Tail Skid

The Tail Skid or “Stinger” protects and prevents the tail rotor from bumping the ground during takeoff and landing.

Turbine Engines

The helicopter is powered by two Pratt and Whitney PW206 free turbine engines each producing 567 hp.  In the event of an engine failure the aircraft is capable of flying on one engine. The helicopters cruise at about 165 mph.

Pitot Static Tubes

The Pitot Static Tubes located on the cockpit roof are part of the Airspeed Indicating System. This system tells the pilot how fast the helicopter is moving through the air.

SX-5 Starburst Searchlight

The SX-5 Starburst Searchlight is a 15 million candle power steerable light that is an important tool used to locate hazards during night rural landings.


The helicopter based in Bangor, referred to as EM or Echo Mike, from the identification number on the tail, is configured with an extra fuel tank to accommodate longer flights to remote areas without refueling and can carry one patient per flight.  CM or Charlie Mike, the helicopter based in Lewiston, is configured to carry two patients per flight if needed and does not have an extra fuel tank.

Flight Instrumentation

The flight instrumentation and navigation equipment provides the important safety feature of double redundant system operation.  This means that if one system fails, there are independent backup systems that enable the pilot to continue flight and land the helicopter safely.  To increase the pilot’s situational awareness, there are three map displays that show the helicopter’s exact position. In addition, the primary navigation system, similar to an autopilot, steers the helicopter to a preselected destination.

Explore the Fleet — Helicopters

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.