Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

History

Narrative Summary

A helicopter rescue service started in Auckland when the Auckland Surf Life Saving Association started using a leased Hiller 12E helicopter in the summer of 1970. At the start of 1973 this helicopter was replace by a turboshaft engined FH-1100. On 31 January 1985 the ASLSA helicopter reached 1000 rescues since its inception 15 years earlier. Sometime in the 1980s a Bell 206 JetRanger was introduced, which was sponsored by Westpac from 1986. In 1990 a charitable trust was established to run a permament rescue helicopter service for the region. It initially took over the operations of the Bell 206, but later replaced this with an AS350.

Key Dates

Summer 1970 Auckland Surf Life Saving Association launches helicopter rescue service.
1990 ARHT first established.
1990 First helicopter operation by the trust.

Current Status

The helicopters are fully operational.

Future Plans

Take delivery of two new AW169 helicopters to replace the trusty BK117s.


Markings

Special Markings

The ARHT helicopters operate in the standard Westpac Rescue Helicopter red and yellow colour scheme.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The helicopters carry New Zealand civil aircraft registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total
Del’d
Total
Now
Role Origin
AgustwWestland AW169 2 2 EMS/Search & Rescue Italy
MBB BK 117B2 2 2 EMS/Search & Rescue Japan

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil 1 1990 1993 France
AgustaWestland AW169 2 2015 current Italy
Bell 206B JetRanger III 1 198? 1990 leased
Fairchild Hiller FH-1100 1 Jan 1973 198? leased
Hiller 12E 1 1970 1972 leased
MBB BK 117B2 2 1993 current Japan

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, 3 Solent St, Mechanics Bay, Auckland, New Zealand.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Allocations

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Allocations

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The helicopters are based at Mechanics Bay Heliport, Auckland.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.


More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

To be added

Websites

  • FacebookL: Westpac Rescue – Aukland
  • wikipedia: Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust
  • Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust

    Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

     

  • Solomon Islands Government

    History

    Narrative Summary

    Since independence, the Solomon Islands has not had any regular military forces. The principal local security force is the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF), which has two patrol boats but no aircraft.

    In 1997 the United States Government donated two civilianised ex-military Cessna O-2 aircraft and a helicopter to the Solomons Islands, for use by the government and police force. Unfortunately, no funding was provided for operating these aircraft, and so they remained in their delivery containers. After a while they became subject to vandalism and weather damage. Another aircraft was reportedly donated in 1999, but there is little confirmation of this.

    In the period 2003-2013 the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) provided military and police support to the Solomon Islands government. The donated aircraft are now too badly damaged to be useable. They were still visible in open storage in April 2010.

    Key Dates

    1997 First aircraft donated by USA.
    1999 One additional aircraft donated by USA.

    Current Status

    There is still no government Air Wing.

    Future Plans

    No plans known. With the withdrawal of RAMSI, plans for a government air wing may be revived.


    Markings

    National Insignia

    The donated aircraft never operated in Solomon Islands markings.

    Aircraft Serial Numbers

    No Solomon Island registrations were allocated to the donated aircraft – they remained in their US delivery markings.

    Unit/Base Codes

    Coding system not used.


    Aircraft

    Aircraft Designations

    None – Manufacturers designations used

    Current Aircraft Inventory

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Aircraft Used List

    Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
    Cessna O-2A 2 1997 n/a USA
    Champon 7GC Citabria 1 1999 n/a USA
    Hughes 500 1 1997 n/a USA

    Aircraft NOT Used

    None of the aircraft donated so far have been taken into service.

    Aircraft Losses and Incidents

    Not applicable.

    Organisation

    Main Headquarters

    Not applicable – no air wing established.

    Organisational Structure

    No subordinate units.

    Current Unit Allocations

    No subordinate units.

    Historical Unit Allocations

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Flying Units List

    Not applicable.

    Air Bases

    Current Air Bases

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Air Bases Used List

    The aircraft and helicopter were initially stored at Rove, but later moved to Honiara Airport.


    More Information

    Books

    None known.

    Magazines

    To be added

    Websites

    PO Prune“>

    Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

     

    Champion 7GC Citabria

    History

    One (Bellanca-built) Champion 7GC Citabria delivered in 1999. Not used and immediately placed into storage. There does not seem to be much corroboration for this report. Any further information is welcome.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    ? ? ? 1999  


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    • World Air Forces Directory 2013/14 (Mach III)

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    Cessna O-2A

    History

    Two ex-USAF Cessna O-2As delivered in December 1997 as US Government aid. Never taken from their delivery containers. Stored on the edge of the football field/parade ground at Rove in Honiara. They were subject to vandalism and weather damage. In 2008 they were both transferred to the Civil Aviation Department and moved to the Solair hangar at Honiara Airport, where some restoration work was initiated. This work soon stopped and the wrecks abandoned. They were still there in April 2010.

    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    n/a 337M-0164 68-6875, N5151U Dec 1997 O-2A, stored Honiara Apr 2010
    n/a 337M-0170 68-6881, N6881Z Dec 1997 O-2A, stored Honiara Apr 2010


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    Hughes 500

    History

    One ex-USAF Hughes OH-6A delivered in December 1997 as US Government aid. Never taken from its delivery container. Stored on the edge of the football field/parade ground at Rove in Honiara. Still there in April 2014.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    n/a 0969 67-16584, N220CM Dec 1997 OH-6A, stored Honiara Apr 2010-Apr 2014


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    Boeing 707-331

    History

    One Boeing 707-331 obtained on lease from Aeroamerica. Used to transport Fijian United Nations peacekeeping forces to Lebanon. Diverted to Kuala Lumpur Airport on 3 October 1979 with engine trouble and parked. Subsequently impounded by Malaysian Civil Aviation Department. The aircraft operated in Pakistan International Airlines colours, with small Royal Fiji Military Forces titles near the front passenger door.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    N705PA 17686 N705PA Aug 1979 wfu 3 Oct 1979 after engine fault


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    Republic of Fiji Military Forces

    History

    Narrative Summary

    The Fiji Defence Force (FDF) was first established in 1920, under New Zealand admnistration. After World War Two spread to the Pacific region, the United States trained Fijian soldiers. In 1942 the FDF became known as the Fiji Military Forces (FMF). Units of the FMF subsequently saw action in the Solomon Islands campaign and served with great distinction.

