EagleMed debuts Shocker livery
The Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad was the first to adorn one of its locomotives with WuShock.
Now, the likeness of Wichita State University’s mascot is on a medical helicopter.
On Tuesday, EagleMed christened its first Bell 407 helicopter the Shocker Copter at its headquarters at 6601 W. Pueblo.
It did so by landing the 650-horsepower, turbine engine helicopter at a dedication ceremony with WuShock on board.
Steve Dickie, the Shockers’ volunteer team chaplain, gave a blessing of the helicopter before EagleMed staff turned loose about two dozen spectators to see the helicopter up close and pose for pictures with WuShock.
“This is a great opportunity for EagleMed to show our Shocker spirit and to give back to the community we call home,” EagleMed president Larry Bugg said.
The helicopter will be based in Wichita. EagleMed operates air ambulance helicopter and airplane bases in 12 states including Kansas.
Andy Faletto, EagleMed’s director of operations, said the helicopter came to EagleMed from its sister company, Med-Trans, which had been using the helicopter in South Dakota but no longer needed it.
“I appreciate the deal because I like to fly it,” said Duane Smith, EagleMed lead pilot in Wichita.
EagleMed and Med-Trans are owned by Air Medical Group Holdings.
The helicopter was delivered to EagleMed in its black and yellow paint scheme, which prompted EagleMed staff who attended WSU and Wichita program manager Robin Welch to come up with the idea for the Shocker Copter.
“They looked at the paint and said this should be a WuShock helicopter,” Smith said.
Wu-Shock is prominently displayed in the center of a cross on both sides of the rear fuselage of the helicopter.
Faletto said the company likes its first helicopter manufactured by Bell, which is a subsidiary of Textron Inc., the parent company of Wichita’s Textron Aviation.
“It’s easy to maintain (and) we have a pool of pilots who have flown a Bell before,” he said. “It’s very user friendly.”
EagleMed’s 14 other helicopters are Airbus A350 AStars.