South Australia State Rescue Helicopter Service

Operator Profile

Key Facts

Current Title:
South Australia State Rescue Helicopter Service
English Title:
South Australia State Rescue Helicopter Service
First Established:
ICAO Code:


Narrative Summary

The first rescue helicopter in Adelaide originated from a trial in the summer of 1979/80 between Lloyd Helicopters and Surf Lifesaving. The success of the trial prompted the State Government in May 1980 to approve the establishment of a full time State Rescue Helicopter Service (SRHS), operated by Lloyd Helicopters. Operations began the same year with a single helicopter, but additional helicopters were soon added. The SRHS also provides the MedSTAR service for SA Health.

Operators of the service have been Lloyd Helicopters, CHC Helicopters, and from 11 December 2005, Australian Helicopters Pty Ltd.

Key Dates

1979 First helicopter trial with Surf Lifesaving.
1980 State Rescue Helicopter Service (SRHS) launched.
July 2009 Motor Accident Commission becomes naming sponsor.

Current Status

SRHS is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.


Special Markings

SRHS helicopter colour schemes have changed with the named sponsor. Previous sponsors include the Bank of New South Wales, Westpac Bank, S.G.I.C., and Adelaide Bank. The Motor Accident Commission took over sponsorship from 1 July 2009. The MAC colour scheme is red overall with a white chevron across the fuselage and MAC titles on the tail boom.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The helicopters carry Australian civil aircraft registrations in the sequence VH-xSA, e.g. BK117 VH-VSA.

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
Bell 412 1 1 0 EMS
Eurocopter EC130 1 1 0 EMS
MBB BK117 1 1 0 EMS

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Bell 206 JetRanger 1 1979 1980 contractor
Bell 206L LongRanger 1 1980 19?? contractor
Bell 412 1 1990 current contractor
Eurocopter EC130 1 2005 current contractor
MBB BK117 1 2005 current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.


Main Headquarters

South Australia State Rescue Helicopter Service, Adelaide, SA.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignments

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The helicopters are based at Adelaide Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information


None known.


To be added


MAC Rescue Helicopter
State Rescue Helicopters
MAC Rescue helicopter launched
SA Health
wikipedia: MedSTAR

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.


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