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RACQ CareFlight Rescue fleet flies in Riverfire spectacular

Two of RACQ CareFlight Rescue’s lifesaving fleet are joining Brisbane’s epic Sunsuper Riverfire party Saturday.

The iconic Bell 412 helicopters will fly in formation from the west end of the Brisbane River and complete a ‘river run’ to the Storey Bridge.

It will be a chance for more than half a million people on the banks of the Brisbane River and those watching at home, to see CareFlight’s ‘big birds’ in action.

“The community as a whole rarely gets to see them, as usually our helicopters are flying around in the middle of the night doing lifesaving missions,” CareFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said.

 “The Bell 412 helicopters are sturdy, reliable workhorses, central to CareFlight’s fleet for the last 21 years.

“They provide a fabulous, stable platform for winch retrievals and in the inflight lifesaving work our air medical specialists perform daily.”

From 5pm the riverside crowd can expect to hear the hum and then see the machines flying in formation from the west end of the river.

They’ll hover above the river at both Kangaroo Point and South Bank Parklands, doors open, the crews waving to the crowds during the 20 minute display.

The helicopters will be easy to identify in the iconic blue and yellow colours of RACQ, which has sponsored the lifesaving helicopter service for 21 years.

The Queensland born and bred charity flew 1,400 missions last year alone, and has helped 40,000 people over more than three decades of operation - but still relies on the generosity of the community for 30% of its annual funding to remain in the air.

“Many of the people in the crowd or watching at home, are past patients, or are related or friends of someone who we saved,” Mr van de Velde said.

“I’m really proud of the lifesaving work that our CareFlight family does, the partnership we have with the community, corporations and RACQ.

“Riverfire is really just a way of saying thank you.”