Aviation - Starflight

"Cooperative effort between the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and WCA Hospital - Saving Lives Together."

STARFLIGHT is a cooperative effort between the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office and WCA Hospital. In previous years, sustaining this very valuable program required an annual infusion of county tax dollars. In February of 2011, after months of painstaking preparation, STARFLIGHT received Part 135 Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Although the requirements for this certification process are difficult to obtain and maintain, they also provide the program with the ability to meet certain federal standards for patient billing. As a result, STARFLIGHT has become totally self-sufficient.


The Part 135 Certification required a complete restructuring of the aviation management component of the program, in accordance with FAA regulations. In addition, a complex General Operating Manual was developed and approved to govern pilot training and accountability, aircraft standards and related recordkeeping procedures. Adherence to the rigorous standards imposed by the Part 135 certification are made even more challenging by the dual pilot aspect of the STARFLIGHT program. STARFLIGHT is one of a small minority of Medivac services nationwide that utilize dual pilot flight crews. This has been a priority since the inception of the program and is without question responsible for our safety record.


Coinciding with the issuance of the Part 135 Certification, STARFLIGHT celebrated its twenty-fifth year of service in 2011. This unique partnership between W.C.A. Hospital and the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office is rooted in humble beginnings using military surplus aircraft. Through the years, STARFLIGHT has evolved into a state of the art airborne emergency medical transport provider and has been instrumental in saving countless lives in and around Chautauqua County.


In addition to actual medical transports, STARFLIGHT participated in a number of community service events during 2011. These include ground school training for first responders, mock DWI programs at area schools, public demonstrations, static displays and flyovers.

Our unique program was featured in one of the leading publications “Vertical 911”.

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