FORT WORTH, TEXAS (July 23, 2012) – Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company (NYSE: TXT), announced today that 429 launch customer Mercy One of Des Moines, Iowa will receive a second Bell 429 helicopter from Air Methods. Mercy One currently operates an air medical critical care configured Bell 429 and will add a second helicopter, equipped with United Rotorcraft emergency medical services (EMS) interior.
“Based on our experience with the 429, there is no other aircraft I would consider using in our air medical missions. Given the features and performance of the aircraft, it was an easy decision to go back to the Bell 429,” said Dan Keough, director of Emergency Transport Services at Mercy Medical Center.
Since its inception in 1986, Mercy One has established itself as one of the premier air ambulance services in Iowa with two helicopters in service – a Bell 429 in Des Moines and a Bell 407 in Knoxville. Mercy One acquired its first Bell 429 in March 2010, which has since logged 1,287 flight hours and performed approximately 1,100 rescue missions.
“We have a long and rich history with Mercy One and we are honored they continue to place their trust in Bell helicopters to perform their life saving missions,” commented Danny Maldonado, Bell Helicopter’s executive vice president of Sales and Marketing.
Mercy One’s newest Bell 429 includes United Rotorcraft EMS interior, which features advanced life support for up to two patients. Engineered with air medical operations in mind, the Bell 429 has the largest cabin in the light twin class offering unobstructed full body access to the patient, uniquely designed large sliding doors for side loading, and rear clamshell doors for no-lift patient loading.
“The Bell 429 has far exceeded our every expectation. It has done everything we wanted, regardless of mission style or time of year. We have been extremely happy and consider ourselves very fortunate,” commented Keough.
The 429 was certified in mid-2009 as a single-pilot instrument flight rules (SPIFR), Category A helicopter under the latest requirements of Part 27 airworthiness rules by Canadian, U.S. and European authorities. It is designed and built to more stringent airworthiness standards than any other light, twin-engine helicopter.