Rescue chopper gets to be centre of attention
Helicopter fans were given an up close look at the Rescue Helicopter during an open day at its Palmerston North Hospital hangar aon Saturday.
On display was the service’s BK117-B2 helicopter, weighing in at 3350kg, with twin 750 horsepower engines that can fly up to 220kmh.
It was joined by an Air Force A109LUH helicopter and the Fire Service’s mobile command centre.
Rescue helicopter spokeswoman Vanessa Richmond said it had been about seven years since they last held an open day.
‘‘We’re excited to be back at the hospital and able to open up the doors to the public,’’ Richmond said.
They had a good crowd come through who all enjoyed getting an up-close behind-the-scenes look.
Richmond said they even had a few former patients come along to the open day and thank the pilots.
‘‘That is pretty cool when they come back to thank these guys.’’
Richmond said all money raised would stay in the region.
The service has annual operating costs of $1.74 million, of which 53 per cent comes from the community
Base manager Chris Moody said they had always met the annual target, but it was not something they could get complacent about.
Nev Messent brought his son Reed, 2, and daughter Amy, 3, along for the day.
Messent said his son was keen to see a chopper up close.
‘‘He absolutely loves them. If he sees one flying over at home he points out to it.’’
Nishell Sharma brought her 2-year-old son Ansh Prasad, who was also a big fan.
‘‘He likes helicopters. He doesn’t want to go now. He wants to keep coming back [to see the helicopter].’’
Sharma said it was also a good cause to support.
The Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter on display at its open day on Saturday.