RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Jet engineers soar through Australian-first training

A specialised engineering course, tailored specifically for RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Air Ambulance Jet staff, means the aircraft will be ready to respond faster, and more efficiently.

During February, four of LifeFlight’s aircraft engineers completed the Challenger 604 (CL604) engineering type course; the first of its kind in Australia, for that aircraft model.

Their graduation takes the number of LifeFlight’s licensed CL604 engineers from one, to five and increases mechanical and avionic engineering coverage capabilities within LifeFlight.

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue’s Air Ambulance Jet fleet grew by three Challenger 604 aircraft, at the beginning of 2020. The organisation currently operates four CL604; two in Queensland and two in Singapore. 

LifeFlight Engineering staff were due to undergo specialised jet maintenance training in Canada last year, with the aircraft manufacturer, but were unable to travel internationally, due to COVID-19.

“To keep the jets ready to respond, in the past 12 months, LifeFlight Engineering has engaged external contractors and worked with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), to gain approvals for our engineers to conduct limited maintenance,” LifeFlight Engineering Operations Manager, Michael Dopking, said.

With overseas travel still on hold, Australian aviation organisations decided it was time to bring the full type course training, down under.

“For a good part of 2020, Cobham Aviation built the Australian course, which meant LifeFlight was able to train up our engineers.”

The Challenger 604 engineering six-week course, developed by Cobham and approved by CASA, was recently held in Queensland.

“LifeFlight and Cobham Aviation engineers completed the theory aspect of the training over four weeks in Cairns and two weeks of practical instruction, on our aircraft at the RACQ LifeFlight Rescue Brisbane Base,” Mr Dopking said.

“Getting the course developed, approved and run was a great outcome for both companies.” 

A second course is currently being planned.