HEMS / SAR

HEMS / SAR related images, news and data

PRESS RELEASE – Donauwörth, 18 December 2020

Airbus Helicopters and ÖAMTC Air Rescue have signed a firm contract for the purchase of five H135s. The delivery of the first helicopter of this contract is scheduled for early 2022.

“Our demanding missions require the most modern helicopters available for enhancing our capability for critical missions, e.g. during the night. We have been operating the H135 for more than 20 years, and we look forward to benefiting from the advantages that the Helionix version brings,” said Reinhard Kraxner, CEO at ÖAMTC Air Rescue. “The reduced pilot workload combined with the 4-axis autopilot will be a valuable asset onboard for our crews that rescue patients often in challenging environments.”

“We thank ÖAMTC Air Rescue for their continued trust in Airbus Helicopters and particularly in the H135,” said Bruno Even, CEO of Airbus Helicopters. “The H135 continues to demonstrate that it is the reference in air medical rescue all over the world.”

ÖAMTC Air Rescue operates 28 H135 helicopters from 17 permanent bases and 4 additional bases during the wintertime in Austria. Last year, the operator performed more than 20,000 missions, with on average 52 missions per day.

The H135 is the helicopter of reference for helicopter emergency medical service operators worldwide. It combines a wide, unobstructed cabin with excellent performance, range and payload capacity – along with low sound levels. The oversized sliding side doors and rear clamshell doors enable fast loading/unloading of patients, with additional safety during ground operations provided by Airbus’ signature shrouded Fenestron tail rotor.

On top of the 4-axis autopilot, Helionix offers an innovative cockpit layout which helps to increase situational awareness. Designed with three large electronic displays on the H135, the cockpit is Night Vision Goggle compatible and includes a First Limit Indicator which highlights the appropriate engine instrument data for the pilot in one indicator.
To date, more than 1,400 helicopters of the H135 family have been delivered around the globe with more than 5,6 million flight hours.

COMUNICATO STAMPA N. 39/2020 – ROMA, 01 Dicembre 2020

Il 30 novembre è atterrato il primo esemplare dell’elicottero HH139B destinato a completare ed a rafforzare la flotta di elicotteri del 15° Stormo e dei Centri/Gruppi SAR alle sue dipendenze.

L’elicottero è stato consegnato il 27 novembre, presso gli stabilimenti di Leonardo in Vergiate (VA), a seguito della positiva conclusione delle procedure di collaudo e accettazione condotte dal personale della Direzione Armamenti Aeronautici e per l’Aeronavigabilità (DAAA), congiuntamente agli uomini del dipendente Ufficio Tecnico Territoriale di Milano (UTT) ed il supporto del Reparto Sperimentale Volo dell’Aeronautica Militare.

Gli HH139 versione “B” andranno a completare la flotta di elicotteri HH139A già in dotazione alla Forza Armata.

La consegna degli elicotteri terminerà nel 2021 e vedrà la consegna di 17 esemplari versione “B” ai Gruppi Volo di Cervia ed ai Centri S.A.R.  (Search and Rescue) dislocati sul territorio nazionale (80° Centro CSAR di Decimomannu a Cagliari, 82° Centro CSAR di Trapani, l’84° Centro CSAR di Gioia del Colle ed 85° Centro CSAR di Pratica di Mare).

La nuova versione HH139B presenta alcuni accorgimenti tecnici che permettono di migliorare la capacità operativa e ad aumentare pertanto la flessibilità d’impiego per rispondere alle emergenze ed alle esigenze di sicurezza.

