Life Link III

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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.

  • Life Link III signed a contract for one helicopter with delivery in 3Q2021, adding to an existing fleet of ten AW119Kx
  • The world’s first fully FAA IFR-certified single engine in decades, the type allows safe operations in low visibility and challenging weather conditions combined with high performance and cabin space while keeping single engine economics
  • Over 350 AW119s sold to more than 130 customers in 40 countries to date to perform a wide range of roles including EMS, utility, fire-fighting, law enforcement, passenger transport, training and government/military duties

PRESS RELEASE – Rome, 7 July 2020

Leonardo announced today that the EMS operator Life Link III, based in the upper-midwest United States, has placed an order for one IFR-certified AW119 single engine helicopter with a future option for a second aircraft.

The aircraft will be added to an existing fleet of ten AW119Kx helicopters delivering in-flight critical care and transporting patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin with over 21,000 total flight hours amassed. Delivery from the AW119 final assembly line in Philadelphia is expected in the third quarter of 2021.

The contract marks the first sale for the FAA certified IFR capable AW119 in the civil market and for emergency medical service roles. The type is the first single engine helicopter in decades to fully meet current IFR requirements without compromise, allowing pilots to operate the aircraft safely in low visibility and challenging weather conditions, thanks to advanced avionics by Genesys Aerosystems and redundant flight systems. The IFR-capable AW119 adds one more option and an ideal IFR entry point for commercial and public service operators who seek for the highest level of safety and performance in demanding conditions while keeping single engine economics. This combines with the AW119’s unique light-twin like multiple redundancies of critical systems and cabin space delivering outstanding reliability and safety.

Steve Sterner, Chief Executive Officer of Life Link III, shared: “Our decision to become the first civilian user of the IFR-certified AW119 fully supports our mission of providing safe and effective air medical transport. The advanced avionics and technology on this aircraft elevate our ability to provide life-saving critical care resources to those in need. With high degrees of performance, safety, speed and efficiency, this aircraft is well-suited to meet the needs of our crew members and patients.”

William Hunt, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters in Philadelphia, said: “We are proud to introduce the IFR-certified variant of the AW119 to the civilian market and to do so with an incredible partner like Life Link III. This aircraft’s advanced technology and dual flight systems will ensure that our first responders are able to fly safely in challenging weather conditions while providing the same accessible, efficient cabin configuration for patient treatment and transport that the AW119 is known for.”

The AW119 has met high standards of operational requirements and mission effectiveness – including NVG capability – since the first aircraft was delivered to Life Link III in early 2014. Life Link III’s IFR AW119 will feature a special cabin interior with an articulated patient loading system, ensuring full patient body access for two medical professionals on board. This latest sale represents the growing share of Leonardo’s helicopters in the North American EMS market, which now totals more than 113 across a fleet of AW119s, AW109s, AW169s and AW139s.