Hunter Region Surf Life Saving Association

of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

History

The original helicopter service was created by The Newcastle branch of Surf Life Saving Australia, as a surf rescue and coastal observation operation during the summer months using a Bell 47 helicopter. At this time Westpac, (then the Bank of NSW), became named sponsor and has remained so to the present day. The service expaned to two helicopters in 1993. A second base was opened at Tamworth in 2000.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Bell 47 2 1975 – ?  
?? 1 ? – 1990  
AS365 1 1990 – ?  
Bell 412 2 1993 – current  
Bell 407 1 2000 – 2007  
BK117 2 2007 – current  

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Newcastle 1975 – current
Tamworth 2000 – current

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Surf Life Saving Western Australia

of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

History

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter for the Perth area was launched in December 2008 and is a service provided by Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA). A new helicopter was obtained in late 2011, and this allowed the original helicopter to move south and start operations at from Busselton.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
AS350 1 2008 – current  
AW119Ke 1 2011 – current  

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Freemantle 2008 – current
Busselton 2011 – current

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Life Saving Victoria

of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

History

The official Life Saving Victoria website gives almost no information on the history of the helicopter service. LSV itself was formed in 2002 from a merger of two previous organisations.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
AS350 1 2010 – current  
EC120 1 ? – current VH-ECP
?? 1 ? – 2010  
?? 1 ? – ?  

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Moorabbin Airport, Melbourne ? – current

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Surf Life Saving South Australia

of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

History

The Wales Surf Rescue Helicopter service started in 1979, sponsored by the Wales Bank. It is not clear if the establishment of the South Australia State Rescue Helicopter Service (SRHS) in 1980 affected this service. Referring to an event in 2005, the official SLS SA website says “… since 1979, Surf Life Saving South Australia has operated within the aerial services domain, with various changes and a two year absence in this time. However with the support of Westpac, a Helicopter Rescue Service in South Australian coastal areas is again up and running.” This implies that the service continued, but had a pause circa 2003-2005. The helicopters operated during this period are not known.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
Bell 206 1 1979 – 1980+  
?? 1 ? – ?  
AS350 1 Sep 2005 – current  

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
?? 1979 – 2003
West Beach, Adelaide Sep 2005 – current

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Northern Region Surf Life Saving Association

of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service

History

A rescue helicopter service for Northern NSW was officially launched at Ballina in December 1982. It was the 5th SLSA helicopter in Australia. In 1983 the helicopter moved to a base in Lismore, and in 1986 to Lismore Airport. In 1996 the service was able to 24 hrs 365 days a year.

Aircraft

Type Qty Service Example Serials
AS365C 2 1991 – 2007  
AS365N 2 2005 – current  
Bell 206B 2 1983 – 1990  
Bell 206L 1 1990 – 1996  
Hiller UH-12E 1 Dec 1982 – 1983  

Unit Markings

Figure 1
To be added

Main Bases

Base Duration
Ballina Dec 1982 – 1983
Lismore 1983 – 1986
Lismore Airport 1986 – current

More Information

References

Other Sources

To be added.

Ambulance Tasmania

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

In late 1997 the Government of Tasmania awarded the Royal Flying Doctor Service a contract to provide an aerial ambulance service in Tasmania, under the administration of Ambulance Tasmania. Beech King Air 200 VH-MSM was dedicated to this task. The contract with RFDS was renewed in 2004. In 2011 the RFDS won a new contract by undertaking to replace the existing aircraft with a new machine operating in Ambulance Tasmania colours.

Key Dates

1997 RFDS wins contract to provide aerial ambulance service in Tasmania.
2004 RFDS contract renewed.
2011 RFDS wins new contract.

Current Status

The Ambulance Tasmania aircraft is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.

Markings

Special Markings

The Ambulance Tasmania aircraft flies in an overall white colour scheme with a broad yellow and red cheatline. AMBULANCE TASMANIA titles appear on the upper fuselage and AMBULANCE on the fin.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Ambulance Tasmania aircraft carries an Australian civil aircraft registration, i.e. King Air 200 VH-LTQ.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Beech King Air 200 2 1 0 Air Ambulance

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Beech King Air 200 2 1997 current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

None known.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Ambulance Tasmania State Headquarters, Lower Level, 12 Brisbane Street, Hobart TAS 7000.

