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New hangar opens four months after $200,000 Brisbane storm damage

Four months after Brisbane’s once in a century storm on November 27 caused nearly $200,000 damage to CareFlight’s maintenance facility and helicopters, the charity’s new hangar opened for business today (Monday, March 16).

“Archerfield Airport really bore the brunt of the storm system, and our previous hangar was simply no match for Mother Nature,” CareFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said.

“The hangar, two aircraft undergoing maintenance, and equipment belonging to both CareFlight and our engineers were all damaged.

“We have to say thank you to our supporters who donated money to help us get us back on track.”

CareFlight’s new maintenance facility is centrally located at Hangar 6 at Archerfield Airport, allowing easy access to the fleet across Queensland.

"The ability to move to this newly refurbished hangar so soon after the storm was achieved through the great support of Archerfield Airport Corporation,” Mr van de Velde said.

Thanks also to the generosity of supporters, it contains the latest, vital technology and equipment to service CareFlight’s fixed and rotary wing fleet which now numbers 14.

“This new larger Brisbane hangar will allow us to also service our three Air Ambulances, as well as all our helicopter fleet,” CareFlight Engineering Manager Darryl Stevens said.

“We’ve employed an additional two apprentices and have an engineering department that’s 34 strong across Queensland.

“Eighteen of these highly skilled people are based at Archerfield.”

This morning a Bell 412 helicopter from the Toowoomba Base flew in for maintenance.

It joins CareFlight’s training helicopter which flew in from the Gold Coast Base Sunday.

CareFlight’s commitment to servicing its own aircraft ensures costs in the highly expensive aviation field are kept as low as possible.

“The Bell 412 behind me will undergo its 5,000 hour, five yearly maintenance,” Mr Stevens said.

“That’s a very expensive and involved process that will take more than a month and thousands of dollars to complete.

“Any maintenance we can undergo here, rather than shipping our fleet interstate or even overseas, ensures we save money.”