Meet our new helicopter!

Keen observers of the sky may have spotted our crew back in a yellow helicopter! You might remember our long serving yellow and black Augusta helicopter (ITR), which was sold as it no longer suited the needs of our crew and region. Following that we borrowed an aircraft for around 12 months, before receiving a black & white BK117, IIX, in January 2022.

More recently the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter has undergone another change. This has seen us swapping the black and white IIX with the crew in Tauranga – for a HES, which is also a BK117 – effectively it’s the same aircraft when it comes to operation for our crew.

It’s incredibly beneficial for us to have a BK117, as it’s the same type of helicopter as the rest of the partner fleet (which includes a number of rescue helicopters across the North Island). This means it’s easier for us to interchange pilots or crew when needed and hold group training while also providing more availability for spare parts and overcoming the weight carrying shortcomings of the ITR.

For our crew and community, an important factor is that the yellow HES has a more powerful winch. If you know anything about our region, you will understand why this is more suited to the Taranaki terrain.

Plus, as a very superficial bonus we’re back to yellow – a colour we know and love which better represents Taranaki!