Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service airplane

Mayo Clinic's air ambulances are staffed with medical teams made up of Mayo Clinic medical professionals with extensive experience treating adults and children. Mayo Clinic selects nurses, neonatal and pediatric specialists, paramedics, and respiratory therapists based on patient needs.

The staff, medical equipment and medications on board make Mayo Clinic's medical airplane a mobile intensive care unit, a flying ambulance equipped to handle all patients, even those who are critically ill. The flight teams are supported by a team of specialists and critical care doctors at Mayo Clinic, who are available for telephone consultations.

A Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service airplane flight team may include registered nurses, paramedics, respiratory therapists, or other specialists with expertise in trauma, emergency care, neurology, pediatrics, neonatal care or other specialties, depending on patient needs. Each flight is staffed with at least two medical professionals who have specific training in flight safety and flight physiology and who have multiple education certifications, including Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support.

Medical director

A Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service medical director is responsible for the overall quality of the program. The director is a Mayo Clinic doctor trained in emergency medicine whose expertise and involvement is vital because providing medical care in an airplane is complicated and presents challenges that differ from those of providing care in a hospital.


We equip our air ambulances with the necessary medical supplies, including an external defibrillator, an external pacemaker and more than 60 medications. Transport nurses and paramedics can perform critical care procedures such as chest tube placement, surgical airway creation (cricothyroidotomy), central and arterial line placement, and intubation. Mayo Clinic's air ambulance airplane can transport people receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support or cardiac ventricular assist devices with the appropriate complement of care providers.


Mayo Clinic's medical airplane has two captain-experienced pilots on every flight. These highly trained and experienced individuals are dedicated Emergency Medical Services (EMS) pilots, meaning that they are full-time professionals who fly air medical missions exclusively. All pilots carry Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certification.

We use a Beechcraft Textron King Air 350C aircraft for most flights. Arrangements can also be made for the most appropriate aircraft for international travel. Mayo Clinic air ambulance flights are completed on aircraft primarily configured as mobile intensive care units that are used only for medical transports. Our service does not fly charter or freight flights.

Mayo Clinic's medical airplane

Beechcraft Textron King Air 350C

  • Cruising speed: 310 knots (357 mph)
  • Seating capacity: One patient plus seating for the medical team (including specialists) and passengers as the patient's condition dictates
  • Engine type: Twin turboprop jet engines

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