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Magpas replaces faithful Explorer with faster AW169
The AW169 appears to be the aircraft of choice for air ambulance operators in the UK, and Magpas' bid to bring the type to the east of England is nearing fruition. The company will be able to widen its net and assist more people using the upgraded helicopter.
Representatives from Leonardo, SAS and Magpas sign the AW169 contract.
Read this story in our August 2018 printed issue.

Magpas Air Ambulance has selected an AW169 to fly HEMS missions in the east of England. The aircraft, to be equipped with an advanced medical interior, will be operated by Specialist Aviation Services (SAS) and will be the ninth of its type flying air ambulance missions in the UK.

Magpas is fundraising in order to meet a spring 2019 entry into service goal. CEO Daryl Brown says: "We are delighted to be working with Leonardo and SAS towards the delivery of a new AW169 to replace our current aircraft next year."

The medical charity is currently employing an MD 902 Explorer. Having entered service 17 years ago and been with Magpas since June 2012, it is now coming to the end of its operational life.

"We recently launched a two-year appeal to raise £1.5 million and bring this state-of-the-art AW169 to the east of England and beyond," continues Brown. "The new aircraft will be able to fly further, faster and allow the lifesaving service to reach an even greater number of patients."

SAS MD Henk Schaeken adds: "Magpas is a key provider of emergency medical response in the east of England and we are delighted to maintain our close working relationship by continuing to operate its aircraft, as it launches the extra lifesaving capability that the AW169 is proving it can deliver."

SAS has placed orders for 12 AW169s and is also an authorised service centre for the model in the UK. More than 180 AW169s are on order with nearly 60 in service worldwide.

Eight AW169 helicopters are already in service or are soon to enter service with UK air ambulance charities comprising Kent Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance (two aircraft), Children's Air Ambulance (two aircraft), Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance, Cornwall Air Ambulance and Herts & Essex Air Ambulance. The first four aircraft to enter service have performed nearly 3,000 life-saving missions and have flown more than 2,200 hours in their first year.

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