American Eurocopter announced that it has shipped the first EC155 bound for the University of Michigan’s Survival Flight program to Metro Aviation, the air medical service provider and helicopter completions specialist based in Shreveport, LA, for completion. This aircraft is the first of three EC155s to be delivered this year. It is currently scheduled to be completed this October, after which it will be put into service at U-M and will be the first EMS-configured EC155 in service in the United States.
“The University of Michigan’s Survival Flight is a very impressive program,” said Marc Paganini, President and CEO of American Eurocopter. “Their commitment to providing the best possible care to their patients is reflected in their selection of the EC155 as the future of their program. This aircraft will provide them with the size, exceptional performance and the latest technologies to meet their HEMS and critical care missions.”
The EC155 has been proven throughout the world in HEMS missions, but Survival Flight will be the first HEMS operator in the United States to fly the EC155. Survival Flight chose Metro Aviation to complete their EC155’s, which will include state-of-the-art medical interiors and unique University of Michigan paint schemes
“We are very excited to receive this aircraft and look forward to its completion,” stated Denise Landis, Survival Flight Critical Care Manager. “This has been a long process, but it has been rewarding. We believe that the EC155 is the helicopter that will provide our patients with the best possible service and will expand with us as we bring our program into the future.”
The EC155 is a multi-purpose helicopter that provides the latest technological and safety innovations including a four-axis autopilot, glass cockpit with integrated flight and display system, and the five-blade Spheriflex main rotor. The aircraft delivers decreased vibration levels at very high cruise speeds, which provides a very smooth flight for patients and crew, and it is the first aircraft in the world certified with a rotor design in accordance with the new FAR/JAR 29 regulations.
For more than 25 years, the UMHS Survival Flight program has safely transported critically ill and injured patients of all ages from hospitals and accident sites across the state to the U-M Health System for specialized care, aided in rescue operations and transported harvest teams for organ donations.
U-M Survival Flight provides services to the 48 continental states plus Canada and Mexico, to transport critically ill or injured patients. In addition, Survival Flight supports the University of Michigan Transplant Center’s organ procurement team in its efforts to provide over 400 lifesaving transplants each year. Survival Flight flies over 160,000 miles each year and has flown over 4 million miles in the past 26 years. Since 1983, Survival Flight has flown more than 30,000 patient transports. Its current fleet includes three helicopters and a Cessna Citation Encore CE-560, as well as ground services provided by Huron Valley Ambulance. For more information about U-M’s Survival Flight, visit the Web site (http://www.med.umich.edu/survival_flight/).
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