Shreveport, La.-based Metro Aviation (Booth No. 415) had more than completions to announce at Heli-Expo 2014. The multifaceted business recently completed for the EC135 a single-pilot IFR digital cockpit supplemental type certificate (STC) that incorporates Garmin GTN 650/750 touchscreen technology and ADS-B to create a cockpit ready for 2020, when all aircraft flying in the U.S. will be required to have ADS-B OUT capability. FAA, Garmin (Booth No. 2427) and Metro Aviation representatives are at the Metro Aviation booth throughout Heli-Expo to talk about the STC.
On other fronts Metro Aviation’s Helicopter Flight Training Center division announced it has hired Glen Girard as assistant director of training. The center provides dry-lease flight simulators and a train the trainer program for instructors, as well as factory-approved helicopter maintenance training for Turbomeca and Pratt & Whitney Canada engines.
The company’s Paradigm Aerospace subsidiary delivered four Bell 407GX helicopters outfitted with North Flight Data Systems’s Light Aircraft Recording System, HeliSas autopilot, synthetic vision system and night-vision goggles. Metro Aviation will operate the aircraft throughout the hospital system, replacing a mixed fleet of Airbus Helicopters machines.
Farther west Metro Aviation has acquired the pediatric transport system for Fort Worth, Texas’s Cook Children’s Medical Center Teddy Bear Transport. The operation flies both a single-pilot IFR equipped EC145 and a Beechcraft King Air B200 and will begin running the program as of March 1. The program will begin using a Cessna Citation Encore for patient transport, as well, by the end of March.
Finally, even with all the activity, Metro Aviation has reached Level IV, the highest level, of the FAA Safety Management System (SMS) pilot program. “We’ve consistently gone beyond the traditional regulatory minimums,” said Tarek Loutfy, director of safety for Metro Aviation. “Our SMS continues to set new standards.”
Beyond the FAA’s project, Metro Aviation has also embraced the NTSB safety recommendations, including its newest safety lert regarding the use of helicopter flight simulators in training, which was discussed during an NTSB Safety Briefing Monday during Heli-Expo 2014.