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UT Health East Texas adds final rebranded EC135

March 25, 2020  By Helicopters Staff

Metro delivers the third and final EC135, upgraded with an SPIFR platform, to UT Health East Texas. (Photo: Metro Aviation)

Metro Aviation delivered a new Airbus EC135 aircraft for the UT Health East Texas Air 1 air medical program. This aircraft, added to the existing fleet of three represents the final of three recently rebranded aircraft, has also been upgraded with SPIFR certifications. Headquartered in Tyler, Texas, Metro explains the program will soon boast six precision GPS procedures – scheduled to be certified by the end of August 2020 – at various hospitals and bases.

“We are excited we have the opportunity to replace our first VFR EC135P1 and put it into a backup role,” said Michael Lawyer, director/chief flight nurse at UT Health East Texas Air 1. “This will give us three EC135s with IFR capabilities.”

Metro outfitted the new UT Health East Texas helicopter with mission-critical systems like Outerlink’s IRIS platform, which provides satellite tracking, push-to-talk radio and flight data monitoring, as well as voice and video recording.

“This new aircraft will have WAAS and allow us to reach some of our patients during certain weather days that we would not have been able reach before,” said Lawyer. “This brings added important safety features to our operations and provides a much-needed advantage to help us provide the best service and outcomes to our patients that we serve in the Northeast Texas area.”


UT Health East Texas Air 1 is part of the largest rural not-for-profit ambulance service in Texas and was the second program Metro ever partnered with, beginning back in 1985.


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