Trustpower TECT uses new helicopter for first time

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Pilots (L-R) Liam Brettkelly and Barry Vincent with the new BK117 at Te Araroa. Credit Trustpower TECT

Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter, based in New Zealand, utilised its new twin-engine BK117 helicopter for the first time on a mission on 13 May. The service replaced its single-engine Squirrel helicopter after 18 years of service two weeks ago, and since taking the delivery, the Trustpower TECT crew has been training on the new chopper.

However, when the service was alerted to the plight of a 55-year-old patient who was suffering from a cardiac event, the crew used the new aircraft to airlift the woman to Whakatane Hospital for treatment. The crew was then immediately called to Paeroa to airlift a man with a serious medical condition, taking him to Waikato hospital for further treatment.

The new acquisition follows the lead of other Philips Search and Rescue Helicopter bases in the Waikato-King Country and the Manawatu-Whanganu. The BK117 is currently the most popular medical helicopter in New Zealand.

“Moving to a BK117 will allow increased capabilities as an emergency service provider; the new machine will be fully equipped with the latest technology and equipment for rescue missions and medical emergencies. The BK117 is a more capable, modern and spacious aircraft to better service the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty,” said Base Manager Liam Brettkelly.

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