Category Medical Aviation

SkyCare Air Ambulance and Air Georgian Finalize SOAR Partnership

Air Georgian’s SOAR program for aviation career awareness, recruitment and retention continues to grow with the addition of SkyCare.

The partnership provides a career pathway for pilots of SkyCare to join Air Georgian with an entry into the Air Canada network.

“With a focus on remote northern operations and 24-hour delivery of essential services, we believe SkyCare develops some of the best pilots in Canada. We are excited to partner with Air Georgian on this program and provide our pilots a pathway to the outstanding career opportunities offered by the Air Canada family,” said SkyCare’s President and Chief Pilot, Frank Behrendt.

“SOAR is a win-win for SkyCare and for Air Georgian,” said John Tory, VP of Corporate Development at Air Georgian. “Air Georgian is the best career path for a pilot wanting to fly for Air Canada, and SOAR partners like SkyCare give pilots the visibility and access they need to join our strong and dynamic team. SOAR benefits SkyCare as a recruitment tool for their own hiring as pilots can start their Air Canada career planning earlier in their careers. We look forward to welcoming SkyCare’s SOAR pilots to Air Georgian.”

Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance Orders 11 Aircraft to Support Air Ambulance Missions in Norway

Textron Aviation has secured a fleet order from Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance for 11 aircraft, including the first medevac-configured Cessna Citation Latitude midsize jet and 10 Beechcraft King Air 250 turboprops.

The aircraft will support Babcock’s contract with Air Ambulance Services of Norway to provide communities across Norway with vital air ambulance support.

“We are pleased to equip Babcock and the Norwegian government with these two highly capable and reliable platforms for their medevac operations,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president of Special Mission Aircraft. “The Citation Latitude has experienced tremendous success in the commercial segment since entering service just two years ago, and we are excited to expand upon its robust capabilities in the special missions market. The aircraft provides steep approach capability, short runway performance and low cabin altitude, all of which will be essential to support Babcock’s air ambulance missions in communities across Norway.”

“The introduction of the Latitude as the first jet aircraft in our fleet will enable us to reduce patient transfer times and operate direct flights across the entire country,” says Øyvind Juell, CEO, Air Ambulance Services of Norway.

Babcock’s fleet of King Air 250 turboprops will feature CAT II capability, enabling operations in reduced visibility. In addition, the aircraft will feature steep approach landing capability and are equipped to operate in polar regions. Completing the fleet, the Latitude will also include a modified door to accommodate the loading and unloading of wide medical stretchers.

Deliveries for the 11 aircraft are scheduled throughout the next 18 months and are expected to conclude in 2019.

Babcock Scandinavian Air Ambulance is part of Babcock, the engineering services company. Babcock supports vital assets within a number of industry sectors including defense, emergency services, energy, transport and training.

PAL Airlines Aircraft Nose Gear Collapses Following Emergency Landing

Canadian regional airline PAL Airlines has confirmed that one of its aircraft was involved in an incident at Stephenville Airport earlier today. 

The aircraft, a Dash 8 Turboprop en route to Deer Lake with 47 passengers and 4 crew onboard had an indication of a potential nose landing gear issue.

The crew performed a flyby of the Deer Lake control tower for a visual indication of the nose gear position. Given adverse weather in Deer Lake, the aircraft proceeded to Stephenville for landing as the nose gear could not be confirmed as locked.

Stephenville Airport rescue vehicles met the aircraft on landing. The aircraft landed without the nose gear locked in position and came to a stop on the runway.

There were no injuries to passengers or crew.

PAL Airlines (formerly Provincial Airlines) is a regional airline with headquarters at St. John’s International Airport. It operates scheduled passenger, cargo, air ambulance and charter services.

Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section modernizes fleet with new Beechcraft King Air 350 turboprops

Textron Aviation today announced at the 2018 Singapore Airshow that it has received an order from the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) South Eastern Section for two modified Beechcraft King Air 350 cargo heavyweight aircraft scheduled to begin delivery in the third quarter of this year.

The new turboprops will replace King Air B200 aircraft in order to modernize the organization’s patient transfer and air ambulance fleet.

