University of Utah will retire long serving Bell 407 from program soon.
Metro Aviation announced via a press announcement released on September 1oth that the Louisiana headquartered company delivered the first EC145e from one of its largest commercial helicopter orders to the University of Utah Health AirMed program this week. Metro Aviation took over the University of Utah Air Med operation in November of 2016, AirMed fleet consists of five Bell 407GX’s of which Metro Aviation completed three that commenced operations a short time before assuming the contract. The Metro operated program also operates an additional IFR equipped EC145, a PC-12/47E and a PC-12/45. The operation’s latest addition, the EC145e was outfitted with mission-specific equipment tailored to the often hot and high environments and the hospital’s service area that serves communities and scene calls that are in high altitude conditions that can also include responding to avalanche rescues. The new EC145e aircraft is also fitted with standard air ambulance equipment, which AirMed plans to utilize for mechanical circulatory support and bariatric support services as needed.
“We’re excited about the increased capabilities of this aircraft. It will be stationed at our Park City base, so having the increased lift is what we’re most excited about,” said AirMed program manager Frankie Toon. “This aircraft will also give us over-water capabilities, which increases our straight-line distance.”
Metro Aviation operates operates a growing number of FAR Part 135 air medical operations around the United States. Headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, the company also operates a helicopter training center in Louisiana and performs completion services for a wide range of OEM aircraft that are delivered worldwide. Metro Aviation also notes specializing in the EC135 and EC145 with several Supplemental Type Certificates (STC) developed by the company for these and other aircraft.
The EC145e is a light twin helicopter that differs from the standard model by its increased useful payloadwhile retaining the power and performance of the EC145 model, now a favorite of the air medical industry. The EC145e delivered includes a single pilot VFR glass cockpit, Garmin G500H and GTN 650 GPS, with a maximum takeoff weight(MTOW) of 7,903 lbs, equalling the MTOW of the EC145C2 variant, increasing the useful load capacity by 330 lbs.