How do you pack two patients that are infected with one of the world’s deadliest viruses into a pressurized aluminum tube that is filled with healthy care takers and pilots for 12 hours and not get almost everyone infected in the process? You use this old ex-Royal Danish Air Force Gulfstream III that is highly modified to convey very ill people over very long distances.
N173PA looks like it belongs to the military, in fact the USAF and USMC have an almost identical paint job on some of their C-20 aircraft, and like N173PA, some of them also feature a massive clam-shell cargo door as well. This 32 year old Gulfstream III was once owned and operated by the Royal Danish Air Force and wore the military tailcode ‘F-313′ at the time. The jet still retains her original Royal Danish Air Force livery, minus the government titles and insignia of course.
Phoenix Air’s configurable Gulfstream III air ambulance is one of the most advanced and capable in the world. Additionally, the Gulfstream platform can do what many other air ambulances cannot: Travel intercontinental distances at high speed, with a good sized medical team embarked. This unique aircraft, and the Federal Government’s already close relationship with Phoenix Air, makes the jet and its operator logical candidates for such a challenging mission.
For the flight to Liberia, Phoenix Air’s Gulfstream III will most likely be outfitted with a modular Aeromedical Biological Containment System, a tent-like plastic structure that is provided with negative air pressure to keep pathogens from entering the cabin. This is in addition to the jet’s already extensive medical equipment that can be configured to treat and monitor the patient’s unique symptoms during a flight.