Aviation Maintenance Technician Day

Celebrating RFDS Western Operations engineers this Aviation Maintenance Technician Day

Date published

24 May 2022

This Aviation Maintenance Technician Day, we recognise and celebrate the contributions of our highly specialized engineering team who continue to innovate and propel our service forward.

RFDS engineering team

Led by RFDS Manager of Engineering Andy Lewis, our engineering team is made up of avionic and airframe engineers, technical record keepers, maintenance planners and stores persons.

Together, they work tirelessly to keep our fleet of 17 Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft, two Fortescue Heli-Med EC145 helicopters and four Pilatus PC-24 jets (including three Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jets) maintained to the highest standards.

They ensure our aircraft fleet are airworthy, ready to fly and are responsible for every part on every aircraft including medical equipment in each aircraft.

Over the last year, the RFDS has experienced record demand with our aircraft fleet and crew travelling a total of nine million kilometres (one million more than the previous year!) to reach more than 10,000 patients and carry them to definitive care. 

It’s no wonder our engineers are specialists on maintaining the Pilatus aircraft!

RFDS engineers

Key accomplishments and achievements
Modernising our PC-12 aircraft fleet by transitioning from aluminium four-blade propellers to five-blade carbon-fibre composite propellers 

Conversion of PC-12 aircraft ‘VH-OWQ’ to passenger configuration for remote clinic runs

First full aeromedical fit-out of PC-12 aircraft ‘VH-LWO’

Solved freezer and battery solution for transportation of frozen vaccines; crucial to RFDS COVID-19 Vaccination Program   

Integrated and updated specifications of third Rio Tinto LifeFlight PC-24 jet ‘VH-NWO’ for entry into service 

Aeromedical design and fit-out of Fortescue Heli-Med EC145 helicopters for RFDS purposes

New engine replacements for RFDS’ older PC-12s

Photo: RFDS WO Manager of Engineering Andy Lewis (Left) and Senior Engineer Michael Chadwick