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Thu, Nov 18, 2010

Metro Aviation Lands Back In Ohio

Third AMS Operation For The Medical Transportation Provider

Longtime traditional air medical transportation provider and helicopter completion specialist, Metro Aviation, Inc. will soon be providing helicopter air medical services (AMS) to MedFlight, based in Columbus, Ohio. The AMS operation will be the third for Metro Aviation in the state of Ohio and will include a Midwest maintenance facility to support these and other regional aircraft operated by the company. The program will also introduce the EC130B helicopter to the area and will replace the current fleet of helicopters. Metro will commence operations in July 2011. 

MedFlight has provided air and ground medical transportation services to the region since 1995 and currently operates seven helicopters and three mobile ICU ground ambulances. The not-for-profit company is governed by a consortium of hospitals including OhioHealth, The Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, and Akron General Medical Center. MedFlight is also the preferred provider for Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.

Metro's Owner, President and CEO, Mike Stanberry commented, "Our new partnership with MedFlight and their unparalleled patient care services to the residents of Ohio and the surrounding area are exactly the type of professional relationship that we are proud to have at Metro Aviation."

As part of the new operating contract for Metro Aviation, the company will design, develop and certify a new, comprehensive air medical interior solution for a market that has been faced with few choices for the EC130B helicopter. The air medical interior development program for the aircraft will include a unique version of the Life Port Med Deck system, custom seating, custom liquid oxygen (LOX) system and other typical air medical support equipment installations. Also included is a new lightweight Cobham HeliSAS autopilot and Stability Augmentation System (SAS) for increased safety and pilot workload reduction advantages. As one of the HeliSAS primary functions, the SAS provides precise control during all modes of flight, regardless of wind conditions or aircraft center of gravity.

Furthermore, Metro Aviation will be in compliance with all the equipment contemplated in the recent FAA Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) operations, to include night vision goggle (NVG) compatible cockpit and cabin areas, Garmin Helicopter Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (HTAWS), and a Traffic Collision Avoidance System. Additionally, all pilots will attend annual simulator training provided by Flight Safety International as part of the overall safety enhancement program for Metro and their customers.


EC130 File Photo

Metro Aviation will be installing the NORTH Flight Data Systems Voice, Video and Flight Data Recorder (VVFDR) which will far exceed a possible Light-weight Aircraft Recording System (LARs) requirement for the FAA NPRM. The system provides all engine and airframe data as well as over 20 GPS inputs. Through an integration of the satellite communication system, MedFlight will be able to receive radar altimeter data along with system and aircraft performance information with every position report. Metro Aviation is going well beyond any contemplated regulations by installing the comprehensive NORTH Flight Data System and utilizing NORTH FDS's FOQA analysis to achieve true safety improvements.

The first of seven EC130B helicopters is currently undergoing completion at the Metro Aviation main facility located in Shreveport, Louisiana. Metro Aviation expects a smooth transition with a thorough plan to provide uninterrupted air medical transportation services for MedFlight and their patients. Metro Aviation is the second largest provider of traditional air medical programs in the United States.

FMI: www.metroaviation.com

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