Louisiana, US-based Metro Aviation (Metro) announced the delivery of the first Single/Dual Pilot Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) certified Airbus EC145e to GundersenAIR – EMS helicopter for Gundersen Health System in Lacrosse, Wisconsin – as well as having recently outfitted a mission-ready H125 helicopter to be used by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office based in Tampa, Florida.
The IFR certification, which Metro notes marks ‘the first of its kind for the EC145e’, is a platform that incorporates the latest HeliSAS/EFIS technology, including the Genesys AeroSystems IDU-650 EFIS and a three-axis Autopilot.
“The road to this new technology has not been quick or easy, but we are enthusiastic about expanding the customer base for this aircraft,” said Milton Geltz, Managing Director for Metro. “Metro placed the first EC145e in service in July 2016 and has successfully operated this airframe as a visual flight rules ship since then. We are excited about introducing it in Wisconsin with IFR capabilities.”
The installation also includes Metro’s traditional EMS package, which was installed at the Shreveport-based completion centre and the purchase and completion is expected to be finalised in March.
In other news, Metro has been working together with the Hillsborough team to create a configuration suitable for conducting surveillance, hoist operations, and search and rescue missions. Metro configured the H125 at its Shreveport-based completion centre, incorporating mission-ready equipment, including a Goodrich electric-powered rescue hoist, LoJack system integration and avionics compatible with night vision goggles. The H125 aircraft joins a fleet of four Airbus AS350B2s and a Cessna 208 Caravan.
“This Airbus H125 aircraft and Metro Aviation’s designed and installed mission package represents a significant increase in capabilities for our unit and the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office,” said Jason Doyle, Chief Pilot for Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. “The staff at Metro Aviation took our mission and equipment needs and provided a well laid out, clean, streamlined installation.”