Commercial

Rotorcraft Report: LifeFlight of Maine Orders DigiWx 2 AWOS

By Staff Writer | May 1, 2007

PUBLIC SERVICE/MEDICAL

The LifeFlight Foundation has embarked on an ambitious plan to improve the safety of its air operations in the state of Maine.

With its own, state, and other government funding, the operator is installing a network of weather-reporting stations, heliports, and helipads throughout the state. Most of Maine’s population is concentrated along its Atlantic coast, but many residents and visitors venture far into its wild, northern reaches for activities as logging and open-field snowmobiling. Motorists in the state are regularly involved in high-speed collisions with moose, which can weigh more than 1,000 lb. That all creates the need for rapid treatment and transport of trauma patients from remote sites.

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As part of its efforts to boost the safety of those operations, the foundation has ordered the purchase and installation of seven DigiWx 2 Automated Weather Observation Systems (AWOSs) from Belfort Instrument for seven locations throughout the state.

The Belfort DigiWx 2 is an automated weather system reporting FAA-certified altimeter and visibility, as well as advisory winds, temperature, humidity and cloud height (ceilometer).

The real-time report is available on a computer graphic screen, on the Internet, and over the Unicom radio as well as telephone dial-in. The DigiWx I2 is approved for FAA Part 91 and FAA Part 135 IFR approaches and is specifically designed for general aviation airports and heliports.

The foundation also is installing GPS approaches and will use the DigiWx 2 to support its EMS flight operations.

The initiatives will benefit all aviation operations in Maine.

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