West­pac wel­comes new mem­ber to the team

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

The new­est ad­di­tion to Waikato’s West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter ser­vice was of­fi­cially launched on Fri­day af­ter­noon by Rt Hon John Key at Hamil­ton In­ter­na­tional Air­port in front of a crowd of 300 Friends of the Res­cue He­li­copter, spon­sors and sup­port­ers of the new he­li­copter project.

The new he­li­copter will greatly en­hance the emer­gency air res­cue ca­pa­bil­i­ties for the re­gion.

The BK117 850 B2 he­li­copter re­places the Bell 222B he­li­copter that has more than ably served the re­gion since Jan­uary 1995.

This new he­li­copter will pro­vide:

a two-per­son 450lb res­cue winch to ex­tract and res­cue peo­ple from re­mote ar­eas and at sea

night vi­sion ca­pa­bil­ity to en­able land­ing at night in re­mote ar­eas

en­hanced en­gine per­for­mance to al­low full fuel loads to be car­ried on all mis­sions

a mod­ern, dig­i­tal avionic suite cou­pled with a fac­to­ry­fit­ted au­topi­lot for sin­gle pi­lot in­stru­ment flight rules (IFR) op­er­a­tions.

All th­ese re­sult in an im­proved and more ca­pa­ble res­cue he­li­copter ser­vice lo­cated within the Waikato re­gion.

Ma­jor mod­i­fi­ca­tions have all been com­pleted lo­cally by Hamil­ton Aero Avion­ics and Flight Struc­tures. Scott Simp­son, Chief Avion­ics Engi­neer on the project, com­ments, ‘‘This project has been one of the most com­plex and chal­leng­ing I have ever en­gaged in and it is very sat­is­fy­ing to see it per­form­ing so well.’’

‘‘All flight test­ing is com­plete and the he­li­copter is per­form­ing ex­tremely well and ex­actly as planned,’’ says Grant Brem­ner, chief pi­lot of the Hamil­ton-based West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter.

Flight op­er­a­tions will com­mence be­fore Christ­mas with the train­ing of pi­lots and crews well un­der way.

In­stead of the whop-whop sound of the Bell 222B, the pub­lic will hear a dis­tinc­tively new ‘‘sound of life’’.

The to­tal cost of $4.5m for the he­li­copter and mod­i­fi­ca­tions has only been pos­si­ble by the ex­treme gen­eros­ity of com­mu­ni­ties across Waikato and King Coun­try, who have given more than $2m.

The fundrais­ing project was an­nounced at a func­tion on 22 Fe­bru­ary 2011, co­in­cid­ing with the date of the earth­quake in Christchurch. Since this date there has been a long and sus­tained fundrais­ing ef­fort by the com­mu­nity cul­mi­nat­ing in the launch of the he­li­copter on De­cem­ber 6 2013. Key fund­ing sup­port: •$700,00 grant from WEL En­ergy Trust

•$517,101 gifted by Friends of the Res­cue He­li­copter (th­ese are 4,321 Waikato house­holds) •$107,987 raised by lo­cal West­pac staff

•$100,000 grant from NZ Com­mu­nity Trust to­wards the 600lb winch

•$75,000 grant from Trust Waikato

•$55,000 grant from Waikato Fed­er­ated Farm­ers

•$50,000 grant from Lion from Com-

from

tech­no­log­i­cally Foun­da­tion

•$ 48,700 grant SkyCity Hamil­ton mu­nity Trust

•$ 50,000 grant Grass­roots Trust

•$348,914 raised through pub­lic fundrais­ing events and ad­di­tional grants

$ 2,052,702 to­tal of funds raised to­wards cap­i­tal ap­peal project.

For the minded: He­li­copter BK 117 850 B2 En­gines Ly­coming LTS 101, 800hp each

Avion­ics San­del EHSI SN 4500 San­del dual SU 102 AHRS San­del dual MT 112 flex sen­sors

Honey­well TAWS MK XXI08 Avi­dyne TAS 605 Honey­well weather radar Avi­dyne MFD Honey­well FZ 710 dig­i­tal au­topi­lot Garmin dual GPS 430W Avi­dyne TWX 670 storm­scope King KRA 405 Rad Alt DF 517 Homer sys­tem A710 tech­nosonic au­dio sys­tem with VoX DZM sat phone and tracker Pratt & Whit­ney Smart cy­cle en­gine trend mon­i­tor­ing

Nu­mer­ous Po­lice and Am­bu­lance ra­dios. 600lb 2-man res­cue hoist Stryker stretcher kit Plumbed oxy­gen 6- place light­weight crew seat­ing

30 mil­lion can­dle power NiteSun search light Ex­ter­nal 210 litre fuel tank Night vi­sion com­pat­i­ble cock­pit light­ing.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

LAUNCHED: Prime Min­is­ter John Key gives his seal of ap­proval to the Waikato West­pac Res­cue He­li­copter which will be used to trans­port pa­tients all over Waikato.

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