We were very pleased to receive a donation of $500 from the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club (BOP).
This will be well spent on pampering our helicopter, a deserving grand old dame of an aircraft whose age we couldn’t possibly disclose (thirty-four but don’t tell!).
A hard week’s work
The aircraft is a Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm or a MBB BK117; the latest version is now called an Airbus EC145 T2 and they are slightly bigger with a more modern cockpit.
We have two pilots and two crewmen at the Tauranga base, normally one of each on duty at any time. We carry out about five jobs a week, so between 20 and 25 jobs a month.
The area we cover is pretty much the Bay of Plenty and out to the East Cape.
Servicing the rohe
The community and our sponsors fund roughly 50% of our annual operating cost and the various government departments fund the rest through our flight hour charge-out rate.
Our work is made up of inter-hospital transfers between Tauranga, Whakatane, Waikato and Auckland hospitals, accident and emergency work and Police search and rescue etc.
By Liam Brettkelly, Base Manager/Pilot The Jag Club