMedCare Network’s more than 260 air base locations.

Department of Health of Puerto Rico Selects the Bell 429 for Medical Operations

Department of Health of Puerto Rico Selects the Bell 429 for Medical Operations

Bell Helicopter company, announced the sale and delivery of a Bell 429 to the Department of Health, Puerto Rico.

The aircraft is configured for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) and equipped to conduct medical rescue missions throughout the region.

“The Bell 429 has proven its capabilities in a number of mission sets around the world while offering the most advanced technology available today – combined with industry leading performance and safety mechanisms,” said Jay Ortiz, Bell Helicopter’s vice president of Latin American sales.

“We are proud that our customer has put their trust in Bell Helicopter and the Bell 429, and we are committed to supporting their missions and providing superior support and services for years to come.”

Bell Helicopter continues to strengthen their brand in Puerto Rico, with nearly 20 aircraft operating in the region. The region is also home to four state-of-the-art Bell 429s performing a number of mission sets to include EMS, search and rescue and para-public operations – proving the versatility of the aircraft.

The Bell 429 is the only light twin-engine helicopter on the market with true two-litter capability, featuring enough cabin space for two medical attendants and two crew members. The Bell 429 also offers exceptional flight performance with a fully integrated glass cockpit, advanced drive system and best-in-class SBAS navigation and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capability. It is the first helicopter certified through the MSG-3 process, resulting in reduced maintenance costs for operators. The Bell 429 also features a spacious cabin and extra-large 60-inch side doors, as well as IFR capability certified for single or dual pilot operations.

Bell Helicopter provides its customers with local support in every corner of the world and has the largest support network in the industry with over 100 Authorized Customer Service Facilities in 34 countries. Ranked number one by customers for 22 consecutive years in the Helicopter Product Support Survey from Professional Pilot Magazine, Bell Helicopter has also earned top honors in Vertical Magazine’s first-ever comprehensive helicopter manufacturer’s survey. Bell Helicopter is committed to having resources where customers operate to speed up delivery of service and support and give customers access to service professionals who are easy to reach, know the operating environment and understand their needs.

FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

FAA Issues General Aviation Medical Rule

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a final rule that allows general aviation pilots to fly without holding a FAA medical certificate as long as they meet certain requirements outlined in the Congressional legislation.

“The United States has the world’s most robust general aviation community, and we’re committed to continuing to make it safer and more efficient to become a private pilot,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “The BasicMed rule will keep our pilots safe but will simplify our regulations and keep general aviation flying affordable.”

Until now, the FAA has required private, recreational, and student pilots, as well as flight instructors, to meet the requirements of and hold a third class medical certificate. They are required to complete an online application and undergo a physical examination with an FAA-designated Aviation Medical Examiner. A medical certificate is valid for five years for pilots under age 40 and two years for pilots age 40 and over.

Beginning on May 1, pilots may take advantage of the regulatory relief in the BasicMed rule or opt to continue to use their FAA medical certificate. Under BasicMed, a pilot will be required to complete a medical education course, undergo a medical examination every four years, and comply with aircraft and operating restrictions.  For example, pilots using BasicMed cannot operate an aircraft with more than six people onboard and the aircraft must not weigh more than 6,000 pounds. A pilot flying under the BasicMed rule must:

  • possess a valid driver’s license;
  • have held a medical certificate at any time after July 15, 2006;
  • have not had the most recently held medical certificate revoked, suspended, or withdrawn;
  • have not had the most recent application for airman medical certification completed and denied;
  • have taken a medical education course within the past 24 calendar months;
  • have completed a comprehensive medical examination with a physician within the past 48 months;
  • be under the care of a physician for certain medical conditions;
  • have been found eligible for special issuance of a medical certificate for certain specified mental health,neurological, or cardiovascular conditions, when applicable;
  • consent to a National Driver Register check;
  • fly only certain small aircraft, at a limited altitude and speed, and only within the United States; and
  • not fly for compensation or hire.

The July 15, 2016 FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 directed the FAA to issue or revise regulations by January 10, 2017, to ensure that an individual may operate as pilot in command of a certain aircraft without having to undergo the medical certification process under Part 67 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, if the pilot and aircraft meet certain prescribed conditions outlined in the Act.

The FAA and the general aviation community have a strong track record of collaboration. The agency is working with nonprofit organizations and the not-for-profit general aviation stakeholder groups to develop online medical courses that meet the requirements of the Act.

CHC Helicopter signs aeromedical evacuation contract with Australian Army

CHC Helicopter signs aeromedical evacuation contract with Australian Army

CHC Helicopter announced that it has signed a 21-month contract with Australian Army to provide aeromedical evacuation (AME) and crash response support for deployments throughout Australia.

The contract will commence on 1 October 2016 and run through to 30 June 2018. CHC currently provides search and rescue services to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and will use that fleet to provide services to Army.

An industry leader in rotary aviation, CHC is one of the leading commercial helicopter operators in the world. CHC is Australia’s leading provider of helicopter search and rescue (SAR) and emergency medical services (EMS) with operations in New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

“We are honoured that Australian Army has chosen CHC to provide their AME and crash response support while their soldiers are on training deployment,” said Nick Mair, CHC Regional Director Asia Pacific.

“CHC has long provided search and rescue support to RAAF and we are delighted to extend our services to the Australian Army. Our highly trained and experienced SAR/AME pilots, aircrew, engineers and ground operations team are looking forward to supporting Army over the coming months.”

The medical team for the contract, including a dedicated doctor and paramedic, will be provided by Medical Rescue Air Ambulance (MRAA), a current provider of CHC.

Medical Plane Vanishes Off California Coast

Medical Plane Vanishes Off California Coast

REACH Air Medical Services and Cal-Ore Life Flight confirmed that an incident has occurred involving a Piper Cheyenne aircraft associated with its Crescent City base.

The plane departed from Crescent City Airport, Jack McNamara Field, for Oakland International Airport at approximately 00:29 AM PST today.

The company said in a statement:

“We lost communication with the aircraft at 01:05 AM PST. There were four persons on board: the pilot, a transport medic, a flight nurse and a patient”.

“At this time, we cannot provide the identity of those on board the aircraft, or other details, until family notifications have been completed. Any comment about the cause or other details of the incident would be unfounded speculation.

“We are working with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office who leading the search efforts.

The pilot of the plane radioed an emergency at around 01:00 AM when smoke filled the cockpit, the Federal Aviation Administration said.