Mercy Flight Central, a medical air service provider located in western New York, has signed a contract for four IFR-certified AW119Kxs for EMS transport missions. Delivery of the first aircraft is expected in 2022.
These will allow in-flight critical care and the transport of patients within Mercy Flight's 150-mile service radius. The AW119Kx in its latest variant is the first single engine helicopter in decades to meet current IFR requirements without compromise, which will allow Mercy Flight pilots to operate the aircraft safely during low visibility and the challenging weather conditions common in this region, due to advanced avionics from Genesys Aerosystems and redundant flight systems.
The AW119Kx is an entry point for commercial and public service operators who seek the highest level of safety and performance while operating in demanding conditions but keeping single engine economics. This combines with the AW119's unique light-twin like multiple redundancies of critical systems and cabin spaces, while delivering outstanding reliability and safety.
“We are very excited to introduce the AW119 to the communities we serve,” says Jeff Bartkoski, president and CEO of Mercy Flight Central. “This aircraft will enable us to reach those in critical need with added safety and operational enhancements that will advance our care for decades of future use.”
“We are incredibly pleased to continue our partnership with Mercy Flight Central,” adds William Hunt, MD of Leonardo Helicopters US. “Its acquisition of an IFR-certified AW119 will greatly aid its first responders who routinely fly life-saving missions in inclement weather and will provide efficient cabin configuration for patient transport and care, enhancing the superior service it provides to its community.”
The AW119Kx IFR received a first order in the US EMS market in 2020. This latest sale continues to grow the share of Leonardo helicopters in the North American EMS market, which now totals around 100 across a fleet of AW119s, AW109s, AW169s and AW139s. Mercy Flight Central currently operates a fleet of four BK-117s.