Mercy Flight invests a whopping $23 million dollars on three new helicopters.

November 10, 2017

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

You can’t put a price tag on saving a life – but this 23-million dollars is a start!

Mercy Flight has entered into an agreement to purchase three new Bell 429 helicopters, which will replace their current fleet – which are from the 1980’s.

“These Bell 429s will represent a significant step in our goal to remain Western New York’s independent, nonprofit provider of emergency air medical services for many years to come,” said Mercy Flight’s Founding President and CEO Douglas Baker. “Our current BK-117 helicopters have been pillars of our operation for a number of years, but this creative financing opportunity provided to us by the USDA’s Rural Development team and M&T Bank will allow us to retire these aging aircraft and replace them with more reliable, modern equipment.”

Mercy Flight serves the Western New York Community and beyond with its fleet of five helicopters, twenty ambulances, six paramedic fly cars, and exclusive use of a dedicated Learjet to transport patients in need nationwide. Since 1981, Mercy Flight has safely completed more than 27,000 patient missions, including scene emergencies and inter-hospital transfers.

Mercy Flight will receive the new helicopters in 2018. The purchase cost Mercy Flight $23 million dollars.

For more information on Mercy Flight and how you can help with their mission, visit their website –

Read more about how Mercy Flight saved my daughter, Maria’s life and what it was like for her to meet her heroes – seven years later.  (Two stories below)


We’ve made a decision. A very big one.

It was everything we’d hoped for. And more.



About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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