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NZ H145 hits 2k flight hour milestone in 2 years

written by Hannah Dowling | February 7, 2022

A New Zealand-based Airbus H145, operated by local operator HeliOtago, has hit 2,000 flight hours after just over two years of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services operations.

The H145 is a twin-engine multi-role helicopter that can operate with one or two pilots, and up to 10 passengers, depending on its configuration.

HeliOtago has been utilising the aircraft for HEMS operations in New Zealand’s South Island since 2019 and was the first operator in New Zealand to welcome the HEMS H145 to its fleet.

The aircraft has performed with a dispatch rate of 100 per cent, and an availability rate of 98 per cent, Airbus revealed in a statement.

“To have achieved the 2,000 flight hours in the H145 in only two years of operation is a testament to the excellence of this aircraft and the extremely high availability rating we’ve had,” said Graeme Gale, chief pilot and owner-director of HeliOtago.

“The Airbus H145 is a star performer in our fleet, and the best in its class for HEMS missions. The capability of the aircraft and the flexibility of the configuration make it extremely effective for the HEMS support we provide in the South Island.”


Christian Venzal, managing director of Airbus Helicopters Australia and New Zealand said, “We congratulate HeliOtago in achieving the 2,000 flight-hour milestone in such a short operational time.

“It’s great to see how effective the H145 has been in providing such fantastic HEMS support to the South Island of New Zealand.”

Airbus said its H145 fleet now extends across nearly 1,500 helicopters in service around the globe, which have together clocked over six million flight hours.

Airbus delivered two H145 helicopters to New Zealand Helicopter Emergency Medical Services, which contracts emergency services operations to HeliOtago, in August 2019.

“I’m proud that Airbus’ helicopters are providing vital medical services and assisting the communities between Christchurch and Dunedin operated by New Zealand Helicopter Emergency Services,” Airbus Australia Pacific managing director Andrew Mathewson said at the time.

“A key design factor of the H145 helicopter is to be able to configure the helicopter to provide medical and rescue operations for specialised emergency services.”

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