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 Ambulance Tasmania aircraft is based at Launceston.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

None known.

Websites

Aeromedical and Medical Retrieval
planespotters.net
RFDS Welcomes Ambulance Tasmania Decision

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

CareFlight

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Gold Coast Helicopter Rescue Service was formed in 1981. Its mission was to save lives by providing a search and rescue service to local beaches and the hinterland. In 1992 the service was renamed CareFlight Queensland and expanded to carry out search and rescue in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. RACQ joined as a naming rights sponsor in 1991 and remains as a sponsor to this day. A fixed-wing Air Ambulance service was launched in 2004, to provide long range patient transport. In 2013, CareFlight Queensland merged with the Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service (SCHRS), Australia’s oldest helicopter rescue service.

Key Dates

1981 Gold Coast Helicopter Rescue Service first established.
1992 Service renamed CareFlight Queensland.
2004 Fixed-wing Air Ambulance unit created.
2013 Merger with Sunshine Coast rescue service.

Current Status

The CareFlight Group is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.

Markings

Special Markings

CareFlight helicopters operate in an overall white/yellow/blue colour scheme based on the company logo, with ‘CareFlight’ titles on the forward or rear fuselage. The fixed wing aircraft operate in a simpler white and blue colour scheme with a thin yellow diagonal line across the fuselage and ‘CareFlight’ titles on the forward fuselage.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

CareFlight aircraft and helicopters carry Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. A109 VH-IAG.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
AgustaWestland AW139 ? ? ? EMS
Beech Super King Air 200 5 4 0 Air Ambulance
Bell 230 1 1 0 EMS
Bell 412 6 3 0 EMS
Bombardier Learjet 45 1 1 0 Air Ambulance
Bombardier Learjet 45XR 1 1 0 Air Ambulance
Canadair Challenger 604 1 1 0 Air Ambulance
MBB BK117B-2 3 3 0 EMS

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS350B Squirrel 2 1986 ? France/SCHRS
Aerospatiale AS365C Dauphin 2 1 1988 ? France
Agusta A109E Power 1 2004 ? Italy
Agusta AW119 Koala 1 2001 ? Italy
AgustaWestland AW139 ? 2014 current Italy
Beech Super King Air 200 5 2011 current USA
Bell 206L1 LongRanger 1 2013 ? SCHRS
Bell 230 1 ? current SCHRS
Bell 412 6 1994 current USA
Bombardier Learjet 45 1 ? current USA
Bombardier Learjet 45XR 1 ? current USA
Canadair Challenger 604 1 ? current Canada
Gates Learjet 36A 2 2007 ? USA
IAI 1124 Westwind 1 ? 2009 contractor
MBB BK117B-2 2 2013 current SCHRS

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

A IAI Westwind was forced to ditch in 2009, (wikipedia entry).

Organisation

Main Headquarters

CareFlight Headquarters, 4-6 Barden St, Northmead, NSW 2152, Australia.

Organisational Structure

The CareFlight Group includes the fixed-wing CareFlight International Air Ambulance (CFIAA) unit and the rotary-wing RACQ CareFlight Rescue unit. CareFlight also has a government contract in Northern Territory, and two commercial contracts with a consortium of oil and gas exploration and production companies operating in Australia.

Current Unit Assignments

Table of current unit assignments

Historical Unit Assignments

To be added.

All-Time Flying Units List

CareFlight International Air Ambulance
Careflight Northern Territory
RACQ CareFlight Rescue

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The fixed-wing aircraft operate from Sydney, Darwin, Perth and Cairns. The helicopters are based at Toowoomba, Bundaberg and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, and also Darwin.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

Pulse

Websites

CareFlight
CareFlight
wikipedia: CareFlight
Facebook: CareFlight
Facebook: RACQCareFlight
RACQ CareFlight secures funding
CareFlight Bell 230

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

Torres Strait Rescue

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Torres Strait Rescue helicopter service (‘Rescue 700’) covers the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area. It is operated under contract to the Queensland Government by Australain Helicopters Pty. Start of operations was some time before 2003.

Key Dates

? Torres Strait Rescue Helicopter launched.

Current Status

The Torres Strait Rescue helicopter service is fully operational.

Future Plans

Not applicable.

