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Mercy One, Des Moines


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#1 medic4cqb

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 06:13 PM

Anyone on here from Mercy One in Des Moines care to share their opinion of the new Bell 429? How's it flying in the new bird? Is it as roomy as the 222? Does the crew like it so far? Just curious... B)
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Steve A., RN, CCRN, EMT-P

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#2 NighthawkPatrick

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 09:42 AM

Anyone on here from Mercy One in Des Moines care to share their opinion of the new Bell 429? How's it flying in the new bird? Is it as roomy as the 222? Does the crew like it so far? Just curious... B)


Is the 429 operational now? I thought I saw something on Vertical® mag's latest on-line edition that Bell had just recently gotten it certified by FAA and Transport Canada, and production was going to be gearing up at the Mirabel, Quebec production plant, with deliveries yet to come.

I would like to hear comments from Mercy One once they start flying this aircraft, and to see how they would compare it to the EC 135 they are flying now.

Along those lines -- I remember when Bell first started promo'ing the 429, they were going to offer both a skids version and a retractable-gear version (just like they did with the 222 / 230 / 430 series). Yet everything I'm seeing right now for 429 is skids only. Are they still going to do the retractable gear version? And if so, what will that due to fuel capacity and range? (The 222 lost 400 lbs / 40 minutes fuel going from skids to retractable wheels, after all.)

"Enquiring minds want to know" :D

Nighthawk Patrick

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#3 Mike Mims

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 03:36 PM

Is the 429 operational now? I thought I saw something on Vertical® mag's latest on-line edition that Bell had just recently gotten it certified by FAA and Transport Canada, and production was going to be gearing up at the Mirabel, Quebec production plant, with deliveries yet to come.

I would like to hear comments from Mercy One once they start flying this aircraft, and to see how they would compare it to the EC 135 they are flying now.

Along those lines -- I remember when Bell first started promo'ing the 429, they were going to offer both a skids version and a retractable-gear version (just like they did with the 222 / 230 / 430 series). Yet everything I'm seeing right now for 429 is skids only. Are they still going to do the retractable gear version? And if so, what will that due to fuel capacity and range? (The 222 lost 400 lbs / 40 minutes fuel going from skids to retractable wheels, after all.)

"Enquiring minds want to know" :D

Nighthawk Patrick

The last time I read about the 429 it was still in the testing phase, due to main rotor issues.
As for wheels vs skids dilemma I can comment about that.

We fly single pilot IFR with primary AC being a 230 (came with wheels now has skids) and our back-up used to be a 230 (with wheels) the only advantage with having wheels was the extra 5 or so knots in speed you gained. So, you drop the wheels and add skids you pick-up the extra flight time.

For myself, I would rather have the extra distance, than the speed any day of the week PERIOD!!!!!!!

Flying IFR:
- Wheater NOT requiring an alternate location: you've got to have enough fuel to get from your location to your destination with 30 minutes of fuel remaining IF the weather IS NOT forecasted to change with an hour before or after landing (at your destination) with conditions that drop below the minimums of 2000ft and 3 miles vis.

- Weather IS requiring an alternate: you've got to have enough fuel to get from your location to alternate with 30 minutes of remaining fuel.

With all that is written above we could not offer what we do, if did not trade range over speed........

Now with the 429 it may be constructed to have the same range and performance with or without skids, not sure.
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Mike Mims

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#4 medic4cqb

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 05:51 PM

Is the 429 operational now? I thought I saw something on Vertical® mag's latest on-line edition that Bell had just recently gotten it certified by FAA and Transport Canada, and production was going to be gearing up at the Mirabel, Quebec production plant, with deliveries yet to come.

I would like to hear comments from Mercy One once they start flying this aircraft, and to see how they would compare it to the EC 135 they are flying now.

Along those lines -- I remember when Bell first started promo'ing the 429, they were going to offer both a skids version and a retractable-gear version (just like they did with the 222 / 230 / 430 series). Yet everything I'm seeing right now for 429 is skids only. Are they still going to do the retractable gear version? And if so, what will that due to fuel capacity and range? (The 222 lost 400 lbs / 40 minutes fuel going from skids to retractable wheels, after all.)

