US not-for-profit aeromedical transport provider Flight For Life is upgrading its fleet of critical care helicopters with the addition of two new Airbus EC145e aircraft to replace aircraft at its bases in Waukesha and Burlington in Wisconsin. The company is also introducing a new paint scheme for the first time in 14 years.
The first EC145e to be delivered is equipped with Louisiana-based completion centre Metro Aviation's standard medical interior and Genesys Aerosystems' instrumental flight rules (IFR) HeliSAS autopilot and stability augmentation, providing safety and workload reduction for both single and dual pilot operations. The aircraft also has on board the Outerlink Global Solutions IRIS combined voice, video and flight data recorder. The video function and data monitoring are helpful for pilot training. The flight following, push-to-talk radio and live alerts and warnings allow the operations control centre to verify conditions in real-time.
"Working with the team at Metro Aviation was a fantastic experience. The knowledge, attention to safety and quality of work are top-notch," says executive director Leif Erickson. "The IRIS system in these aircraft will provide us with so much more information during flight operations and is precedent-setting for us in terms of safety."
With support from Metro Aviation, Genesys Aerosystems and S-TEC established a STC for the aircraft in February 2019. The IFR platform incorporates the latest HeliSAS/EFIS autopilot and stability augmentation technology, providing safety and workload reduction for single and dual pilot operations. The system is a safety upgrade that significantly reduces the pilot's workload, making it easier to adjust radios, set destinations and more. The new medical helicopter also includes the Genesys Aerosystems IDU-450 EFIS. The IDU (Integrated Display Units) and EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) configure the aircraft's display screens in various ways to show flight instruments, moving maps, flight planner, traffic and terrain, weather radar, engine displays and more.