    Fiji gained independence in 1970 but the FMF remained a land-based force. In 1973 the prefix ‘Royal’ was granted by the Queen, changing the title to Royal Fiji Military Forces (RFMF). In 1975 a Fijian Navy was established. Fijian troops contributed significantly to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon – UNIFIL – from 1978 onwards. A civilian Boeing 707 was leased in August 1979 to transport troops to Lebanon from Fiji. It operated with Royal Fiji Military Forces titles, but had to be withdrawn from use after a couple of months due to engine trouble.

    In 1987 a second military coup by the RFMF deposed the existing government. A republic was declared and the country was expelled from the Commonwealth. The name was changed to Republic of Fiji Military Forces, retaining the same acronym RFMF.

    An Air Wing for the RFMF was established in 1987, with the promise of the donation of two helicopters from France. The first helicopter arrived in Fiji late the following year. The RFMF Air Wing was often simply called the Fiji Air Wing. Both helicopters were ill-used and one was lost to a in-flight fire in 1994. The surviving helicopter was sold at the end of 1997 and the Air Wing disbanded.

    In 1997, Fiji was able to return to the Commonwealth and the ‘R’ was dropped altogether from RFMF, the armed forces simply being called the Fiji Military Forces. However, in the continuing political turmoil since 1997, it seems that at some date the armed forces again readopted the title Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

    Key Dates

    1920 Fiji Defence Force first established.
    1942 FDF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
    1973 FMF renamed Royal Fiji Military Forces.
    1987 Fiji Air Wing formally established.
    late 1987 RFMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
    Dec 1988 First RFMF helicopter arrives.
    1997 Air Wing disbanded.
    1997 RFMF renamed Fiji Military Forces.
    ?? FMF renamed Republic of Fiji Military Forces.

    Current Status

    The Air Wing was disbanded in 1997.

    Future Plans

    No plans known.


    Markings

    National Insignia

    RFMF aircraft are reported to have carried the national flag as a fin flash. It not known if any service titles were carried.

    Aircraft Serial Numbers

    Aircraft operating with the RFMF carried Fijian civil registrations in the DQ-FGx range reserved for government aircraft, e.g. Ecureuil 2 DQ-FGH.

    Unit/Base Codes

    Coding system not used.


    Aircraft

    Aircraft Designations

    None – Manufacturers designations used

    Current Aircraft Inventory

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Aircraft Used List

    Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
    Aerospatiale AS.355F-2 Ecureuil 2 1 1988 1997 France
    Aerospatiale AS 365N2 Dauphin 1 1992 1994 France
    Boeing 707-331 1 1979 1979 leased

    Aircraft NOT Used

    Several websites mention the use of a “Harbin Y-11″ by Republic of Fiji Military Forces. The Y-11 was never used outside of China. These reports probably arise from confusion the the Y-12s operated by Air Fiji. Air Fiji ceased operations in 2009.

    Aircraft Losses and Incidents

    See individual aircraft types.

    Organisation

    Main Headquarters

    Republic of Fiji Military Forces, Strategic Command, Maddocks Road, Suva City, Fiji.

    Organisational Structure

    No subordinate units.

    Current Unit Allocations

    No subordinate units.

    Historical Unit Allocations

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Flying Units List

    Not applicable.

    Air Bases

    Current Air Bases

    Not applicable.

    All-Time Air Bases Used List

    The helicopters were based at Nausori International Airport, Suva.


    More Information

    Books

    None known.

    Magazines

    To be added

    Websites

    wikipedia: Republic of Fiji Military Forces
    RFMF Official website

    Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

     

    Aerospatiale AS 365N2 Dauphin

    History

    One AS 365N2 Dauphin 2 supplied by France as military aid in March 1992, (some sources say in 1989). Used for Transport and Liaison duties. Caught fire off the coast of Fiji in July 1994 and crashed – fortunately with no loss of life.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    DQ-FGD 6427 F-WTNP Mar 1992 w/o 10 July 1994, reg’n canx Oct 1994


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    Aerospatiale AS.355F-2 Ecureuil 2

    History

    One AS 355F-2 Ecureuil 2 supplied by France as military aid in December 1988, (some sources say in 1991). Used for Transport and Liaison duties. Leased out to commercial use from Jun 1997 and then sold abroad Dec 1997.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    DQ-FGH 5378 F-WYMT Dec 1988 wfu Jun 1997, to F-GTVE Dec 1997


    Pictures


    Ecureuil 2 DQ-FGH (photo, Phil Hawks via Greg Kozak)


    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

    MBB BK 117

    History

    One Japanese-built BK 117A-4 obtained under contract from HELiPRO Fiji. Shipped from Auckland in July 2012, and had arrived in Fiji and been test flown by 1 OCtober 2012. It entered service with EHS Fiji in early December 2012. Used for EMS and Search & Rescue duties.


    Individual Details

    Serial c/no. Prev. Identity Delivered Fate/Notes
    ZK-HYO 1016 JA9699 Dec 2012  


    Pictures

    None at present.

    More Information

    References

    Other Sources

    To be added.

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