The RFDS organization currently operates more than 35 Textron Aviation aircraft, including the South Eastern Section’s fleet of 18 King Air turboprops.

“The organization’s commitment to Textron Aviation is a testament to the long-proven history of reliability, value and performance our aircraft are known for,” said Jessica Pruss, president, Asia Pacific sales and marketing. “We are eager to continue supporting the RFDS patient transport and medevac mission with the King Air 350, a trusted aircraft that empowers the operator to utilize unimproved runways and travel longer distances with a higher payload.”

The two new King Air 350 turboprops are scheduled to be delivered with an 11-pax, high-density seating configuration. This configuration empowers the RFDS to transport passengers from rural and remote communities to their regional health care facilities. The organization plans to take advantage of the flexibility of the King Air 350 by converting it from its high density seating to air ambulance configurations and back as needed for each mission. Other modifications include an added cargo door for easier patient loading and offloading as well as heavyweight landing gear that support a higher maximum takeoff weight for increased payload capabilities. The King Air 350 configured with heavyweight landing gear is an uncompromising aircraft with the ability to operate with full fuel as well as a max payload of more than 1,100 kg that can be carried more than 2,500 km.

David Charlton, General Manager Aviation and Strategic Development for the Royal Flying Doctor Service South Eastern Section said: “Building our fleet through the acquisition of the Beechcraft King Air 350 advances our strategic mission to deliver more health care to those that need us most. Innovation is vital to our evolution so the Beechcraft King Air 350 are valuable additions.”

Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, the Royal Flying Doctor Service works to provide emergency medical and primary health care services to anyone who lives, works or travels in rural and remote Australia. The RFDS provides 24-hour aeromedical emergency services that can reach anywhere, no matter how remote, within hours. Combined with telehealth consultations, fly-in fly-out GP and Nurse clinics, mobile dental services, patient transfers, and a myriad of other health services, the RFDS is constantly working to see that those living in rural and remote areas can enjoy the same health outcomes as those living in city areas.

Textron Aviation Begins Delivery of Beechcraft King Air to CanWest Air

Textron Aviation has begun delivery to CanWest Air, a division of Nor-Alta Aviation Leasing.

When completed, this delivery will include nine Beechcraft King Air turboprop aircraft —eight King Air 250 and one King Air 350 aircraft—which CanWest is purchasing to provide air ambulance support to Alberta Health Services in Alberta, Canada. The new turboprops will replace CanWest’s current air ambulance fleet of King Air B200 aircraft.

“CanWest has been a loyal King Air customer, and their order for the new generation of King Air aircraft is a testament to the incredible value and performance the product offers,” said Bob Gibbs, vice president of Special Mission Sales.

“The King Air platform has a long, distinguished tradition of providing exceptional support to air ambulance missions across the globe, and we are delighted to continue supporting CanWest’s mission in Alberta.”

The King Air 350, as well as one of the eight King Air 250 turboprops, will include special modifications, including a cargo door and heavyweight landing gear. The King Air 350 will operate at an enhanced max takeoff weight of 16,500 pounds and the King Air 250 at an enhanced max takeoff weight of 13,420 pounds.

Offering speeds up to 302 ktas and a maximum range of 1,806 nautical miles, the King Air 350 can transport air ambulance patients quickly over long distances. Both the King Air 350 and King Air 250 turboprops are able to operate on unimproved runways, which allows easier operation in remote locations found throughout Canada.

“The King Air platform is a tremendous asset, especially when navigating through remote areas and the extreme environment in Alberta,” said Kevin Schaub, director of maintenance at CanWest Air.

“Having previously operated King Airs, this is the platform we trust to best support our air ambulance missions. Not only will we continue to have incredible runway performance, but we also couldn’t be more confident in the ability, range, aircraft interior size and comfort, and operating limits of the new fleet to support our air ambulance mission.”

“The reliability, strength and versatility of the King Air enable us to raise the bar in support of the medical needs of patients in the remotest parts of our region, and we now have one of the first aircraft in Canada certified to carry bariatric patients. No other aircraft could have better met our mission,” Schaub added.

