New STAR Flight helicopter debuted, adds more support in fighting Central Texas wildfires


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Officials showed off the county’s newest STAR Flight helicopter Wednesday, providing Travis County more help when it comes to fighting wildfires.

The Augusta Westland 169 helicopter just arrived from Italy and will be better equipped to drop off water during fire calls. It also features advanced technology to keep crews safe.

“Further, faster, carry more medical providers, more weight and then have all of the newest technology as far as flying in the air system,” Director of Aviation Operations at STAR Flight Chuck Spangler said. 

Spangler believes there are only two other helicopters like this one now in the United States.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, county officials dedicated the STAR flight hangar to nurse Kristin McLain, who lost her life in 2015 during an airborne rescue mission.

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