Geisinger Life Flight is flying high in Pennsylvania with a newly refurbished EC145, equipped with Metro Aviation’s newest STC for the Garmin GTN 650/750 Xi series, certified for SPIFR (Single Pilot Instrument Flight Rules) use in the EC145. The Garmin 650/750 Xi allows pilots to visualize the entire flight plan, including holds and approaches, on a high-resolution touchscreen.
Geisinger’s aircraft was delivered during a milestone year, as the program is celebrating 40 years of providing lifesaving care to Geisinger’s service area and beyond. The Life Flight fleet consists of nine helicopters and averages over 3,600 transports per year.
“Our mission is to help save lives by providing the highest level of critical care available outside of a hospital and doing so with safety as our top priority,” said Gerald Splitt, Geisinger Life Flight program director. “This new equipment installed in our newest aircraft will help our crews better deliver on our mission, and we’re fortunate to have a great partner in Metro Aviation to help integrate the latest in aircraft technology into our program.”
Metro Aviation installed the new Garmin equipment in Geisinger’s EC145 cockpit, along with a complete medical interior that can accommodate three medical providers and up to two patients. Medical mounts installed by Metro secure ventilators, IV pumps, and multifunctional monitors. The aircraft is a flying intensive care unit.
The Garmin 650/750 Xi multifunction display supports multiple inputs, and can show moving maps, terrain, traffic, weather, airport diagrams, and more. The new STC was designed to be used on a complete installation, or for eventual upgrades to the nearly 100 EC145’s in operation now. The new STC also includes the Garmin GTX345R, GDL 69H, TAS605A, GWX75H, HTAWS and ADS-B. This new STC rolls up many of the new features that were not previously available in the GNS series of equipment.
Metro Aviation received a second STC for the Garmin GTN 650/750 for the Airbus EC135.
Geisinger Life Flight has completed more than 75,000 transports in its 40 years and is the second-largest air ambulance service in Pennsylvania. The program’s fleet includes one BK117-C1 and eight Airbus EC145 helicopters. With a staff of approximately 150 employees, Geisinger Life Flight operates six of its nine aircraft around the clock from bases in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Life Flight is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems and holds its own Air Carrier certificate through the Federal Aviation Administration.