Complete the Fleet
MAYDAY! We Need Your Help to Complete the Fleet!
Looking toward the horizon is a necessity in air medical transport, so four years ago LifeFlight of Maine began the effort to replace, modernize, and standardize the helicopter fleet. Standardization is invaluable to the pilots, mechanics, and clinical crews who move from one aircraft to another, because the layout, switches, avionics, medical mounts, lighting, etc. are consistent.
Thanks to the generosity of a tremendous number of passionate supporters, LifeFlight purchased two new helicopters as part of that upgrade. Lima Foxtrot joined the Maine fleet in November 2020, and Xray Mike went into service in March 2021. Each helicopter is a $6.25 million commitment.
LifeFlight aircraft see hard use. Over the years the helicopters have transported more than twice the number of patients and operated three times the average number of hours annually when compared to medical helicopters in the rest of New England and the U.S. And despite meticulous maintenance/periodic upgrades, when aircraft must be taken out of service too often and for too long for structural repairs or when advancing technology overtakes their capabilities, they need to be replaced.
Concurrently, the national aviation system is transitioning to an FAA-mandated “Next Generation” air traffic control system using satellites and performance-based navigation. NextGen will allow these upgraded, compatible aircraft to fly more directly to the destination and in more marginal weather. This is especially important for LifeFlight’s numerous island, coastal, and mountain transports where fog and weather play a significant role in the ability to fly.
Once the fleet upgrade is complete, LifeFlight will be able to accept additional calls for help with three helicopters that feature more power, speed, a larger interior workspace, and advanced avionics instrumentation. All this translates to more patients served and served more quickly for years to come.
The LifeFlight Foundation is aggressively seeking support that will allow delivery of the third and final aircraft in 2022. With $5.2 million raised to date (as of February 2022), securing the remaining $1 million is the most urgent priority for LifeFlight.
Our sights are on the horizon, but we need your help.
On behalf of all of the patients who will rely on these aircraft for swift and safe transport, our Foundation, and the entire LifeFlight crew: Thank you for taking care of the people of Maine.
For more information about how you can help Complete the Fleet, please contact Anna Dugal, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-542-6636.