In particolare la nuova versione è stata dotata di un doppio verricello che aumenta l’affidabilità del sistema e la sicurezza durante le operazioni di recupero e di unamission consolleche consente una migliore gestione degli apparati di bordo ai fini della ricerca di eventuali dispersi. Inoltre, il peso massimo al decollo è stato aumentato, da 6800kg a 7000kg, il che permette una maggiore capacità di carico ed infine è stata aggiornata con sistemi di ultima generazione l’avionica ed i sensori di bordo (come ad esempio il sistema AIS – Automatic Identification System – che consente una migliore interazione con i mezzi navali e l’OPLS – Obstacle Proximity LIDAR System – che favorisce l’identificazione e la separazione con gli ostacoli orografici.

Il 15° Stormo ha il compito di recuperare gli equipaggi in difficoltà in tempo di pace (SAR – Ricerca e soccorso) ed in tempo di crisi ed in operazioni fuori dai confini nazionali (C/SAR – Combat SAR), di supporto alle Operazioni Speciali nonché di concorrere in caso di gravi calamità ad attività di pubblica utilità quali la ricerca di dispersi in mare o in montagna, il trasporto sanitario d’urgenza di ammalati in pericolo di vita ed il soccorso di traumatizzati gravi , il trasporto in bio-contenimento e, di recente, anche il supporto all’attività di antincendio boschivo. Il livello addestrativo degli equipaggi, le caratteristiche tecnologiche degli elicotteri in dotazione nonché l’impiego di apparecchiature e tecniche speciali, quali l’utilizzo di visori notturni, fanno spesso del 15° Stormo l’unica componente elicotteristica in grado di gestire con successo le situazioni di emergenza più complesse grazie, come ad esempio, alla capacità d’impiego di giorno, di notte e in condizioni meteo marginali. Ogni volta che un elicottero del 15° Stormo si alza in volo o sta salvando una vita umana, o si sta addestrando per farlo. Dalla sua costituzione ad oggi infatti, gli equipaggi del 15° Stormo hanno salvato oltre 7200 persone in pericolo di vita.

PRESS RELEASE – 05 November 2020

  • Two more helicopters ordered by this operator and the order also marks the entry of the AW109 Trekker in the US for EMS and the growing success of the AW169 in this market
  • The helicopters will conduct vital air medical transport missions across Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States and will be delivered in 2021
  • The AW169 and AW109 Trekker meet the most stringent safety standards and are configured to support Life Link III crews undertake in-flight critical care and transport patients

Leonardo announced today that Life Link III, an EMS operator in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the United States, has signed a contract for an AW169 and an AW109 Trekker for air medical transport missions.

The helicopters will ensure in-flight critical care and transport patients across the upper-Midwest of the country and delivery is anticipated to take place in the fourth quarter of 2021. This order marks the entry of the AW109 Trekker into the US for EMS applications and further grows the success of the AW169 in this market.
The AW169 features a spacious 222 cubic ft. cabin and Life Link III will have a FAA certified EMS interior which provides 360-degree patient access essential for critical care. The helicopter can travel up to 440 nautical miles, with a top speed of 160 knots and it can climb to 14,500 feet.
The Trekker has high-end EMS capabilities in terms of its interior, performance, advanced avionics, and safety standards. The twin-engine helicopter is equipped with Night Vision Goggles (NVG), single-pilot instrument flight rules, and a customised interior built to meet Life Link III’s requirements.

This sale will increase Life Link III’s Leonardo helicopters fleet to 14 aircraft and the company will be the first to operate a mixed fleet of AW119 IFR and AW109 Trekker. These aircraft feature the same core avionics which deliver unique advantages in terms of fleet management, training, safety, and support. The EMS operator’s existing fleet comprises of ten AW119Kx which have accrued more than 21,000 flight hours. In addition, in July of this year, Life Link III signed for the first IFR-certified AW119 in the civil market – this aircraft will enable the company to undertake safer operations in challenging weather conditions. The helicopter is expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2021.

