Abu Dhabi-based Prestige Jet (Chalet No. 23) is expanding its air ambulance business to cater for a strong surge in demand for its medical evacuation and repatriation services. Yesterday, the company announced the formation of a new subsidiary, Prestige Flight Ambulance (PFA), which will make a dedicated Bombardier Challenger 604 and Learjet 55 available around the clock to carry patients to and from the United Arab Emirates.
Neither of the two medevac Bell 407s that collided in midair June 29 over Flagstaff, Ariz., was equipped with TCAS or any kind of cockpit voice or data recorder, an NTSB spokesman told AIN.
For entrepreneurs, the maturing of a growing market they created comes as a mixed triumph. On the one hand come the recognition, fame and loads of money that flow from not only setting the pace but also defining the race. On the other, there’s the pressure that the inevitable competition brings as other smart people sharpen their pencils and try to top the original business concept with improvements.
The two aeromedical Bell 407s involved in a fatal midair over Flagstaff, Ariz., on Sunday afternoon were not equipped with traffic collision avoidance systems or cockpit voice or data recorders, an NTSB spokesman told AIN.
On May 10 at 10:40 p.m. local time, a Eurocopter EC 135T2+ crashed in an area of rapidly rising terrain six minutes after taking off from La Crosse, Wis. Municipal Airport. The three occupants, an instrument- rated pilot and the two-man medical crew, aboard the VFR Part 91 positioning flight were killed. It was the first crash in the 23-year history of the program.
Nearly since the first U.S.-based emergency medical services (EMS) flight operation was performed in the early 1970s, controversy has swirled around the practice. In battlefield conditions, where the dangers were more clear cut and the issue nearly always one of life and death, questions on the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of EMS flights are rarely raised.
With its 2007 acquisition of Pittsburgh-based CJ Systems, Air Methods has become the largest civil air ambulance provider in the country. Integrating CJ into Air Methods has proceeded smoothly, so far, said CEO Aaron Todd, but there are challenges ahead.
Princely Air Ambulance will be Pakistan’s first privately operated air ambulance company, UK-based Medical Aviation Services (MAS), which has entered a technical support agreement with Princely, announced last month. Medical Aviation Services in December sold a used Eurocopter BO 105 to the new firm. MAS is providing training in the UK on the BO 105 before it is exported.
UK helicopter service company Sterling Aviation took delivery of Honeywell’s Sentinel navigation system for its Eurocopter BK 117 fleet, and the initial response from operational crews is “very encouraging,” according to Sterling Aviation managing director Gerry Hermer. Sterling Aviation operates the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.
United States Aircraft Insurance Group (USAIG) has donated more than $4.8 million to date in training costs to help Bell, American Eurocopter, MD Helicopters and Agusta operators who participate in a preferred policy program, the New York-based insurance company announced.