Metro Aviation recently delivered a completed EC145e to Hartford Hospital LIFE STAR, a critical care program based in Hartford, Connecticut. The aircraft’s price point and large cabin appealed to the VFR program that transports about 1,000 patients each year.
“It’s important that we standardize our fleet and the EC145e is a great addition,” said Dr. Lauri Bolton, Medical Director of Hartford Hospital LIFE STAR. “We wanted more space, system redundancy and modern workload reducers not available on our current aircraft. This new helicopter checks all of those boxes for us.” The EC145e adds features like two-axis autopilot and cockpit satellite awareness reporting without the extra weight. “We’ll use the same LOX Cylinders and the same stretcher between our new aircraft and our EC145, so everything will work well together,” said Bolton. The new aircraft boasts great improvements over the current, Norwich, CT-based aircraft, including:
-A new, modern airframe, expected to have a 20+ year lifecycle
-Greater weight capacity to carry more fuel, ferry the ECMO team and provide greater stretcher weight capacity
-Autopilot to allow for reduced pilot workload
-In-cockpit weather reporting
-Increased interior space for equipment and treating patients
-Equipment compatibility with Hartford’s existing aircraft; the same stretcher, isolette and onboard oxygen cylinders will simplify operations
The majority of LIFE STAR’s transports are focused on inter-facility transfers within a 150-mile radius of its bases of operation. The program has two bases in Connecticut and recently opened another base in Massachusetts.