CanWest also has elected to enroll in Textron Aviation’s industry-leading ProParts program for the company’s new fleet. The program covers parts and consumables required for line, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, eliminating surprises by providing predictable pricing and greater budget stability.

Specializing in an air ambulance, CanWest has operated medevac flights since its inception in 1988. The company provides reliable, efficient and safe air ambulance transportation to residents of the province of Alberta. CanWest operates nine Beechcraft King Air aircraft dedicated to the company’s air ambulance mission, as well as 20 other Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft to support other services offered by the company such as corporate charter and air freight.

Airbus Helicopters Delivers Two Final AS565 MBe Panther to Mexican Navy

The Mexican Navy has received two final AS565 MBe Panther helicopters, completing the order of ten purchased in November 2014.

Versatile, safe and efficient. That’s how the Mexican Navy describes the MBe Panther after approximately two years of its use in various operations. Its maximum take-off weight has increased significantly from 4,300 kg to 4,500 kg. But this isn’t the only improvement: the MBe Panther also offers optimised performance in high and hot environments, and features modern avionics with a vehicle and engine multifunction display (VEMD) and sophisticated mission equipment for greater operational capabilities, allowing it to achieve a top speed of almost 280 km/h and a range of 780 kilometres. All of these qualities make this helicopter a safe and cost-efficient model for the missions it covers.

“The MBe version is a more modern helicopter with an advanced four-axis autopilot and generally improved performance and features thanks to engines that are more powerful than those of its predecessor. This is the third version of the Panther to be used by the Mexican Navy, who has been operating helicopters from this range since 2004,” explains Admiral José María García Macedo, General Coordinator of Naval Aeronautics for the Mexican Navy.

“The MBe’s capabilities can be used in both marine and land-based environments for missions like search and rescue (SAR), or to support the civil population in disaster areas or areas affected by natural catastrophes. It can also be used for cargo load jobs and as an air ambulance. In total, each Panther logs approximately 300 flight hours per year.”

The Panther helicopters will be operated at various bases in the Gulf of Mexico and on the Mexican Pacific coast. Their role will also include being stationed on logistic ships which carry out ocean patrols – Navy ships with hangers and platforms to house the Panthers – from which the helicopters respond to maritime emergencies and provide protection to oceangoing fleets.

To prepare them for a wide range of missions, the Navy’s MBe Panthers are equipped with a rescue winch with a capacity of 272 kg and a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera for SAR missions at night. Furthermore, they can also be equipped with up to four stretchers for medical evacuations and casualty transport, as well as with a load hook.

“The personnel of different squadrons considers this helicopter easy to fly, especially due to its technology and avionics, which facilitate operations and increase security throughout missions. We are very satisfied with the new Panther,” affirms Admiral García Macedo.

First Civil Customer Nolas Takes Delivery Of An H135 With Helionix

The Norwegian air ambulance operator Norsk Luftambulanse AS (NOLAS) is the first civil customer to receive an H135 equipped with Helionix.

Six additional H135s with Helionix will be delivered to NOLAS in 2017 and 2018. In December 2016, the UK MoD was the first military customer to receive the new H135 with Helionix.

NOLAS won a national HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) tender in Norway in 2016, and a total of 12 bases and 17 new helicopters will be operated from June 1, 2018. All helicopters are equipped for 24/7 operations with state-of-the-art configuration for Single Pilot IFR/Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS) operation, Aerolite interiors and the latest medical equipment. With a specially trained anesthesiologist, a pilot and a HEMS crew member, and a specially configured helicopter, NOLAS do on-scene missions as well as advanced intensive care transportation in the demanding environment of Norway.

The H135 obtained EASA certification for the Helionix avionics suite in November 2016. The Helionix avionics system designed by Airbus offers operators with increased mission flexibility and safety. Helionix is a family concept with standardized features and is already available on the H175 and H145.

On top of the 4-axis autopilot, Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout which helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is Night Vision Goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.

The H135 is a helicopter of reference for air ambulance operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity – along with low-noise operations. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.

“In demanding environments and under almost all kind of weather challenges, it is great to have the support of the new technological developments that the Helionix version can offer”, said NOLAS CEO Rune Midtgaard.