Markings

Special Markings

The Torres Strait Rescue helicopter flies in Australian Helicopters standard white and dark blue colour scheme, with a light blue diagonal sash across the rear fuselage. AUSTRALIAN titles are carried under the cockpit. This helicopter appears to have no naming sponsor.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The Torres Strait Rescue helicopter carries an Australian civil aircraft registration, i.e. Bell 412 VH-EMZ.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Bell 412 2 1 0 EMS

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Retirement Origin
Bell 412 2 ? current contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

One helicopter was lost in a forced landing on 13 June 2013.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

Torres Straits Rescue Service, Horn Island, Australia.

Organisational Structure

No subordinate units.

Current Unit Assignments

No subordinate units.

Historical Unit Assignents

Not applicable.

All-Time Flying Units List

Not applicable.

Air Bases

Current Air Bases

The Torres Strait Rescue helicopter was based at Horn Island.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

None known.

Websites

wikipedia: Queensland Ambulance Service
No official website.

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

CQ Rescue

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service was officially registered in December 1994 and began flying in September 1996. The helicopter was lost in an accident in October 2003, but flying resumed at the end of that month. The service became a two helicopter operation in 2009.

Key Dates

8 December 1994 Central Queensland Helicopter Rescue Service officially registered.
1 September 1996 CQ Rescue helicopter service first official flight.
17 October 2003 Main helicopter lost in an accident.
31 October 2003 CQ Rescue resumes operations.
2009 CQ Rescue starts operating two helicopters.

Current Status

The CQ Rescue helicopter is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.

Markings

Special Markings

The RACQ NQ Rescue helicopter flies in the familiar RACQ white/yellow/blue colour scheme with RACQ NQ Rescue titles on the fuselage sides.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The CQ Rescue helicopters carry Australian civil aircraft registrations, e.g. Bell 412 VH-EPK.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

Aircraft Designations

None – Manufacturers designations used

Current Aircraft Inventory

Aircraft Type Total Del’d Total Active Still on Order Role
Bell 412 6 2 0 EMS

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Aerospatiale AS365C Dauphin 2 1 2004 2009 contractor
Bell 206L LongRanger 1 1996 ? contractor
Bell 407 1 2001 2003 contractor
Bell 412 6 2005 current contractor
? 1 2003 2004 contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

The Bell 407 was lost in an accident on 17 October 2003.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

RACQ CQ Rescue, 16 Mike Jones Street, Mackay QLD 4740, Australia.

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 RACQ CQ helicopters are based at Mackay Airport.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

Skids Up

Websites

CQ Rescue
CQ Rescue
Facebook: CQ Rescue
Youtube: CQ Rescue Official
Youtube: CQ Rescue

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.

 

Capricorn Helicopter Rescue

Operator Profile

History

Narrative Summary

The Capricorn Rescue Helicopter service began in 1996. Its naming sponsor is RACQ.

Key Dates

1996 Capricorn Rescue Helicopter service first established.
1997 Helicopter lost in ground fire.
2000 Helicopter lost in a fatal accident.
200? RACQ becomes naming sponsor.

Current Status

The RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter is fully operational.

Future Plans

No plans known.

Markings

Special Markings

The RACQ Capricorn Helicopter flies in a white/yellow/blue colour scheme. RACQ CAPRICORN RESCUE titles were displayed on the tail boom.

Aircraft Serial Numbers

The RACQ Capricorn relicopter carries an Australian civil aircraft registration, i.e. Bell 412 VH-EPR.

Unit/Base Codes

Coding system not used.

Aircraft

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

All-Time Aircraft Used List

Aircraft Type Quantity Service Entry Out of Service Origin
Bell 206L LongRanger 2 1996 2000 contractor
Bell 407 1 2000 2001 contractor
? 1 2001 2010 contractor
Bell 412 1 2013 current contractor
Sikorsky S-76A 1 2010 2013 contractor

Aircraft NOT Used

No false reports known.

Aircraft Losses and Incidents

One helicopter burnt out on the ground on 2 May 1997, one fatal crash on 24 July 2000.

Organisation

Main Headquarters

RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service, 145 East St, Rockhampton QLD 4700, Australia.

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 RACQ Capricorn Rescue Helicopter is based at Rockhampton.

All-Time Air Bases Used List

As above.

More Information

Books

None known.

Magazines

None known.

Websites

Capricorn Helicopter Rescue
Facebook: RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service
RACQ Helicopter Rescue

Any photographs illustrating this operator would be welcome.