Life Flight FAQs

Life Flight Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How many crew members are on the helicopter?
A. Three. Two nurses and one pilot.
Q. What kind of helicopter is it?
A. Our aircraft are Eurocopter EC-145.
Q. How fast do you fly?
A. We cruise at approximately 150 miles/hour.
Q. How many patients do you transport at one time?
A. We carry one patient at a time due to the fact they are very ill.
Q. How far do you fly?
A. We cover all of North Carolina, parts of Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Q. What training do you need to be a nurse on Life Flight?
A. Often 3-4 years of Critical Care or Emergency Department experience at a large center. We also look for EMT, ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC and specialty certifications such as CFRN, CEN or CCRN. See our Employment section for more details.
Q. Do nurses fly the helicopter?
A. No. Nurses have no flight training. Our pilots are extremely experienced, many with thousands of hours of flying.
Q. What equipment do you carry on your helicopter?
A. We carry many things that you’d find in an ICU including a ventilator, five channel cardiac monitor/defibrillator, multiple drugs, airway supplies and kits for placing specialized airways or modified chest tubes.
Q. Where do you land at Duke?
A. We land on one of our two new roof top helipads at Duke Hospital.
Q. Do the pilots work for Duke?
A. No. Our pilots, mechanics and aircraft are provided by Air Methods, based in Denver, CO.
Q. What is the maximum weight of a patient you can fly?
A. 350lbs is the maximum due to the limitations of our stretcher.
Q. How many trucks do you have?
A. We have one part time and two full time trucks with a back up truck at each base.
Q. What is the crew on your trucks?
A. Two nurses and one EMT driver.
Q. Do your trucks transport the same patients as the aircraft?
A. Yes, our trucks transport the same patients as the aircraft when we are unable to fly. In addition our trucks transport ventricular assist devices that we can not transport by air.
Q. Do you have a ride a long program?
A. Yes, see our ride along section for information.
Q. Do you allow tours of your aircraft and helipads?
A. Yes, see our public relations section for more information.
Have a question you want answered? E-mail Jason Walgos
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