Lee McCammon, Vice President of Operations at Life Link III, commented: “The addition of the AW109 Trekker and AW169 will return Life Link III to instrument flight capability and further enhance our ability to deliver safe, fast, and reliable air medical transportation to the communities we serve. Our strong relationship with Leonardo supports our commitment to utilizing advanced technology to complete life-saving missions.”
William Hunt, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters in Philadelphia, said: “We are pleased to once again be supporting the vital life-saving missions of our long-standing partner, Life Link III. The AW109 Trekker and AW169 will be great additions to the EMS operator’s fleet and both aircraft with their high-tech capabilities will enable Life Link III to conduct its operations safely and quickly.”

This latest sale represents the growing share of Leonardo’s helicopters in the North American EMS market, which now totals more than 110 across a fleet of AW119s, AW109s, AW169s and AW139s. Leonardo is committed to serving and protecting communities around the world, contributing to their sustainable growth by leading in next generation technologies. Partnering with Governments, private organizations and industries for the best security and safety capabilities is a cornerstone of Leonardo’s BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan.

Nearly 240 orders for AW169s have been placed by countries including Italy, the UK, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States. To date over 70 AW109 Trekkers have been sold to customers worldwide for a range of roles and over 1,500 AW109 series units have been sold globally for the widest scope of missions.

OVERTDEFENCE .COMBy ED NASH – 23 September 2020.

The Austrian Ministry of Defense has announced that they are planning on ordering 18 Leonardo AW169M helicopters.

The cost of the procurement will be 300 million Euros and first delivery is expected mid-2022. A minimum service life of 30 years is expected.

The new helicopters will replace the Alouette III light liaison and transport helicopters currently in use. These have been in service since 1967 and will be retired at the end of 2023 due to age issues.

Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner announced the decision on Monday, saying that:

“With this helicopter we are buying a highly efficient and modern machine that not only serves the safety of our soldiers, but also the safety of the entire population. We are investing in the safety of Austria.”

The AW169M is certainly a more capable aircraft than it’s predecessor. The helicopter is much more powerful and therefore better suited for use in the mountains. Its modern avionics also make it possible to fly at night and in poor weather conditions.

Capable of carrying ten passengers, the Austrians intend to use the AW169Ms for a wide range of missions, not just transporting personnel and materials but also for extinguishing forest fires, aerial reconnaissance and mountain rescue.

Of the purchase, 12 will be based in Aigen/Ennstal primarily as emergency vehicles whilst the other six will be stationed as trainers in Langenlebarn.

The Austrian MoD state that they chose the Leonardo (formerly Augusta-Westland) design over the comparable Bell 429 and Airbus H-145 because that company offered better terms in cooperation in the areas of training, logistics and aircraft operation.

The Austrians also state that though the aircraft will not be armed they will require the new helicopters to be capable of mounting weapon stations that are able to be fitted within hours, should that be necessary. These could include the ability to use advanced missile systems, though the exact specification is still being discussed with the manufacturer.

Link to the original article online: https://www.overtdefense.com/2020/09/23/austrian-armed-forces-procuring-aw169m-to-replace-aging-alouette-helicopters/

PRESS RELEASE – GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Oct. 15, 2020

Air Methods Corporation – the largest civil operator of Airbus helicopters worldwide with more than 450 aircraft in operation – has signed a $24 million, five-year HCare Smart support contract with Airbus Helicopters, Inc. to cover its fleet of 31 EC145 helicopters.

“This is the first of what we hope to be multiple HCare contracts, which allows us to partner with Airbus to drive safety, reliability, and cost targets for our customer base,” said Leo Morrissette, EVP of Operations for Air Methods. “This contract provides us peace of mind knowing that we are working with the manufacturer, to provide a higher level of service, and responsiveness for our patients.”

This is Air Methods’ first HCare contract with Airbus, and discussions are underway to extend similar support coverage to other aircraft models in the Air Methods fleet, which also includes the H125, H130, H135 and H145.  Air Methods is the leading air medical service provider, delivering lifesaving care to more than 70,000 people every year. With nearly 40 years of air medical experience, Air Methods is the preferred partner for hospitals and one of the largest community-based providers of air medical services. Air Methods has a fleet of owned, leased, or maintained aircraft with more than 450 aircraft.

