** EDITOR NOTE ** HeliHub.com broke this story four weeks ago – see OSF Life Flight to upgrade from B230 to EC145 – what follows is merely today’s press release confirming the details
American Eurocopter is pleased to announce that OSF Aviation, LLC, a part of OSF HealthCare based in Peoria, Illinois, has ordered four EC145s as part of a fleet replacement initiative for its air medical program. OSF Aviation is the provider of air medical support services to hospitals and communities throughout OSF HealthCareâ€™s Illinois service areas.Â These aircraft will replace the fleet operated for OSF Saint Anthony Lifeline (Rockford, IL) and OSF Saint Francis Life Flight (Peoria, IL). Currently, this team of physicians, nurses, pilots and mechanics averages 2,200 patient transfers each year, making it the busiest aeromedical operation unit in the State of Illinois.
â€œWe are delighted that OSF has selected the EC145 to upgrade their fleet,â€ said Treg Manning, American Eurocopterâ€™s Vice President of Sales. â€œThe EC145 will provide OSF with the latest technologies, cabin size, performance and reliability to support its top notch patient care.â€
OSF Aviation performed a very detailed analysis before the decision was made to pick the EC145. The program evaluated its mission requirements, including size, range, IFR capability and performance, to set the base for its decision. Brent Grady, executive director for OSF Aviation explains, â€œWe were very thorough in setting the groundwork for our decision. We evaluated all of the major vendors and their helicopters. After our research, it was very apparent that American Eurocopter was the company we wanted to work with and that the EC145 was our aircraft of choice.â€
The EC145â€™s performance, versatility and range provide operators with multi-mission capabilities in a medium-class twin-engine helicopter. The safety features of the aircraft, including high set main and tail rotors, and the large cabin and rear-loading clamshell doors have made it the helicopter of choice for a large number of EMS programs in the United States and worldwide. These characteristics also helped in the decision for OSF Aviation. â€œWe knew that the EC145 would provide us with the extra range and the power to carry extra weight when needed. With the additional space offered by the EC145â€™s cabin, this allows us the capabilities to fly team flights, carry isollettes, balloon pumps and dual patients if the mission requires,â€ said Grady.
OSF Aviation began its search for a fleet replacement aircraft in an effort to update older technology, as well as alleviate parts, support and availability issues with its current fleet. â€œThe new EC145s will enable us to do so much more for those we serve â€“ with the confidence and reliability we require for our crews and our communities.Â Â American Eurocopter has been extremely helpful throughout this process,â€ Grady added.
OSF Aviation has set an aggressive implementation schedule for the aircraft. The program is scheduled to receive its first EC145 at the end of October and take delivery every two weeks after that, with the new fleet expected to be in service by summer 2012. The aircraft will be completed by Air Methods.
About American Eurocopter
American Eurocopter is the U.S. affiliate of Eurocopter, the largest helicopter manufacturer in the world, and a subsidiary of EADS North America Holdings, the North American operations of EADS, the second largest aerospace and defense company in the world. American Eurocopter is a helicopter manufacturer and markets, sells and supports the broadest range of civil and para-public helicopters offered by any manufacturer. The product line represents the most cost-effective, technologically-advanced helicopters, ranging from light single to heavy twin, serving all markets and missions. American Eurocopterâ€™s headquarters and main facility are in Grand Prairie, TX, with a large manufacturing and production facility in Columbus, MS.
Photo of the announcement ceremony at American Eurocopter’s booth at AMTC 2011
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