- November 4, 2021
AMREF Flying Doctors’ latest addition to the fleet, the Citation Sovereign 680 (5Y-FDW), officially took off on its maiden evacuation flight to Ethiopia.
The flexibility of the Citation Sovereign 680 makes it ideal for use as a medevac aircraft. The Sovereign’s spacious cabin, comfortably accommodates a multiple stretcher system and any additional medical personnel required onboard. As a result, it was the most suitable aircraft for the mission.
After obtaining all necessary operational approvals, including landing and overflight clearances, the Citation Sovereign 680 (5Y-FDW) departed Wilson Airport at 1843hrs local time. At 47,000 feet and cruising at 459 knots/846 kmh, the aircraft touched down in Ethiopia at 2027hrs, stayed on ground for 2hours and 30 minutes. It took off from Addis at 2303hrs and arrived back in Nairobi at 0047hrs local time.
Capt. Ivo Saio and Capt. Sam Muikia piloted the maiden flight, with Dr Jimmy Aluvale and flight nurses Festus Njuguna and Maurice Juma serving as medical crew.
As demonstrated by its maiden flight, the Citation Sovereign 680 adds value to the AFD fleet by our ability to respond faster and further to medical emergencies.
Why Cessna Citation Sovereign 680?
The Cessna Sovereign was an easy choice for AMREF Flying Doctors when looking to expand our aviation capability and capacity, so as to support our international, long-distance air ambulance operations,” said Mike Black, Chief Operations Officer for AMREF Flying Doctors. “Patient care and comfort is key to maintaining AMREF Flying Doctors’ internationally recognised aeromedical service levels, which are perfectly addressed by the Cessna Sovereign’s cabin and its operating capabilities. In addition to acquiring the right aircraft, it was fully reconfigured for its dedicated air ambulance operations.
The Cessna Citation Sovereign 680 ambulance jet is a multi-purpose aircraft with a long-range and great performance. Due to the aircraft’s exceptional range, medical flights throughout Africa, to the Middle East, India, Europe, and Asia, will be undertaken without a stopover, which is extremely beneficial to the patient’s wellbeing. Additionally, if need be, the number of fuel stops is kept to a minimum, ensuring the patient’s safety and comfort.
The aircraft’s long-range and better performance is further aided by the shorter routings enabled by modern avionics. Although on the ground, the auxiliary power unit also provides electrical power for medical equipment and air conditioning.
Secondly, the Sovereign 680’s cabin has been configured to accommodate multiple patients, medical crew and accompanying personnel. It also creates a good working environment for the medical personnel attending to the patient(s).
Thirdly, the aircraft’s capacity for intensive medical care equipment, such as portable blood gas analyser and external cardiac pacemakers, enables the transportation of critically ill patients to overseas destinations. Additionally, the air ambulance is equipped with a Dräger 5400 transport incubator, which may be used to transfer new-borns and infants across the continents.