"Enquiring minds want to know" :D

Nighthawk Patrick


Yeah brother,

I don't know if I'm speculating or not, but the pictures showed a 429 with the Mercy One logo flying. And there were definitely skids on that bird. I too would like to know if it is in service and if so, how they like it? I do remember hearing that it was still waiting FAA approval, but that was some time back now. Hopefully someone on here is from Mercy One or knows of the details...
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Steve A., RN, CCRN, EMT-P

"The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness..."
- Bruce Lee


#5 iowapilot

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 10:05 PM

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the interest in the new Bell 429. I am one of the pilots and had the opportunity to fly it last monday. Here is my impression of the new aircraft.

It has been certified, painted and was enroute from Montreal to Denver when it made a two day stop here in Des Moines. One of the Bell production test pilots was flying it as it has to be delivered to Denver for the medical interior installation. They gave rides to all the hospital administration and flight crew members and the pilots had the opportunity to fly it, do some closed traffic patterns, instrument apporaches, ect.

First impression.... It is much larger than I had pictured in my mind. The interior is huge! Ours has clam shell doors in the rear for rear loading. The side doors are large incorporating two doors per side.

The flight deck has been wel laid out. No overhead switches, just the rotor brake and fresh air vent. No accessable circuit breakers. All glass flight displays. The aircarft has tons of power. We took off with almost full fuel, five folks on board and the aircraft went straight up like a homesick angel only pulling 80% torque. The aircraftis very smooth in forward flight. It has no vibration! It flet like an airplane. With only 80% torque it was indicating 142 knots in starigh and level flight. The aircraft is very stable, smooth and a dream to fly.

All in all, the aircraft was ten times better than I had anticipated. This aircraft will be a huge winner in the EMS field and I would caution everyone not to unerestimate this helicopter. I have flown the Bell 222, the 222UT, the Bell 230, the MD 902 and the EC135 and this aircraft comes out on top of all of them. Bell has done it right this time!!!! That was my first impression and I know I will enderstand much more when we finish training, but they say first impressions are lasting ones and this one sure made a big inpression on me!

Tom L. :D
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#6 medic4cqb

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:05 AM

[quote name='iowapilot' date='Aug 7 2009, 06:05 PM'

All in all, the aircraft was ten times better than I had anticipated. This aircraft will be a huge winner in the EMS field and I would caution everyone not to unerestimate this helicopter. I have flown the Bell 222, the 222UT, the Bell 230, the MD 902 and the EC135 and this aircraft comes out on top of all of them. Bell has done it right this time!!!! That was my first impression and I know I will enderstand much more when we finish training, but they say first impressions are lasting ones and this one sure made a big inpression on me!

Tom L. :D
[/quote]

Tom,

Thanks so much for sharing the info on the 429. All I knew about the bird was what I read and saw on Bell's website, much like everyone else here. It's nice to get some perspective from someone who's actually flown it for this particular setting (EMS). I'd love to hear some feedback from the medical crew as well once you guys put it in service as well. Thanks and fly safe!
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Steve A., RN, CCRN, EMT-P

"The usefulness of a cup is in its emptiness..."
- Bruce Lee


#7 abqmedic

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 04:19 AM

I don't know much about the 429, but from the pictures and such I have seen, I can say that it looks pretty :)

Does anyone know if it will be able to handle higher altitudes? Or am I going to be stuck flying in A-stars primarily for the rest of my career?
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#8 clearblueskies

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:40 PM

I don't know much about the 429, but from the pictures and such I have seen, I can say that it looks pretty :)

Does anyone know if it will be able to handle higher altitudes? Or am I going to be stuck flying in A-stars primarily for the rest of my career?


Buy an EC 145 ours flies GREAT at high altitude and it has a HUGE interior!! It's great to be able to pick up two pt's and put them side by side and then take off from 10,000' with no problems what so ever!!! :D
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#9 Adam Swartz

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Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:47 AM

I saw it that day and as an observer all that I can say is that it is one very sweet looking chopper. Looked massive from the ground up on the new rooftop pad.
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