The Health Care District of Palm Beach County, Florida, also known as Trauma Hawk, has signed a contract to purchase two light-intermediate Leonardo AW169 helicopters. Trauma Hawk’s The helicopters will be the first from Leonardo to feature a longitudinal roll-on stretcher system to minimize workload and patient movement during loading and unloading.
Leonardo explains the Palm Beach County operation, which serves the largest county by area in Florida with more than 2,300 square miles, maintains a well-organized instrument flight rules (IFR) infrastructure combining special instrument approaches and transition routing plus an extensive FAA approved IFR pilot training program to provide service during inclement weather. The AW169 is equipped with Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) GPS, which Leonardo describes as a precise navigational aid to further enhance safe approaches and landings during low visibility.
The AW169 features a 222-cubic-foot cabin, which Leonardo describes as being similar in size to models in the intermediate weight category. The helicopter platform allows for flexible interior layouts providing 360-degree patient access essential for critical care.
The AW169 can travel up to 440 nautical miles with a top speed of 160 knots and the ability to climb to 14,500 feet. Its avionics suite includes a four-axis, dual-duplex digital automatic flight control system and a full night vision goggle (NVG) compatible digital glass cockpit with three 8-inch by 10-inch displays.
Leonardo explains the helicopter’s Auxiliary Power Unit mode allows the AW169 cabin to stay “power on” with rotor blades stopped, creating a safe, quiet and comfortable environment for EMS operations.