Pentastar Aviation Now Manages Entire University of Michigan Survival Flight Fleet


WATERFORD, Mich., November 18, 2009 – The University of Michigan has signed a multi-year agreement with Pentastar Aviation to provide management and support for all emergency medical operations for the Survival Flight program. The Survival Flight fleet includes a Citation Encore jet airplane and three Bell 430 helicopters.

Survival Flight is a service provided by the University of Michigan Health System to support expedient air transportation for patients requiring specialized services and organ procurement for solid organ transplantation.

“We are excited to expand our management of the Survival Flight aircraft,” said Rick Maloney, president, and CEO, Pentastar Aviation. “The ability to manage air ambulance services for rotor-wing aircraft further diversifies our wide array of aviation services and allows us to better serve both our customers and the medical community.”

Pentastar and Survival Flight’s shared values of safety and excellent customer care make this an ideal partnership. The University of Michigan Health System was impressed by Pentastar Aviation’s flawless safety record and by the organization’s dedication to detail and ability to deliver. Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc. is an ARG/US Platinum-rated operator. Having completed its FAA A008 (FAR 135 operational control audit), it was found fully compliant.

“This is a significant day for UMHS Survival Flight,” said Michael Valdes, associate hospital director for operations and ancillary services. “We are pleased to be able to consolidate our helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft programs with Pentastar Aviation. The Survival Flight helicopter service provides urgent and emergent air ambulance services. It is an important resource for citizens of the state of Michigan, making world-class health care accessible for those who need it most urgently. We are delighted to have a partner in Pentastar who shares our values of quality and safety.”

Pentastar recently managed their inaugural Survival Flight on the University’s Citation Encore. An organ transplant flight was completed on October 25, delivering a new heart to a young child. The company remains committed to assisting Survival Flight in helping those in need of immediate medical care.

Pentastar Aviation has been a leader in the private aviation industry for more than 45 years. Headquartered at the Oakland County International Airport (PTK) in Waterford, Mich., Pentastar also operates a full-service fixed base operation at the Van Nuys Airport (VNY), which is undergoing extensive expansion. Over the past five years, Pentastar Aviation’s PTK location has consistently ranked in the top five fixed-base operators in the United States in various industry surveys, including being voted #1 U.S. FBO in 2008 in the Pro Pilot PRASE Survey. Pentastar Aviation has extensive maintenance capabilities and also provides industry-leading aircraft management, FBO service, aviation advisors, and aircraft charter through Pentastar Aviation Charter, Inc.

For more than 25 years, the UMHS Survival Flight program has safely transported critically ill and injured patients of all ages from hospitals and accident sites across the state to the U-M Health System for specialized care, aided in rescue operations and transported harvest teams for organ donations. Since 1983, Survival Flight has flown more than 30,000 patient transports.

The University of Michigan Health System includes three hospitals (University Hospital, founded in 1869 as the first university-owned hospital in the U.S, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, and Women’s Hospital), approximately 30 health centers and 120 outpatient clinics, the U-M Medical School and its Faculty Group Practice, the U-M School of Nursing and the Michigan Health Corp. This is the 15th year in a row that the University of Michigan has been named to the honor roll of “America’s Best Hospitals,” as compiled by U.S. News & World Report. In 2009 UMHS was ranked 14th overall and received recognition for excellence in 14 areas of specialized care. USN&WR has also recognized it as having one of the nation’s top children’s hospitals and one of the top medical schools. For details about UMHS see