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 operates a fleet of Eurocopter MBB BO-105, Bell 222, Agusta 109, and MD 902 Explorer helicopters. These aircraft combine performance, quietness of operation, reliability and fuel economy. All aircraft are modified with special medical interiors, high skid gear, high intensity search lights and over 20,000 radio frequencies for communications with any agency. Cessna 421 airplanes are also available for long-range inter-facility transports.
CALSTAR has never compromised its commitment to patient and crew safety, and helped pioneer use of Crew Resource Management (CRM) in air ambulance transport. CRM empowers all flight crew members to play an active role in accepting a call. CALSTAR adheres to a “four to say go, one to say no” philosophy. This means that any of the three flight crew members or the field mechanic can decline a flight for safety reasons. As the air ambulance industry comes under greater scrutiny, CALSTAR's crew members remain empowered to keep safety as the number one priority. To date, CALSTAR has flown more than 60,000 accident/incident-free hours in the performance of its mission.