First Of Two Aircraft For Wisconsin Company
The first of the Flight For Life Transport System's two new
EC145s has entered into service. The aircraft was inaugurated on
Tuesday, 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 other
non-standard items were installed.
The aircraft is fitted with wire strike protection, Honeywell
Mark II Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System, dual WAAS GPS
units, weather radar, and an extensive communications and avionics
package. 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. The EC145 is powered by two Turbomeca ARRIEL engines.
"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
"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."
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.