Philips Search & Rescue Trust

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
Philips Search & Rescue Trust
English Title:
Philips Search & Rescue Trust
First Established:
ICAO Code:
New Zealand


Narrative Summary

The Philips Search & Rescue Trust was founded in 1985 to operate rescue helicopters. In 1987 a supplementary fixed-wing air ambulance service was established. The Palmerston North service was a one time known as the Square Trust Rescue Helicopter.

Key Dates

1985 Philips Search & Rescue Trust first established.
1985 Greenlea Rescue Helicopter service founded.
1987 Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter service founded.
1987 Westpac Air Ambulance service established.
1991 Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter service founded.
1992 BayTrust Rescue Helicopter service founded.
2000 Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter service founded.

Current Status

The Philips Search & Rescue Trust currently operates six rescue helicopters and two fixed-wing air ambulance aircraft.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

The Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter operates in the standard Westpac Rescue red and yellow colour scheme. The other helicopters operate in a various colour schemes based on their main sponsor colours. Westpac air ambulances: The Piper PA-31 operates in a plain white colour scheme, while the MU-2 is in white and grey with a red ‘heartbeat’ cheatline, with WESTPAC AIR AMBULANCE titles.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The helicopters and aircraft carry New Zealand civil aircraft registrations.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.


Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Aerospatiale AS350BA Squirrel 4 4 0 EMS/Search & Rescue
MBB BK 117B2 1 1 0 EMS/Search & Rescue
Mitsubishi MU-2 1 1 0 Air Ambulance
Piper PA-31 Chieftain 1 1 0 Air Ambulance

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS350BA Squirrel 4 1985 current contractor
Bell 222 1 ? 2013 contractor
MBB BK 117B2 1 2012 current contractor
Mitsubishi MU-2 1 ? current contractor
Piper PA-31 Chieftain 1 ? current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

Philips Search & Rescue Trust, PO Box 9308, Waikato Mail Centre, Hamilton 3240.
Westpac Air Ambulance, Ingram Road, Hamilton Airport, Hamilton.

Organisational Structure

The Philips Search and Rescue Trust operates six helicopters from five different locations:
– Palmerston North: Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter, based at Palmerston North Hospital, Manawatu
– Hamilton: Waikato Westpac Rescue Helicopter, based at Waikato Hospital, Hamilton
– Rotorua: Baytrust Rescue Helicopter, based at Rotorua Hospital, Rotorua
– Taupo: Greenlea Rescue Helicopter, based at Anzac Memorial Drive, Taupo
– Bay of Plenty: Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter, based at Tauranga Hospital, Tauranga

Current Unit Assignments

See above.

Historical Unit Assignments

See above.

All-Time Flying Units List

See above.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

See organisational structure above.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


To be added


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  • Philips Search and Rescue Trust
  • Westpac Air Ambulance
    Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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