This week, we look into the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service which provides the NSW Ambulance contract for the Northern half of NSW.
The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service NSW has a fleet of 4 twin-engine AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters. These helicopters have been fitted out with the latest state of the art aeromedical and flight equipment.
The AgustaWestland AW139 is an Italian-built, state-of-the-art, multi-role helicopter. It is an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR), an all-weather capable helicopter that has a five-blade main rotor, a four-blade tail rotor and retractable wheeled tricycle landing gear. One of the most technologically advanced EMS platforms, the AW139 surpasses all other medium twin-engine helicopters in operational range, performance and power. Its flight management system allows for the most complex weather and navigation problems to be more simply resolved. This makes it ideal for the challenging and varied conditions and environments of New South Wales. The AW139 is rescue winch equipped and has night vision goggle technology and capability. With the largest passenger cabin in its class, it has space and performance to carry two stretchers and two seated patients.
- Crew: 1x Pilot, 1x Crew person, 1x Doctor & 1 Paramedic
- Capacity: 2 patients / 2 Neo Natal cots
- Maximum speed: 168kts (310km/h)
- Cruising speed: 140kts (260km/h)
- Range: 421nm (780km)
- Endurance: 2.5 hours
- Power plant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney PT6C-67C Turboshaft engines
- Fuel capacity: 2799lbs (1270kg)
- Fuel burn: 925lbs/hr (420kg/hr)
- Maximum weight: 15,432lbs (7000kg)
- Service ceiling: 20,000ft (6,096m)
- Rate of climb: 36ft/s (10.9m/s)
- Features: Improved hoist, patient loading system and aircraft safety
- Redundancy & backup: Systems for avionics, hydraulics, fuel and electrical
The Rescue Helicopters operate from three bases at Belmont Airport (Newcastle) – YLMQ, Lismore Airport – YLIS and Tamworth Airport – YSTW.
Deep maintenance, engineering and administration are at Broadmeadow (Newcastle) – YXFV.
Each base there is a hangar and engineering facilities, crew accommodation and office space for staff. The bases also include refuelling and maintenance facilities. The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service operates the 4x AW139 helicopters between the 3x operational bases. Note: headquarters at Broadmeadow will hold the fourth spare aircraft and is also the deep maintenance base. The helicopter is a single pilot operated and supported by a crew person, with a doctor and paramedic providing medical expertise for primary missions.
Images and blog supplied:
Jayden – Aviation photographer based in the greater Newcastle area with a strong interest in helicopter & general aviation photography
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