6 months ago

Magazine Helicopter Industry #102

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HELICOPTER INDUSTRY I FOCUS I ©Armee Air FRENCH AIR FORCE INFLATES THE « RÉSILIENCE » OPÉRATION WITH EC725 CARACAL After the ALAT – Aviation Légère de l’Armée de Terre -, it is the French Air Force’s turn to use its heliborne assets. As of April 1st, the French Air Force set up a plot of three Caracals and six crews of the EH 1/67 Pyrénées at the Villacoublay Air Base 107, south of Paris. Operations began just a few hours after the arrival of the machines, as two EC725s each transferred two Covid-19 patients from the Ile-de-France region from orly to Caen and Angers. To keep up with the pace of the missions, the squadron will also operate the EC225, rented from RTE, for logistical purposes between the Cazaux base and the Villacoublay site. Two SA330 Puma from the EH 1/44 Solenzara should also reinforce the Paris operation in the coming days. The request for reinforcements for this type of mission is in fact not really a surprise for the crews from the Pyrenees who have been preparing for several weeks to be put on alert for Covid missions of inter-hospital transfers. As soon as the virus became more powerful, the squadron and the CEAM – Military Air Test Centre – worked on the possibility of converting the EC725‘s hold into a medical «cluster», following the example of the modifications carried out on the Army’s NH90. The hold, which houses the medical equipment, should not have any electronic interaction with the cockpit in order to remain fully autonomous. In addition, the crew should be separated from the rest of the hold by the installation of a protection system. With this new mission, the human element should find itself particularly solicited on several fronts. Currently engaged in external operations, in particular for «special forces», the EH 1/67, which operates a total of nine EC725 Caracal aircraft, will also continue to maintain an aircraft and its crew on H24 alert for the public service search and rescue mission. MORE ABOUT RESILIENCE HI I 26

CAESAR AT THE BEDSIDE OF THE ITALIANS While Italy is paying a heavy price against the Covid-19, with more than 6,000 deaths to date, the country has set up a health alert with the Caesar HH-101s from the 9th Stormo of Grazzanise and the 15th Stormo of Cervia. On March 6th, the regional emergency and rescue agency of Lombardy called upon the Italian Air Force to evacuate a 62-year-old patient suffering from the Coronavirus, transporting her from Cremona to the Morelli Hospital in Sondalo (Sondrio). This first mission was carried out from Cervia, headquarters of the 15th Stormo, specialized in SAR missions. The helicopter, with a specialised medical team on board for bio-containment transport, took off from Cervia shortly after receiving the mission order and reached the hospital in Cremona, where it loaded the patient. The aircraft then left again for Bormio, where a subsequent transfer was completed to the Morelli Hospital in Sondalo. for possible health surveillance, military infrastructures spread over the entire peninsula. From Valle d’Aosta to Sicily, about 2200 rooms and approximately 6600 beds, including their own medical staff from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Carabinieri, have been provided at the request of the Civil Defense in order to meet the needs of the Lombard territories. According to the Italian Ministry of Defense, «this operational alert is expected to last more than a month. » Initially dedicated to search and rescue missions in support of special operations, the 11 HH-101A Caesar aircraft of the Italian Air Force are also capable of loading and transporting special insulated stretchers, A.T.I. (Aircraft Transit Isolator), designed specifically for air transport in bio-containment of highly infectious patients. This modular system, equipped with respiratory equipment, allows the transport of patients in bio-containment mode. In addition to the HH-101A, the ATI modules have also been certified for use on the C-130J, C-27J and KC-767 of the Italian Air Force. In the last two weeks of march, five such transports have been carried out by 15° Stormo, with the support of crews from 9 Wing Grazzanise, who also depart from the Cervia base to intervene in various locations throughout the Italian territory.Since the first cases of the contagion were observed in the north of Italy, the Armed Forces have provided, MORE ABOUT ITALIAN AIR FORCE ©Aeronautica Militare HI I 27