August 12, 2015
Dare's new medical helicopter arrives, will be on displayDare
County’s new medical transport helicopter will be on display Wednesday,
Aug. 19, at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in celebration of
National Aviation Day.
By IRENE NOLAN
In addition to the new aircraft, the county’s current BK-117 medical
helicopter will also be on display, along with an array of over 10
other planes and helicopters.
Dare MedFlight, the County’s rapid medical transport service, began
operating in 1975 to ensure all levels of medical care are accessible
for residents and visitors. Hospitals providing trauma and other
critical care services are quite a distance away, and a helicopter
drastically reduces transport times for patients needing rapid
The current MedFlight helicopter, a BK117, has been in use since 1990
and has flown over 884,000 miles while transporting more than 5,600
patients. The BK117 is now considered a “legacy aircraft” because its
parts for service and repair are no longer being manufactured. The plan
is to sell the old helicopter once the new one is in service.
The county’s new medical helicopter, an Airbus H 145, arrived in Dare
County last week and is expected to be in service this fall, following
final testing and certifications. The new aircraft has advanced safety
features, including enclosed tail rotors and a four-axis pilot system.
The new helicopter also holds more fuel than the current aircraft,
allowing the pilot more options for flight distance and landing zones.
The National Aviation Day Celebration on Aug. 19 will provide an
opportunity for residents and visitors to get a close look at both the
old and new medical helicopters utilized by Dare County, while enjoying
many other planned activities. The event takes place on Orville
Wright’s birthday and is sponsored by the National Park Service and the
First Flight Society. There will be no entrance fee at the park that
day and aircraft will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.