AUBURN – LifeFlight of Maine added a new medical helicopter to its fleet Wednesday.

It’s the third helicopter the service has added in as many years, according to a news release. The AgustaWestland 109 series lightweight, twin-engine helicopter is named Whiskey Mike. It’s from Italian aerospace company Leonardo, the same as the other two. LifeFlight added Lima Foxtrot in 2020 and Xray Mike in 2021.

“Having three identical helicopters allows for standardization that is invaluable to the pilots, clinical crews and mechanics who work across the fleet, communications coordinator Amy Sinclair said in the release. “These three critical care helicopters feature more power, speed, a larger interior workspace and advanced aviation electronics.”

“All this translates to more patients served, and served more safely, quickly and reliably for years to come,” she wrote.

Wednesday’s arrival of Whiskey Mike marked the completion of a five-year, $20 million campaign to replace LifeFlight’s fleet with updated medical helicopters. The latest addition was made possible by donations from individuals, family and private foundations, and Maine businesses, the release said.

“In this season of giving we are enormously grateful to all of our donors for making the purchases of these three state-of-the-art helicopters possible,” Tom Judge, LifeFlight’s executive director, said.


“It is an extraordinary gift to the people of Maine to have this fleet that allows LifeFlight to care for Mainers in their time of need,” he said.

Judge founded LifeFlight in 1998. The service operates from bases in Sanford, Lewiston and Bangor and in addition to its three medical helicopters, it uses a fixed-wing airplane, rapid response vehicles and specialized ground ambulances to transport patients, according to its website.

About a fourth of the 2,508 total transports made during the 2021-22 fiscal year were completed with the fleet’s Lewiston-based helicopter. The majority of LifeFlight’s transports bring patients from a community hospital to a larger hospital with specialized services, such as a trauma center; only about one out of every 10 transports are directly from the scene of an emergency.

While most transports are within the state of Maine, LifeFlight does occasionally transport patients to Boston-area hospitals.

This story was updated with the correct day the press conference was held.

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