The service has a 40-year history in Queensland, Australia and operates 10 RACQ LifeFlight Rescue helicopters, including five AW139s. One month away from the five-year anniversary of its first AW139 taking off on its maiden mission for LifeFlight, the service officially ticked over 10,000 hours during a night shift earlier this week.
Ashley van de Velde, Life Flight CEO, commented: "Reaching 10,000 flying hours is a reflection of what can be achieved when you pair some of the world's best aircraft with highly skilled aviation specialists. The AW139 is a proven helicopter, operating in more than 80 countries; they have spent millions of hours in the air. They're versatile and suit the varying environments in which we work and the wide-ranging missions undertaken by our teams."
After the first AW139 took to the air over Queensland in 2015, LifeFlight added another, later that year, with more 139s joining the fleet in 2016 and 2018. Each of the helicopters is fitted out for search and rescue, winching and aeromedical retrieval. Typically, they are crewed with a pilot, co-pilot or aircrew officer, an RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Critical Care Doctor and a Flight Nurse or Paramedic.
"The size and versatility of the AW139s has essentially allowed us to turn these aircraft into flying intensive care units. The configuration of the 139s and the medical staff on board enables us to start treating injured or sick people while on scene and in-transit," said Velde.
"This 10,000-hour milestone is a testament to our incredible team of LifeFlight engineers and crews along with all of our support staff who contribute to the success of our operations.
"We are extremely proud of this 10,000-hour achievement."