Part Of Company's Fleet Modernization And Upgrade Program
Health services company Geisinger Health System headquartered in Danville, PA, has ordered a fifth EC145 for its Life Flight program. The new helicopter acquisition is part of Geisinger’s fleet modernization and upgrade plan based on the proven and popular EC145 platform.
Geisinger Life Flight is a long-time Eurocopter operator and in 1983 became the first hospital-based BK117 operator in the world. After more than 20 years of experience with the BK117, Life Flight began a fleet replacement and standardization program in 2005. After an extensive review of the available aircraft, Geisinger selected the EC145, the Eurocopter follow-on to the BK117. “The BK117 platform earned the respect of our crew and our program,” said Jerry Splitt, program manager for Geisinger Life Flight. “We selected the EC145 because Eurocopter builds off the successes of the BK and has made it an even better aircraft.”
The new aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2013. Geisinger is negotiating with United Rotorcraft to perform the completion, as it did Geisinger’s four other EC145s. Geisinger was awarded a Part 135 air carrier certificate in November 2012 and now is the operator of its flight program.
The EC145 provides Geisinger Life Flight with proven power and performance, a large cabin and the endurance it needs to fulfill its crucial missions in the state of Pennsylvania. The advanced avionics capabilities of the EC145 have allowed Life Flight to have an active instrument program, which allows flight crews to conduct flights under instrument conditions. “We have set the highest level of standards for our crew and our program, and we expect the same out of our aircraft and the vendor’s we work with,” said Splitt. “The EC145 meets those standards and the great support we receive from American Eurocopter helps to make sure that we stay there.”
The addition of the new EC145 completes Geisinger Life Flight’s fleet replacement program and standardization plan. “With a common platform, we are able to take advantage of efficiencies from operation and training standpoints. With the common EC145 platform, we are also able to mitigate risk and take advantage of the aircraft’s twin-engine performance,” said Splitt.
(Geisinger EC145 helicopters pictured in file photo)