South Texas air medical service HALO-Flight has taken delivery of a Bell 407GXi, its first FAA-approved, single engine, single pilot IFR air medical helicopter.
The operator's latest aircraft is also Bell's first 407 IFR aircraft capable of operating off instruments as opposed to the more traditional VFR design. Bell's IFR-certified platform comes with more than six million proven global flight hours enabling HALO-Flight to navigate all-weather operations and complete critical missions despite low cloud ceilings in many incidents.
“The most sophisticated helicopter technology in the world is now available for South Texans whose lives may depend on air ambulance transport,” notes Tom Klassen, HALO-Flight executive director. “This aircraft features the Garmin G1000H NXi avionics system for enhanced pilot awareness, three axis autopilot, redundant electrical system and enhanced FADEC engine control. Wireless connectivity allows our pilots to quickly sync flight plans from portable EFB devices to decrease launch times. The Bell 407GXi's proven reliability, outstanding payload and economic operating cost now combined with the capability to operate IFR is a transformative change for the air medical industry.”
To assist the pilot in inadvertent weather situations, the first NTSB recommended HeliSAS two axis auto pilot was installed in HALO-Flight's legacy aircraft. Working with its partners at Bell, the first ballistic windshields were installed in all HALO-Flight aircraft as soon as they were available to prevent a catastrophic accident in the event of a bird strike.
The operator's newest aircraft ensures this next-generation of technology will give it enhanced capabilities to serve seriously injured and ill patients in this area and accommodate interfacility transfers to higher levels of care.