This past Friday, RACQ Capricorn Rescue were delighted to announce the arrival of the modern and more capable AgustaWestland 139 (AW139) helicopter to the Rescue300 fleet. The arrival of the new machine is a result of a major project that has come to fruition after three years.

In addition to making a quantum leap in technology, the AW139 will provide an upgraded capability for the service with its improved range and greater speed over the existing Bell 412 helicopter. The cabin of the AW139 is considerably larger than the current aircraft which brings with it many benefits for the medical crew and patient.

“Many milestones have been achieved across our 25 years of operations, the arrival of the AW139 marks yet another.

“The upgrade in aircraft is essential to keep up with the increasing demand of the service, improvements to safety and a reduction in transit time, as well as other benefits that come from the advancements in technology.” Mr Fewtrell said.

Boasting a 20% increase in speed capability, the new AW139 will provide a major improvement on current flight time and fuel efficiency with the capability to deliver
patients directly to Sunshine Coast and Brisbane Hospitals without the need to refuel.

The arrival of the AW139 is due, in a large part, to the support received from Queensland Health and Babcock Australasia. Queensland Health has provided support in the transition and funding of the new aircraft as part of their mission to maintain the highest level of safety and capability across the Queensland Emergency Helicopter Network.

During the past two weeks the Rescue300 crew have undertaken extensive training in preparation for the AW139 going into operation later this month. Rockhampton and
Yeppoon residents may have already been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it flying overhead.

Senior Aircrew and Check and Trainer Officer, Patrick Norton says Rescue300 crew have undergone extensive training in order to become proficient on the new aircraft.
“Cabin crew have completed up to 12 hours of front and rear flight training in order to convert from the Bell 412 to the new AW139.

“Two days of ground theory was conducted involving aircraft systems, winch and front left seat procedures. Each crewman underwent several hours of simulation training prior to the arrival of the aircraft.” Mr Norton said.

The long-awaited AW139 was recently unveiled at the 25th Anniversary Ball on Friday July 16th as a special preview to our major sponsors and community supporters.