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Northern NSW : Rescue Winter 2017
Engineering update Life for the Rescue Helicopter’s engineers is finally getting back to normal. Senior Base Engineer Matt Wallace says it’s always a numbers game. ‘In June last year we had eight aircraft under our care with 13 people,’ he said. ‘Today we have 20 people for four aircraft. So the numbers speak for themselves and we’re ploughing through a lot more work.’ Networks are also important to Matt. The three operational bases at Tamworth, Belmont and Lismore have identical AW139 helicopters, and the spare resides at the Broadmeadow base. ‘Everyone is getting their routines going,’ said Matt. ‘We’re building our spares. All our tooling is here. The procedural documentation is very important. ‘We’re in a rhythm, and getting to know the Lismore guys, who are new to our organisation and processes, procedures and systems. ‘But obviously with the distance, Lismore has handled a lot of maintenance themselves and that is going well,’ says Matt. The Service now has engineers working together from all four bases to ensure continuity. Belmont has been operational since March 7 and the call on the aircraft has been above expectations. Fortunately the Broadmeadow-based AW139 is helping out with that. ‘ We’ve put the spare in there a number of times, which is what the whole network is designed to do,’ said Matt. ‘And we’re well above our required KPIs for the three months. Belmont is stable and the guys are getting a flow-on down there. A lot of the maintenance is being carried out by the guys back at headquarters. ‘ Tamworth has been a remote base for us for a while, so it was really into a quick routine.’ Fuel for thought Caltex, one of the Service’s longest- serving and valued sponsors of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, will continue its relationship. The Service’s Commercial Finance Manager, John Candy, recently secured the partnership with the fuel company for another two years. The sponsorship has been in place for at least half of the Service’s 41-year history. ‘T he partnership is critically important and it’s been a fantastic relationship,’ says John. ‘Receiving heavily discounted Jet A1 fuel ensures we can continue to support our community 24/7, with nobody ever having to pay to be assisted.’ Caltex offers discounted aviation fuel for all the Service’s helicopters and support for fund-raising events. Engineering Manager, Richard Lalor appreciates the benefits of the Caltex partnership on a daily basis. ‘Caltex aviation fuel, Jet A-1, is the fuel that keeps our AW139s operational. Having fuel from a supplier that can guarantee high quality, is essential. This reduces the likelihood of in-flight engine shutdowns and improves the life of the engine internal components. This in turn contributes to the engine operating to the expected overhaul life limit,’ he said. The recently introduced AW139 aircraft have greater range, and will fly more because of the further distance they can travel, but fuel consumption should remain the same because their efficiency offsets usage compared with the older fleet. Caltex Australia Executive General Manager Fuels & Infrastructure, Louise Warner, is proud to be continuing to support a vital life saving community service. ‘As a uniquely Australian fuel and retail convenience company with a deep expertise in quality fuels and reliable supply we have much in common with the Service and its role in the community,’ Louise said. ‘ Caltex is proud of our support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and is looking forward to working with the team to ensure more people keep their safety top of mind each and every day.’ 19 Rescue Magazine WINTER 2017
Rescue Autumn 2017
Rescue Spring 2017