We operate 19 hours a day (7.00am – 2.00am) providing a critical care service, using our AgustaWestland 169 (AW169) helicopter.

Aircraft facts

an image of dorset and somerset air ambulance helicopter flying in the sky on a cloud day

Registration number: G-DSAA Call sign: Helimed10

Our yellow AW169 helicopter 'Pegasus' entered into service on Monday 12 June 2017. The aircraft was the first AW169 to enter air ambulance operational service in the UK and is the culmination of years of planning and development. Selected following an extensive evaluation process, its outstanding characteristics, superior capabilities and safety standards will ensure unprecedented levels of mission effectiveness and provide an enhanced life-saving service for the people of Dorset and Somerset.

The medical equipment in the AW169 is not hugely different to that which was carried on the Charity’s previous aircraft, however, the biggest difference is the space inside the cabin. This allows the Critical Care Team to have complete access to a patient, head to toe – a significant benefit if a patient needs further intervention or treatment en-route to hospital.

AgustaWestland 169
Made by Leonardo Helicopter, Milan
Air Operator Gama Aviation (package includes all servicing, spare parts, an onsite engineer and pilot)
Cruise Speed 130 knots, approx. 150 mph
Registration G-DSAA (Golf Delta Sierra Alpha Alpha) the first letter denotes the country of origin (G for UK) - followed by four letters for individual identity.
Call sign "Helimed One Zero" - A rapid means of identifying an aircraft and its purpose during radio transmission.
Engines 2 x Pratt & Whitney gas turbine (jet) engines.
Range Approximately 300 miles.
Fuel consumption 380 litres per hour (84 gallons) of AVTUR paraffin.
Normal day weather minima 500ft cloud base - 1,500m horizontal visibility
Minimum area required for landing 30m circle

Advanced safety

An image of the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance helicopter cockpit

A glass cockpit provides exceptional external visibility. This increases situational awareness and minimises pilot workload during operations, increasing safety.

The helicopter has the largest cabin in its class and is designed around patient needs. The flexible design can accommodate stretchers with a full suite of life-support equipment. Sliding doors allow easy access, while the large cabin ensures full access to the patient.

Night flying capabilities of the AW169 mean that we can provide full night HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service) missions. Our team have the ability to fly directly to the patient without the need for any fixed or pre-established lighting, which is a significant advantage.

Find out more about our Critical Care and Outreach Cars