“Air Methods is a key and trusted member of the Airbus family, and we’re extremely proud to help support the life-saving air medical operations they carry out on a daily basis all over the country,” said Anthony Baker, vice president of Customer Support at Airbus Helicopters, Inc. “With nose-to-tail airframe coverage for their EC145 fleet, we will collaborate with Air Methods to  support efficient management, streamline costs and eliminate surprises, with the intent of increasing operational availability and allowing Air Methods to focus its resources on its core business of fully supporting its customer base.” 

HCare is Airbus Helicopters’ comprehensive services offering, delivering tailor-made and competitive solutions to customers. It spans five domains: material management, helicopter maintenance, technical support, training and flight operations, and connected services, with experts available on-call 24/7. The HCare material management service starts out with Easy (on-request catalogue services) and Smart (four by-the-hour options), before progressively building up to Infinite (full availability commitments).

PRESS RELEASE – Miami, 14 October 2020

  • MDFR ordered four AW139s in December 2019 for fire suppression, emergency medical services, and search and rescue
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez: “As a former firefighter, I’ve been very impressed with this world-class search-and-rescue helicopter. Replacing antiquated helicopters, the AW139 is a vital addition to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s fleet. They will provide a heightened level of safety and security for our Fire Rescue workers and those whose lives they work to save.” 
  • Over 1000 AW139s delivered to customers worldwide to date, more than 280 operators in over 70 countries using the type for a wide range of civil, public service and military roles 

Leonardo is pleased to announce that Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) has taken delivery of its first AW139 helicopter.  

The October 13 handoff included a small ceremony at Miami Executive Airport (TMB) in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Officials from the County, including Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, spoke at the event. 

“As a former firefighter, I’ve been very impressed with this world-class search-and-rescue helicopter,” Mayor Giménez said. “Replacing antiquated helicopters, the AW139 is a vital addition to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s fleet. They will provide a heightened level of safety and security for our Fire Rescue workers and those whose lives they work to save.” 

MDFR ordered four AW139 aircraft in December 2019 for fire suppression, emergency medical services, and search and rescue missions. Each helicopter features a cargo hook, rescue hoist and Bambi bucket. The remaining three aircraft are expected to be delivered by the end of 2020. 

MDFR protects people, property, and the environment by providing proactive responsive professional and humanitarian fire rescue services essential to public health, safety and well-being. MDFR operates 71 fire-rescue stations within unincorporated Miami-Dade County and serves 29 municipalities. Due to the impressive scope of its rescue operations, Miami-Dade Air Rescue frequently provides mutual aid support to neighboring counties including Monroe, Collier, Broward and Lee. 

Miami-Dade is the most populous county in Florida with over 2.7 million people and more than 2,000 square miles (larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware). From the coral reefs to the Everglades the unique subtropical environment of South Florida makes this area unlike any other in the United States. 

With over 1000 deliveries to date, the AW139 is the most successful global helicopter program in the last 15 years. More than 280 operators in over 70 countries use the AW139 for a wide variety of missions including fire suppression, emergency medical service, search and rescue, security/ law enforcement, energy services, and private transport. Leonardo is committed to serving and protecting communities around the world, contributing to their sustainable growth by leading in next generation technologies. Partnering with Governments, private organizations and industries for the best security and safety capabilities is a cornerstone of the Leonardo’s BeTomorrow2030 Strategic Plan.
  
In the United States, AW139 customers include the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD), New Jersey and Maryland States Police Departments, among many others. The US Air Force (USAF) will soon introduce the AW139-based Boeing MH-139 to replace the UH-1N fleet. 

PRESS RELEASE – Dublin, 5 October 2020

Milestone Aviation and Airbus Helicopters have agreed to include six H160s in Milestone’s orderbook.