“It reduces the pilot workload, increases the safety of the operation and in the end the ability to reach the patients in need of the advanced medical support the service can offer.”

“We are proud that NOLAS trusts our helicopter and the Helionix suite for their challenging missions” said Martin Schneider, head of the H135 programme.

“The H135 is the unbeaten market leader in light twin-engine, multi-purpose helicopters. Traditional missions for this class of helicopters include emergency medical services, law enforcement, VIP and business passenger transport, maintenance of industrial wind parks and military training.”

Airbus has delivered more than 1,250 H135s to customers around the globe who have logged a total of more than four million flight hours.

Helijet Appoints New Rotary Wing Chief and Assistant Chief Pilots

Helijet International announced the appointment of Michael Potter as Chief Pilot-Rotary Wing and Phil Sevensma as Assistant Chief Pilot-Rotary Wing effective August 1st, 2017.

Together, the men have more than 44 years of flying experience, 29 of them with Helijet.

As Chief Pilot-Rotary Wing, Michael Potter will report to the Director of Flight Operations and be responsible for the day-to-day management of flight training and operating standards for Helijet’s scheduled, air medical, and charter helicopter services.

Michael is ideally suited to assume this leadership role at Helijet, having flown with the Company from 1993 to 2003, and throughout 2010. For the past year and half, he has also served as a Captain (SK76) for Helijet, while continuing to work with Calgary-based STARS Air Ambulance, which he joined in 2006. Michael brings extensive knowledge and depth in NVIS flight operations as he has been involved with STARS’s NVIS program.

Michael’s 25 years of flying experience includes multi engine/multi crew air ambulance captain conducting NVG operations, airborne law enforcement, IFR commuter service, utility helicopter operations encompassing such tasks as water bucketing, oil and gas support, power line patrol and aerial photography. His certification includes ATPL-Helicopter Unrestricted (R22, BH47, BH06, MD520N, EC120, AS355, SK76, BK117, AW139), as well as commercial multi-engine aeroplane and Group 3 Instrument rating.

Reporting to the Chief Pilot-Rotary Wing, Helijet’s new Assistant Chief Pilot-Rotary Wing, Phil Sevensma, has over 20 years of experience as a Captain in air ambulance, offshore and other multi-engine, multi-crew operations. In addition to serving Helijet as a Company Pilot, Training Captain and Safety Officer, he has also served as a Pilot and Instructor for CHC Global, Chinook Helicopters, and Thai Aviation Services. His certifications include Canadian Airline Transport Pilot–Helicopter (Group 4 Instrument Rating, Night rating), and being endorsed on BH47, RH22, RH44, BH06 SK76, SK61 and AS332.

“We’re very pleased to announce the appointments of Michael Potter and Phil Sevensma,” said Helijet’s Director of Flight Operations, Brendan McCormick.

“In addition to both being very experienced pilots, with more than 7,000 hours of rotary wing flight time each, they’ve also demonstrated an unwavering commitment to safety, knowledge sharing and professional development during their time at Helijet and other leading helicopter firms. It’s especially gratifying to make this addition to our leadership team from within our own ranks and it speaks volumes about our commitment to the ongoing professional development of our employees.”

Government of Canada investing in safety at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport

Canadians, tourists and businesses benefit from safe and well-maintained airports.

From visiting friends and family, to travelling to medical appointments, or getting goods to market, we rely on our local and regional airports to support and sustain vibrant communities. These airports also provide essential air services including community resupply, air ambulance, search and rescue and forest fire response.

Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, on behalf of the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, today announced the government’s $960,300 investment to replace an aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle and associated equipment at the Sault Ste. Marie Airport.

The funding comes through Transport Canada’s Airports Capital Assistance Program. Since the Program’s launch in 1995, the Government of Canada has provided more than $784 million for 900 projects at 182 airports across the country.

SAF Orders Six New Airbus Helicopters for Emergency Medical Service Operations

French Alps-based civil operator SAF Group has ordered six new Airbus’ helicopters for emergency medical service (EMS) operations, mountain rescue, aerial work and passenger transport.

