History in Photos

Stanford Life Flight opened for business on the 1st of May, 1984 with an Alouette III, the most common EMS helicopter of the day, and an excellent high altitude machine.

Let's have a look at the ships we've operated over the years.

Chuck Yeager visiting Life Flight in 1984

As of July 2007,  Stanford Life Flight is operating in a brand new EC 145. We've kept the same paint scheme which has become a highly recognized hallmark of our program. 
The EC 145 is a dual engine aircraft with superior lifting capabilities and  is fully IFR equipped for single pilot operation, and has a very open interior for the medical staff to work.  

More information on the EC 145
From September 1999 to July 2007 we were in our ship, N117SU, a new C-1 model, and a new paint scheme. In a way, Air Methods is back as well, having purchased Rocky Mountain Helicopters, and in so doing, the Stanford contract.  The C-1, with its French Arriel engines, is fully IFR equipped for single pilot operation, and has a wonderful interior for the medical staff.
From June 1998 through August 1999,  With Rocky as our vendor again, we now had a new interim ship N90260, a dual pilot IFR B-2.  This was the era of the co-pilots. For more than a year, in order to preserve our IFR capabilities, we had 4 copilots at Life Flight, 2 of whom, are still flying in EMS.
Before that was N911SU, a brand new, single pilot IFR B-2 model. For the single pilot IFR capability, it employed a Sperry 7100 auto-pilot, which at $350,000 (un-installed), cost as much as many single engine helicopters.  It was with us from May 1994 through May 1998 when Rocky Mountain Helicopter re-claimed the contract.
To get the pilots current in IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), Air Methods sent us another BK that would stay with us along with N230H.  It was N117BK, a dual pilot, IFR B-1 model. It was here from June 1993 until N230H left in May 1994.
Air Methods took over the contract from Rocky Mountain in November of 1992, and brought us our next interim helicopter, N230H.  This was an A-4 model that many remember as the ship with the big red "S". It was with us from November 1992 through May 1994, while a fully IFR equipped BK was being fitted in Germany, and then Denver.
After the twin star came the aircraft that was to be our main type in use at Stanford through the coming years, the BK 117. N160BK was an A3 model and was used by us from September 1986 through October 1992. The BK has proved to be the most versatile for the job: seperate cabin from cockpit, a short, wide body profile, high main and tail rotor blades, the easy loading of the patient through aircraft rear, clamshell, doors, IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) capabilities in later models, and good patient access for the crew.
Twin Star N57898 was our first permanent helicopter and was in operation between August 1984 and September 1986.  Seen here next to the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge, it was being flown by Steve Greene, one of two original pilots that started the program in a time when programs only had "two pilots" to cover 24 hours / 365days a year!

Alouette III, N607RM, operated by Rocky Moutain Helicopters, was our first ship. It was an interim helicopter from May 1984 through August 1984. It could carry two patients, and had a ceiling of 21,300 ft. The Alouette was also used in Sacramento and Reno programs during the same period.

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