The helicopters will be destined for a range of missions including offshore transportation and emergency medical services, the first of which is set to deliver in 2023.

Today’s announcement will see us enhance our orderbook to include the H160 which we believe will be an important player in the market in the years ahead. It is a versatile, multi-mission aircraft with the opportunity to be used in a number of scenarios, particularly serving EMS operations. It will be a valuable addition to our fleet and we’re already in discussion with operators to place the aircraft into service as soon as they are available,” said Pat Sheedy, CEO of Milestone.

“We are proud that a longstanding customer such as Milestone is renewing its trust once again in Airbus helicopters. I am convinced that the level of innovation that the H160 brings to the market, whether it is passenger comfort, advanced pilot assistance, or its competiveness thanks to its increased fuel efficiency and simplified maintenance eco-system, combined with its inherent flexibility will make it a valuable asset to their  operations,” said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. 

With 68 patents, the H160 integrates Airbus Helicopters’ latest technological innovations aimed at providing passengers with superior comfort thanks to the sound-reducing Blue Edge blades and superb external visibility for both passengers and pilots, not to mention the additional safety features provided by Helionix’s accrued pilot assistance features. The aircraft’s compact size will be an added advantage to landing on oil platforms as well as hospital heli-decks.

I-GOOO – Italian Helicopter Register NEWS

Thanks to Carlo Luigi TAMIAZZO for these first images of the factory new Airbus Helicopters H145 I-GOOO registered to EliFriulia earlier in March 2020 … while performing hoist training activy on the field at Ronchi dei Legionari (TS), September 2020.

I-RAIX – WORLD ROTORS update

Thanks to Tiziano CAPENTI for this image of the Leonardo AW109S Trekker I-RAIX […..] wearing an unusual yellow / blue paint scheme with Greek Air Force roundel and additional EKAB (Helleninc EMS Service) and SNF (Stavros Niarchos Foundation) logo … performing pre-delivery maintenance test flights in Venegono (VA), September 2020.

PRESS RELAESE – 23 September 2020

LCI, a leading helicopter lessor and the aviation division of the Libra Group, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing Company, Limited (SMFL) have agreed to establish and operate a joint venture helicopter leasing business.

The vehicle has launched with the initial acquisition of 19 next generation helicopters with a value of US$230 million. SMFL and LCI are co-investors in the partnership, with LCI also acting as manager.

The young, modern helicopters acquired by the joint venture will be used by operators across the globe on a range of missions including Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), and transportation to offshore wind farms. With a strong lessee profile, long average lease tenor and full power by the hour maintenance coverage, the portfolio offers a robust profile for the investors.

Jaspal Jandu, Chief Financial Officer of LCI, says: “LCI is delighted to be launching this new leasing vehicle with SMFL. Our joint venture with this renowned partner highlights the opportunities available in the helicopter leasing marketplace, and demonstrates how these aircraft have now become a proven and attractive asset class.”

Shinichiro Watanabe, Managing Executive Officer of SMFL, says: “LCI’s experience, expertise and reputation makes them a natural business partner for SMFL, and we look forward to working with them and combining our respective financial strengths to jointly and professionally manage a successful and dynamic venture.”

George Logothetis, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Libra Group, added: “We are very pleased and proud that LCI has formed a joint venture with such a highly respected organisation. This partnership promises sustained and exciting growth for LCI’s rotary wing business, which has already proved highly resilient during the global pandemic.”

The new joint venture will enable SMFL and LCI to further expand the range and volume of their helicopter investments by leveraging their proven track record, knowledge and experience derived from SMFL’s aircraft and engine leasing companies, and LCI’s years of value creation in aviation helicopter and fixed wing leasing.

LCI’s fleet comprises approximately US$1 billion of assets in service, on order and under management, focused on the latest technology medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.

These are in operation across four continents in multiple sectors including emergency medical services, offshore wind, search and rescue, maritime pilot transfer and oil-and-gas transportation.