The order includes three light single and three light twin helicopters to be operated in Metropolitan France and in the Reunion Island, where SAF has recently acquired Hélilagon. Delivery of the six aircraft is planned for 2019.

“We are very proud of the long relationship we have with Airbus Helicopters, declared Tristan Serretta, CEO of SAF. “In such a rapidly evolving market, a close relationship with the manufacturer is crucial to guarantee the performance and profitability of our operations.”

The new aircraft will further expand SAF Group’s fleet of 44 Airbus’ helicopters operating seven days a week for all types of civilian rescue and protection operations, alongside safety services. SAF’s fleet is mainly composed of light singles and twins, including 24 helicopters of the H135 family type, making SAF one of the largest H135 commercial operator in France.

“I want to thank SAF for placing their trust once again in Airbus products”, said Olivier Michalon, Senior Vice President, Head of Europe at Airbus Helicopters. “We are certain these new helicopters will meet SAF’s stringent requirements for performance and reliability and will increase their capability to carry out critical missions.”

Polish Medical Air Rescue Orders Three Tecnam P2008JC MkII’s 

Tecnam announced today that the Polish Medical Air Rescue (PMAR) has placed an order for three Tecnam P2008JC Mk II airplanes.

PMAR has transferred over 116,000 patients since its inception in 2000, utilizing its fleet of two aircraft and 27 helicopters, performing nearly 10,000 flights this year alone.

The introduction of the Tecnam P2008JC Mk II will enable Polish Medical Air Rescue to meet internally its growing training needs as it attracts more pilots to its operation.

The single-engine Tecnam P2008’s versatility and ease of use have established it as both the aircraft of choice for Flight Training Organisations worldwide.

With its carbon-fiber fuselage, metals wings and stabilator, the Tecnam P2008 JC has a vast number of advantages over traditional aircraft. This combination of both composite material and metal has resulted in a more fuel efficient and much quieter aircraft.

The Tecnam P2008JC Mk II version features a number of significant enhancements. These include a new avionics suite, including a new design of both the dashboard and glare shield, thereby enabling the introduction of the Garmin’s innovative G3X Touch display with an MD302 attitude instrument and is also available as VFR Night.

Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s CEO said:

“We were delighted to be invited to participate in Polish Medical Air Rescue’s rigorous selection and evaluation process and we are delighted to that we were selected above a number of other competitors. PMAR not only valued the overall benefits the P2008JC MkII affords them as a training aircraft but particularly appreciated the on-going services and support that Tecnam have firmly established a great reputation for”.

REACH Air Medical Services to Place New Aircraft into Service in Montana

REACH Air Medical Services will place a new type of helicopter in the region, an Airbus H125 helicopter.

The new model was purchased by REACH specifically for service in Montana because of its high- reliability rates, high-altitude performance capabilities, and safety features. The new aircraft is specially outfitted for use in the air medical environment and has the capacity to transport the patient, and a three-person flight team. REACH has also equipped the aircraft with night vision goggles, autopilot systems, advanced terrain awareness warning systems, and snow pads for improved winter landing ability.

“The Airbus H125 has found great success in the air medical industry because of its reliability and performance,” said Vicky Spediacci, Vice President of Aviation Operations for REACH. “It is truly a remarkable aircraft and we are confident that it will deliver safe and reliable service to the communities of Southern Montana.”

Sean Russell, President of REACH Air Medical Services, was pleased to share his comments on the addition of the new aircraft.

“In this rural landscape, the new H125 will increase our ability to safely serve patients in their time of need. Going into winter, the ability of the snow pads and the lightweight of this aircraft allow for increased likelihood of reaching patients when others cannot. We look forward to continuing to provide high-quality medical care to patients and hospitals in Southern Montana”.

REACH operates two air medical bases in Montana, a helicopter base in Bozeman and a combined helicopter/airplane base in Helena. Each base is staffed 24/7 with a critical care transport team consisting of a Pilot, a Flight Nurse, and a Flight Paramedic. The highly skilled clinicians provide an ICU level of care to patients throughout transport.

REACH Air Medical Services, headquartered in Santa Rosa, CA, provides critical care air and ground transport service to communities throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Texas, and Colorado.