Wings of WA takes flight

Graphic: Wings of WA takes flight

Wings of WA takes flight

Date published

02 Mar 2022

Graphic: CME aircraft

Last autumn, the last PC-12 NG aircraft of its kind rolled off the Pilatus production line and made the journey from Switzerland to its new RFDS home in Western Australia.

After our team of engineers completed the signature RFDS aeromedical fit out, VH-LWO flew to our Port Hedland base in October to begin its life helping the Western Australian community. 

Referred to as the ‘Wings of WA’, was purchased with thanks to critical funding from the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, whose members answered our call for assistance at the beginning of the pandemic.

Graphic: CME X RFDS

Whilst at Port Hedland, VH-LWO typically flies across the Pilbara, landing in a variety of rugged and remote locations throughout the region.

An average retrieval from the Pilbara to Perth takes 3.5 hours in a PC-12 aircraft like VH-LWO and costs around $30,000. In its first year of service, our new aircraft is expected to carry more than 500 patients to definitive care.

Already in its first 60 days of service, our newest PC-12 has travelled to all corners of Western Australia and retrieved 63 patients. It’s no wonder our latest aircraft is known as the ‘Wings of WA’

Graphic: CME

Senior Pilot Jamie Hall is based in Port Hedland and loves flying thePC-12 fleet in an array of weather and terrain, to retrieve patients – many of whom are experiencing life threatening emergencies.

“In a single day, we can see winter conditions in the south and summer conditions in the north, storms and fine weather, no two days are the same," Jamie said. 

“Safety always comes first. It’s all worth it at the end of the day with the reward we get after a successful patient retrieval, especially when someone has been badly injured or is critically ill.”

Jamie Hall and our other RFDS pilots are excited to have the newest PC-12 aircraft join our fleet to help them fly across our vast State.

Thank you to the CME and everyone who donated to help us purchase VH-LWO.