LifeFlight of Maine operates two twin-engine Agusta 109E helicopters purchased new in January 2005. These helicopters travel at an average speed of 165 mph, making the trip from Bangor to Caribou in less than an hour.
One helicopter, based in Lewiston at Central Maine Medical Center, has been configured to accommodate 3 crew members and 2 patients. The other helicopter, based at Eastern Maine Medical Center, can carry 3 crew members and 1 patient and has an additional fuel tank to accommodate longer trips from Fort Kent to Boston.
LifeFlight's helicopters are operated and maintained by SevenBar Aviation
, one of the nation's premier air medical transportation operators, which provides eight full time professional pilots and three full time professional mechanics. With the arrival of the advanced avionics and performance capabilities of the new aircraft in 2005, LifeFlight was able to make the switch from VFR (visual flight rules) to IFR (instrument flight rules). This upgrade to IFR means LifeFlight pilots can safely fly in a wider range of visibility conditions, decreasing the number of times the helicopter is grounded due to weather.
Our personnel qualifications and operational practices, including weather flight minimums, far exceed the standards required by the Federal Aviation Administration. In 2003, LifeFlight of Maine became the only ambulance service in the state--ground or air--to receive full accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems.