Ella Kate - a transplant success

So I’m allowed to post this because the patient has been featured on the news and official hospital social media, and therefore there is no HIPAA considerations…

As some of you know, we replaced one of our aging Citation Vs with a younger Citation Ultra last year. After over six months of maintenance, where a new cargo door was installed, new medical interior, liquid O2 was installed, and hundreds of other changes were made, the aircraft was finally made “mission ready” in the last week of January. On the day that the aircraft officially entered service, it was “blessed” by hospital clergy - a tradition for our aircraft:

Later that night, my pager went off and we flew a team of doctors to Baltimore, where a heart had become available for Ella Kate. It was the first flight on N265CM in three weeks - the plane had been repositioned from its last maintenance in Winston-Salem, and had been having continuous maintenance performed to ready it for the FAA inspection and line flying. I’m not going to lie, when you are in a new airplane that has just come out of months worth of heavy maintenance, you are always kind of expecting a glitch or something. That is usually not a big deal, but now we are sitting there with a heart on the way - a heart that is time limited to roughly four hours outside of the body.

When you go to hit those starter buttons and bring the airplane to life - you are just hoping that everything works correctly. To our maintenance crew’s credit, the aircraft performed flawlessly. By 1AM, the heart was back in Charlotte, and Ella Kate has been continuously improving since.

It was really special to be part of such a great first flight for the new aircraft - the first of thousands it will make over the time it will spend at our hospital. The plane it replaced had nearly 20,000 hours on it and something like 15,000 cycles.


Damn, that’ s rough. Although I have no idea what acceptable fatigue on the Citation is. Did it get sold on to fly some more or as a parts plane?

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It was sold to Israel - I’m not sure what the plan is for it. At last check, it was in Fort Lauderdale…

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I love my job. I love flying for a living.
But sometimes I wish my flying had a more meaningful purpose, like ambulance and transplant flights. At least I’m doing some good transporting people and cargo in the districs where hospitals are few and far between, where roads are long and often closed in the winter.

I hope you enjoy that aspect of your job, @BeachAV8R.

I can be thankful I’m not flying drunk party charter tourists to some vacation island :wink: