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Flight Operations

Most helicopter ambulance programs contract for flight operations with an outside vendor. CALSTAR, however, operates under its own FAA Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate and is directly responsible for all aspects of flight operations and aircraft maintenance.

By operating under our own certificate, tighter control is maintained over crew training and aircraft maintenance. This results in improved crew teamwork, reduced aircraft downtime, improved management and streamlined communications–all of which contribute to safer flight operations.

CALSTAR’s fleet consists of Eurocopter EC135 P2+ and MBB BO-105 helicopters, as well as Beechcraft King Air B200 aircraft for long-range interfacility transports.

Our rotor-wing aircraft are standardized with special medical interiors that accommodate field versions of the same equipment found in the emergency room–oxygen, suction, ventilation, multi–function monitoring, and defibrillation. In addition, the aircraft has high intensity searchlights, and delivers an outstanding level of performance, quietness of operation, reliability and fuel economy.

Our fixed–wing operations expand CALSTAR’s ability to provide care for high acuity patients and specialty teams during hospital–to–hospital transports. Each aircraft can accommodate up to two patients and four medical personnel or passengers, covering a range of approximately 800 nautical miles.

Having at least 3,000 hours of pilot-in-command flight time before they join the organization, our pilots are some of the most experienced aviators in the industry. Our crews are trained under FAA Part 135 Air Carrier standards, have extensive local area knowledge, and are qualified in both Night Vision Device (NVG) and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), which enhances their ability to operate safely in a variety of weather and in nighttime or limited light operations.

To date, CALSTAR has flown more than 80,000 hours in the performance of its mission.

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