Our Life Flight fleet consists of five American Eurocopter EC-145 aircraft and one American Eurocopter (MBB) BK-117 B1 aircraft, the result of a seven-year fleet replacement initiative. Each helicopter is powered by two Turbomecca turbine engines for greater reliability and safety.
In addition, the aircraft are equipped with the latest safety and navigation technology including night vision systems, air traffic collision avoidance and terrain avoidance. Life Flight helicopters fly both day and night and utilize Instrumental Flight Rules (IFR) to safely fly in adverse weather conditions including rain, snow and decreased visibility from cloud cover.
The average speed of Life Flight aircraft is 120 knots or 138 miles per hour. Normal cruising altitude for the Life Flight program is between 3,000 and 5,000 feet.
Life Flight aircraft can travel approximately 300 miles without refueling, allowing us to transport patients as far as New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, Pittsburgh and Ohio. Communications between the aircraft and hospitals are done through a wide range of radio frequencies as well as satellite telephone technology. In addition, our helicopters are monitored and tracked in real-time satellite by the Life Flight dispatch and operations center.
The medical equipment in Life Flight aircraft allows our highly trained medical staff to provide state of the art monitoring and treatment for up to two patients at a time, both on the ground and in the air. Medical equipment includes advanced cardiac monitors, defibrillators, cardiac pacemakers and ventilators, intravenous infusion pumps, oxygen and suction units.
A full range of emergency cardiac medications are available onboard. Transport isolettes or “incubators” are used in addition to a full range of equipment for acute stabilization to transport premature newborns.