Air am­bu­lance trust aims for new plane

North Taranaki Midweek - - WAITARA FOCUS - YVETTE BAT­TEN

A night of glitz and glam­our will kick-start the Taranaki Air Am­bu­lance Trust’s new­est fundrais­ing project.

On Oc­to­ber 15 the trust will hold a for­mal din­ner and auc­tion at the hangar at which the trust hopes to be­gin fundrais­ing for a new $2 mil­lion aero­plane.

‘‘We will have a re­ally good evening of food and wine,’’ trust man­ager Shona Glent­worth said. ‘‘Jeremy El­wood is the en­ter­tainer. He’ll be speak­ing and then we’re auc­tion­ing off items so we’ve got some art work and other items.

‘‘This is open to any­body who wants to come and have a re­ally good night, sup­port us and a re­ally good cause.’’

The air am­bu­lance is a char­i­ta­ble trust that trans­fers pa­tients from Taranaki to spe­cial­ist care in other parts of the coun­try in­clud­ing Hamil­ton, Welling­ton, Auck­land and Christchurch.

’’We would trans­fer seven to 10 pa­tients a week on av­er­age.’’

Taranaki Dis­trict Health Board pays for the ser­vice, and the pi­lots are con­tracted through SkyWest Avi­a­tion.

‘‘We fundraise for the in­fra­struc­ture that’s re­ally needed to run that ser­vice. We use tele­fund­ing as our nor­mal means of fundrais­ing.’’

At the mo­ment the trust is at

‘‘We're fly­ing an old tech­nol­ogy air­craft.’’

Shona Glent­worth

the lat­ter end of rais­ing money for new $200,000 en­gines for the plane.

‘‘The din­ner and char­ity auc­tion that we’re hav­ing is to fin­ish off the fundrais­ing for that but also to launch a cam­paign for a new air­craft in about two years’ time.

‘‘The en­gines need to be re­placed ev­ery 1600 hours of fly­ing time, which is about two-anda-half years.

‘‘So ev­ery two-and-a-half years there’s that de­ci­sion around new en­gines or new air­craft. Which one do you go for? So in this cy­cle we’d like a new air­craft next time around be­cause we’re fly­ing an old tech­nol­ogy air­craft.’’

The cur­rent plane is a Cessna 421C, made in 1980, which is kit­ted out with stretch­ers and all the gear needed.

At the din­ner food is put on by Tairoa Lodge & Cot­tage, the MC is Dman En­ter­tain­ment, and Sam Bennett is the auc­tion­eer.

Tick­ets cost $145 each, or peo­ple can buy a ta­ble of 10 for $1250. There are spon­sor­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties for busi­nesses.

For more in­for­ma­tion email ad­min@taat.org.nz.

SUP­PLIED.

The Taranaki Air Am­bu­lance Trust’s ex­ist­ing plane, a Cessna 421C, out­side the hangar.

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