Feature story The EC145 is selected for Pennsylvania's LifeFlight air medical service after a competition with Agusta and Bell helicopters

May 8, 2006 - In another important head-to-head win, the EC145 helicopter has been chosen by Pennsylvania's Allegheny General Hospital to replace MD-900s currently operated by its LifeFlight air medical service. The EC145 is the commercial baseline for the EADS North America UH-145, currently competing for the Army's Light Utility Helicopter (LUH) contract.

Allegheny General Hospital's decision to buy four EC145s as replacements for a similar number of MD-900s was the result of a bidding process in which the EC145 competed against helicopters from Agusta and Bell. All four EC145s will be delivered to the air medical service operator in 2007.

Serving western Pennsylvania, southeastern Ohio, northern West Virginia and western Maryland, Allegheny General Hospital's LifeFlight helicopters have performed more than 40,000 missions.

"The Eurocopter EC145 won based on its airframe, range and weight-lifting capacity, which fits LifeFlight's air medical service mission profile nicely," said Cathy Fackovec, the LifeFlight Administrative Director of Emergency Service. "As well, the EC145's IFR equipment allows us to do these missions without compromising fuel economy."

Fackovec said another factor in the selection was the EC145's low noise level - which is important in noise-sensitive neighborhoods. Also favoring the EC145 was the extensive presence of American Eurocopter in the U.S. marketplace - including the air medical sector, and the excellent after-sales service for operators.

According to Fackovec, American Eurocopter has been extremely accommodating in letting LifeFlight incorporate a number of value-added features and equipment in its new EC145s, demonstrating the mission flexibility and customer-focused approach of the helicopter design.

The operationally-proven EC145 is used worldwide for law enforcement, emergency medical transportation, search and rescue, offshore and utility operations, and corporate transport. Its UH-145 version - which is being proposed by an EADS North America-led industry team - offers a commercial, FAA IFR-certified solution for the U.S. Army's Light Utility Helicopter mission. Other primary UH-145 team members are American Eurocopter, Sikorsky Aircraft, WestWind Technologies and CAE.

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