Metro Aviation has delivered two Airbus Helicopters H135 (P3) aircraft to California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR), the first of five H135 air medical transport helicopters the operator ordered last year. CALSTAR is the first U.S. customer for this significantly improved and updated variant of the most popular twin-engine helicopter chosen by air medical transport service operators.
“CALSTAR is very happy to receive the first two Airbus H135 (P3) aircraft to be delivered in the United States. This aircraft proved its capabilities to us during a rigorous, competitive fly off we conducted last August from our South Lake Tahoe base,” said Lynn Malmstrom, CALSTAR President and CEO. “Our pilots and crews were enthusiastically in favor of moving forward with this aircraft; and from a fleet, maintenance, and support perspective, it fits beautifully with our new fleet of eight Airbus EC135 P2+ aircraft.”
The H135 (P3) boasts increased power with Pratt & Whitney PW206B3 turbine engines driving a new, larger main rotor. The aircraft provides 440 pounds greater payload capacity in hot-and-high operating conditions, as well as improved performance and payload at lower altitudes. The aircraft also includes a modern glass cockpit with the Garmin GTN 750 fully integrated navigation, communication and GPS avionics system.
Metro Aviation, a worldwide completion leader, was the chosen completion partner for CALSTAR’s previous aircraft and obtained Supplemental Type Certificate amendments for an EMS configuration package, air conditioning and options installed on the H135 (P3).
“We again engaged Metro Aviation to obtain the FAA certifications and do the aircraft medical completions and paint. They did a superb job from tip to tail,” said Malmstrom. The first CALSTAR H135 will be put into service at the South Lake Tahoe, California base and the second will be located in Auburn, California.
The H135/EC135 series light twin-engine aircraft are a worldwide favorite among the air medical community. More than 1,200 are in service globally and have accumulated more than three million flight hours. Previous versions can be fully retrofitted to bring them up to the performance and technology level of the H135.
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