Kirksville Air Evac invites public to view new chopper

Air Evac 38 updated their new aircraft at the end of January. Wednesday evening, the public is invited to check out the new helicopter.

The aircraft is updated with autopilot, allows the team to get to their destinations faster, has a larger carrying capacity and can now carry heavier patients and a passenger to ride with patients.

Air Evac 38 is the first base in the area to receive the updated aircraft.

Lead Pilot Chamberlin Meek explained the difference between the old and new versions.

"This aircraft is Bell 407, it's just like the 206 but it's equivalent the upgraded model. It flies faster and has a higher lifting capacity, where before we flew at about 110 knots this one flies at 125 knots or greater," Meek said.

Flight times are faster. Meek told KTVO that before it took around 50 minutes to get to Columbia and with the new aircraft it can take about 35 minutes.

The open house will be held Wednesday evening from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Air Evac base in Kirksville.

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