It's a wrap on Wellington's air ambulance

Last updated 17:57 14/06/2012
Air ambulance
Mark Tantrum

The new air ambulance for Wellington's Life Flight Trust is a J32 Jetstream with livery designed by Weta Workshop.

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Wellington patients needing flights to get life saving treatment will be all wrapped up in a new plane decorated by Weta Workshop.

Life Flight Trust, which has provided fixed wing air ambulance services to the Wellington region since 1983, has replaced its ageing Metroliner with a J32 Jetstream aeroplane.

Its paintwork - criss-crossed bandages all neatly tied up with a shiny safety pin - was completed by artists from nearby Weta Workshop.

Staying with the theme, Prime Minister John Key cut a bandage to officially unveil the plane at the Life Flight hangar at Wellington International Airport today.

Life Flight, which also operates the Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter, flies an average of four emergency trips per day to hospitals all over New Zealand. Last year it made 1387 patient deliveries.

Life Flight chairman Bill Day said maintaining the previous Metroliner plane had become more challenging and expensive as it aged.

"We have today moved to a J32 Jetstream which enables us to continue providing the highest standards of patient care in the air at lower costs," Day said.

"This plane will save lives - We are proud of our pilots, staff and medical teams who do such an outstanding job."

One who owes his life to the service, Wayne Cherry, 17, was there to see the plane which will replace the one which transported him for life-saving cancer treatment in Christchurch five and six years ago.

He had 72 hours to live and Life Flight made it in time - a stressful time made all the better by a friendly, calm team, he said.

"They also stopped my mum from freaking out."

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- The Dominion Post

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