Commercial, Products

Rotorcraft Report: Trials Lead CALSTAR To Order MD-902s

By Staff Writer | March 1, 2008

Emergency Medical Service

PRODUCTS | AIRFRAMES

Following operational assessments of the MD-902 Explorer, California Shock Trauma Air Rescue (CALSTAR) has ordered four of the MD Helicopters aircraft.

Last year, CALSTAR bought a refurbished MD-902 and based it at Lake Tahoe Airport in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. to assess the aircraft’s performance in mountain conditions in that area. That assessment led to the four-Explorer order.

The new aircraft will replace Eurocopter BO105s. Those helicopters — which will be used as backup aircraft — face increasing maintenance requirements, the operator’s South Lake Tahoe director of base operations, Tom Pandola, told the newspaper Nevada Appeal. A non-profit EMS operator with eight bases in Central and Northern California, CALSTAR also likes the Explorer’s two-patient capacity and its use of the NOTAR anti-torque system instead of a tail rotor.

"It’s just a safer aircraft," Pandola said.

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