Final Flight – The Sheet

Membership sales manager Matt Johnston, flight nurse Lisa Davis and Regional Director of Program Operations Mike Patterson in front of the new King Air C-90 series planes. The company will host a retirement party for its two old Cheyenne series turbo prop planes on Saturday, January 13.

Sierra Lifeflight retires two workhorse planes

Sierra Lifeflight will be hosting a retirement party from 1-3 p.m. this Saturday at the “Big Hangar” at Bishop Airport (first right off of Airport Road as you approach the airport).

The retirement party is unique in that it’s not a party in honor of a person, but in honor of two workhorse planes which are being replaced.

The Cheyenne Series turbo prop jet engine planes (circa 1978, 1981) are being replaced by King Air C-90 series planes (circa 2000, 2001).

The new planes, said Mike Patterson, Regional Director of Program Operations for Sierra Lifeflight, will fly a little smoother and quieter. They are also a bit larger, with more interior room.

But the old planes—Patterson loved ‘em. “Get in, turn the key, there it goes. The Cheyenne is the Honda Accord of airplanes.”

You’ll get to check out all the planes at Saturday’s event, and if you’ve got kids, well, what kid doesn’t want to check out not only the airplanes, but fire trucks, too, as “virtually every fire department in the valley will be here,” added Patterson.

There will be refreshments and sandwiches as well, courtesy of Subway.

Sierra Lifeflight was founded by Jim Marchio in 1993. He sold the company to REACH Air Medical Services in March, 2017.

Patterson has been with the company for 22 years. He came to Sierra Lifeflight after stints as a paramedic in San Bernardino and Kern Counties. Chief Flight Nurse Lisa Davis, formerly an ER nurse at Northern Inyo Hospital, has been with the company for 13 years.

If you’re sensing a theme here, you’re onto something. This is a seasoned team, they love their jobs and they have no plans to leave.

Patterson and Davis agreed that “doing what’s right for the patient” is the company mantra. And the corollary question they always ask: “Is it safe?”

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Jack is the publisher and editor of The Sheet. He writes a lot of page two’s.

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