Specialist Aviation Services
BAN's World GazetteerU.K.
Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) and Cornwall Air Ambulance have taken delivery of the 100th AW169 from Leonardo, setting a major milestone since the type's EASA certification in the summer of 2015. The aircraft was handed over during an official ceremony at Leonardo's plant in Vergiate, Varese in Italy on 12 December 2019.
The delivery marks the first Leonardo helicopter to enter Cornwall Air Ambulance's fleet; the AW169 will be operated by Specialist Aviation Services and adds another end user to six AW169 EMS customers in the UK. The twin-engine multi-role helicopter will conduct EMS operations throughout the south west of England, and replaces an MD902.
Over the course of the next few months, the AW169 will undergo the bespoke installation of an aeromedical interior in the hands of the team at SAS in Gloucestershire. The helicopter is a key platform for EMS missions due to its enhanced safety characteristics. Its main and tail rotors have high clearance which enables safe passenger and crew transportation. The helicopter has large sliding doors which allow easy patient entry and egress.
In addition, the AW169's auxiliary power unit mode ensures the continued operation of the environmental control systems, radios and medical devices when the rotors are stopped. The large cabin can accommodate two stretchers as well a full suite of the most advanced life support equipment.
Paula Martin, CEO of Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, comments: “It was very special to return to Vergiate some six years after our first visit, to accept the new air ambulance helicopter for Cornwall. It is clear to us that our careful deliberations concluded in the right choice of aircraft to provide EMS to our largely rural and coastal communities, both now and in the future. The helicopter itself looks outstanding, and I have no doubt that our charity supporters will be completely wowed by what they have made possible when it arrives in Cornwall in spring 2020.”
SAS CEO Luke Farajallah adds: “We are absolutely delighted and proud to be the partner of choice of the team at Cornwall as we bring the 100th AW169 into operation in early 2020 on its behalf. Our team of pilots and engineers can’t wait to be maintaining and flying this fantastic helicopter in and around the county and to demonstrating its advanced features when and where it is needed most.”