March 13, 2017

Perryville Air Evac Base receives upgraded aircraft

PERRYVILLE -- The Perryville Air Evac Lifeteam base has a new addition, and Program Director Nathan Wolk and Base Pilot Supervisor Steve Blocker could not be happier. The base recently welcomed its newly upgraded Bell 206 LongRanger.

The helicopter has returned to Air Evac 80 with state-of-the-art flight deck upgrades, including the Genesys Aerosystems HeliSAS/Autopilot and Garmin 500H/GTN 650 glass cockpit with ADS-B compliance and HTAWS (Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System). The autopilot and Stability Augmentation System enhances flight safety by reducing the pilot workload and increasing flight stability. Together with the Garmin GTN 650 and G500H (glass cockpit), the pilot is able to focus on other things outside the aircraft.

"We've been looking forward to receiving the Garmin 500/650 glass cockpit and HeliSAS autopilot since Air Evac announced the upgrades would be company-wide three years ago," Wolk said.

Blocker said the glass cockpit/autopilot is a huge investment that Air Evac made for its flight crews and patients. Air Evacís entire fleet of more than 150 Bell Helicopters will be equipped with the new Glass Cockpit/Autopilot system by April 1, 2017.

"The system is designed to greatly enhance safety by reducing pilot workload in addition to increasing the stability of the aircraft in adverse weather conditions," Blocker said. "If a pilot were to encounter a loss of visibility or a loss of horizon weather situation, the aircraft can actually level itself and he or she can safely execute a hands-off Autopilot assist GPS approach to an airport. This an option that many pilots in our profession donít have, but that Air Evac has afforded for our flight crews and patients."