MICHIGAN MEDICINE’S Survival Flight has added a Bombardier Learjet 75 (N75UM, c/n 45-560) to its existing fleet of three Airbus Helicopters (Eurocopter) EC155B1 helicopters.
The aircraft is specially modified for the role and replaces a Cessna Citation V Encore, which has been operated since 2001.
The Learjet 75 and the three EC155B1s are operated on behalf of Michigan Medicine’s Survival Flight by Metro Aviation. The new aircraft is capable of transporting a range of patients, from neonatal through to geriatric care and complex intensive care unit patients.
Interior features of the Learjet 75 include the ability to carry liquid oxygen and the TransMedics Organ Care System for organ procurement and it is able to carry two organ procurement teams on the one flight.
Denise Landis, Clinical Director of Survival Flight said: “There is nothing our doctors and nurses who designed this interior haven’t thought of. The fixed wing Learjet 75 is mainly used for pre-planned trips, including organ procurement and patients that need to be picked up from distances the rotary-wing aircraft cannot reach.”
Landis added that the new aircraft will allow the organ procurement teams to fly from the Survival Flight’s base at Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Las Vegas in Nevada and return, within a single 12-hour shift.
She added: “Our former [Citation] aircraft was a corporate interior and while it served us well for the past 17 years, we are constantly looking forward to the future and improving our ability to care for patients. This jet has been in process for over a year. It started out with a committee within the university with all the stakeholders that fly in the aircraft coming together and deciding what it is we need to better serve our patients.” Michigan Medicine’s Survival Flight currently comprises ten rotary-wing and eight Learjet pilots, together with seven maintenance personnel, 24 flight nurses, an aviation manager, administrative specialist, a clinical supervisor, a clinical manager and faculty from the Michigan Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine.
Denise Landis said: “[The Learjet 75] has a very mobile interior, because we can pull things out and put them back in, based on what we need for that particular patient or trip …The beauty is that we have options to do what’s best for our patients and staff. We’re excited to be able to go further, faster and be very dedicated to the patients we transport.” Nigel Pittawa