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The Health Care District of Palm Beach County, a certificated air carrier in southern Florida also known as Trauma Hawk, has signed a contract to purchase two light-intermediate AW169 helicopters.
Palm Beach County is the largest county by area in Florida with more than 2,300 sqm. The district maintains a well-organised IFR infrastructure combining special instrument approaches and transition routing plus an extensive FAA approved IFR pilot training programme to provide service during inclement weather. The AW169 is also equipped with Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) GPS, a precise navigational aid, to further enhance safe approaches and landings during low visibility.
The AW169 features a spacious 222 cubic ft. cabin, similar in size to models in the intermediate weight category, with flexible interior layouts providing 360-degree patient access essential for critical care. Capable of rapid patient transport, Trauma Hawk's custom medical configured cabin will enable the highest quality of care and meet the most recent US helicopter air ambulance standards for safety and operability. The helicopters will be the first from Leonardo to feature a longitudinal roll-on stretcher system to minimise workload and patient movement during loading and unloading.
With more power and range than competing light-intermediate twin helicopters, the AW169 can travel up to 440 nautical miles, top speed at 160 knots and climb to 14,500 feet. Latest generation avionics includes a four-axis, dual-duplex digital automatic flight control system and a full night vision goggle (NVG) compatible digital glass cockpit with three eight-inch by 10-inch displays. Auxiliary power unit (APU) mode allows the AW169 cabin to stay “power on” with rotor blades stopped creating a safe, quiet and comfortable environment for care and setting a new standard for helicopter EMS operations.