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Helicopter Fleet Information

PennSTAR currently operates seven aircraft to support our diverse missions. For more information on the unique capabilities of each helicopter, choose a type below:

American Eurocopter BK-117
The American Eurocopter BK-117 features two Turbomeca Arriel 1E2 turbine engines and is one of the most versatile medium twin engine helicopters in the world. Its compact design allows for navigation in and out of tight landing zones – making the BK-117 ideal for intensive care patient transport flights, search and rescue operations and disaster evacuation missions. It may also be used for secondary emergency medical services, such as inter-hospital transport of patients, vital medicines and emergency equipment.

The BK-117's rugged construction and layout was designed in cooperation with rescue helicopter operators and their medical crews, and is based on thousands of successful rescue missions. A large, continuous cabin provides enough room for two patients, three medical attendants and two pilots.

Agusta A109 Power
Created in 1997, the Agusta A109 Power is a light, twin-turbine helicopter with two Turbomeca Arrius 2K1 engines. Each engine produces up to 750 horsepower, which allows for cruise speeds of up to 178 miles per hour. Acquired in 2000, the A109's speed and safety features have improved PennSTAR's response time – especially in bad weather. The powerful A109 is ideal for flying over built-up regions – even if one engine fails, the pilot can maintain enough height to clear buildings and land safely.

This aircraft has a glass cockpit with two complete sets of pilot instruments and navigation systems. The 123-cubic feet cabin can hold up to eight people and is completely separate from the cockpit – allowing for independent loading and patient care without cockpit intrusion. Internal and external baggage space is also available.

American Eurocopter EC-135 P-2
The American Eurocopter EC-135 P-2 is the newest addition to PennSTAR's fleet. This modern air ambulance is one of the safest helicopters in the world. A state-of-the-art cockpit features:

  • Color weather radar
  • Dual global positioning systems (GPS)
  • LCD multi-function display panels
  • Night vision goggle (NVG) technology
  • Real-time satellite tracking
  • Single pilot instrument flight rules (SPIFR)
  • Terrain Awareness Warning systems (TAWS)
  • Three moving map displays
  • Traffic collision avoidance system

The light twin EC-135 is powered by two engines, each yielding up to 633 horsepower. There is ample room for one patient and up to four crew members. Loading and unloading is carried out quickly and easily with extra large sliding doors and a rear, ambulance-style “clamshell” door. The EC-135's noise level and vibration are significantly lower than regulatory standards, making this aircraft ideal for flying over highly populated areas.


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