Questions over copter rescue service
It is way past time some leading questions were asked and some answers provided to the Taranaki people who have generously and loyally supported the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust for many years.
1. Why are the two main sponsors making moves to withdraw their support for the trust; have they lost faith in the trust management?
2. Was there a pre-purchase audit carried out before the purchase of the new single-engine Agusta Koala helicopter? (I believe there was, and the finding suggested not to go ahead with the purchase due to the NZCAA rule regarding the restriction of operating single-engine helicopters in and out of built-up areas.
This rule was in existence before the purchase and the cost/ loss incurred going down this track we are all well aware of, and to use this as a reason for today's financial mess, I suggest, is flawed).
3. Regarding the purchase of the existing aircraft, is it correct that both engines need overhaul and upgrade due in under 700 hours at horrendous cost?
The trust chairman suggests that we would be going back in time if we took up Alan Beck's kind offer to take over where he left off when the trust took over.
He cited the delay involved in dropping tools and rushing off to rescue a victim; well how many times has the trust helicopter been away on a hospital transfer and an outside aircraft called in?
And to try and gain more revenue, the need to do inter- hospital transfers is essential and the helicopter can be away for many hours at a time.
Taranaki has too small a population base to support a multimillion-dollar operation like we have been trying to, and the financial result of the trust is proof of this.
Taranaki Daily News