In front of attendees at the Air Medical Transport Conference in Seattle, AgustaWestland CEO Bruno Spagnolini celebrated the delivery of the first AW119Kx helicopter to Life Flight Network. The single-engine turbine, an upgraded version of the AW119Ke Koala, is one of 15 ordered by the Aurora, Ore.-based operation for emergency medical transport missions in the western U.S. Life Flight Network’s current fleet—which is operated by Air Methods—includes nine Eurocopter AS350B3 AStars, one EC135, one AW109E and one Bell 206.
The new model “differs from the [AW119Ke] due to the newer avionics system that we are installing,” explained Spagnolini. “We are installing a Garmin G1000H avionics system… This is something that will improve the aircraft’s capabilities, will improve the situational awareness of the pilot, [and] will assist in the navigation tasks for the pilot.” He added that plans call for the AW119Kx to retain all of the other basic qualities of the AW119Ke. — By Ernie Stephens, Editor-at-Large