If Turbomeca can work with Bell Helicopter, why not Metro Aviation? Following in the footsteps of another longtime Eurocopter partner – Turbomeca reached its first-ever agreement with Bell to power the short light single (SLS) during the Paris Air Show in June – Metro is rejoining the ranks of Bell operators with the acquisition of four 407GXs for Tampa General Hospital’s Aeromed program. Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation started supporting the EMS program on August 1 using three spare EC135s and an Aeromed BK117 until the four Bell 407GXs arrive. Delivery is scheduled to start in late September and continue until mid-November.
As part of the 407GX completions program, Metro subsidiary Paradigm Aerospace Corp. will install a number of upgrades, including a light aircraft recording system (LARS) from North Flight Data Systems, S-Tech HeliSAS, Garmin G1000, terrain awareness and warning system (H-TAWS), and synthetic vision system (SVS).
The deal marks the first time in 25 years that Metro will operate a Bell model. According to the company’s website, 90 of the 92 rotorcraft Metro flies are Eurocopter variants, with the other two being an MD900 and a Sikorsky S-76.
Related: Air Medical News