LifeFlight dropping into Mount Isa Rodeo

RACQ LifeFlight Rescue will be adding a touch of blue and yellow to the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo this Saturday, with the upgraded Mount Isa helicopter flying into Buchanan Park.

LifeFlight corporate partner, and Rodeo naming rights sponsor, Glencore is proud to present the new upgraded community helicopter as ‘open for inspection’ to the public at the Rodeo, following the BK117’s arrival in Mount Isa three weeks ago.

The impressive twin-engine aircraft will land in front of thousands of people at Buchanan Park. It will be stationed near the family entertainment area from 11am to 3pm (subject to patient rescue mission tasking), with LifeFlight Aircrewman Jim Lillecrapp and Pilot Mike Slattery on hand to show the community around the helicopter, and answer any questions.

LifeFlight Foundation Corporate Partnerships Manager Karen Laws said Glencore’s renewal of the two year $300,000 partnership assisted in securing the new helicopter for the region.

“The support from the community has been vital in the new helicopter based in Mount Isa, equipped with night vision capability and the ability to carry two patients, being available to the North-West. Glencore has been a long term supporter of LifeFlight, and continues to lead the way with that community support,” Ms Laws said.

“LifeFlight is thankful to the North-West community for its support towards the service, and is proud to be participating in the iconic Rodeo event this year.

“The helicopter is an essential asset in this region, with its capability to land directly at the scene, even in rugged terrain, and provide lifesaving medical care to the patient at the incident location.

“Ongoing community support will assist all crew members to further develop their knowledge and skills in the use of the upgraded equipment so LifeFlight can provide 24/7 coverage for the North-West, regardless of the location of an incident or accident.”

Glencore’s General Manager for Health, Safety, Environment and Community Relations Maryann Wipaki said the company was committed to supporting community development initiatives, like RACQ LifeFlight Rescue, which builds the capacity of the health service provision in the region, and improves emergency response and patient care outcomes in North-West communities.

“The new helicopter with night vision capability significantly improves the service’s capacity to provide a fast and effective emergency response to the critically ill and injured, and this is particularly important given the vast and remote nature of the North-West,” Ms Wipaki said.

“We look forward to seeing the new helicopter showcased at this year’s Rodeo.”

The Mount Isa crew have been busy over the past month saving lives with the upgraded helicopter, and demonstrating its improved capability in the region. The crew performed five missions last week alone, including the transfer of two patients in one rescue flight from a serious car accident at Cloncurry.

The crew also utilised the helicopter’s Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability to safely retrieve a cardiac patient from a mine at Cloncurry and deliver them to Mount Isa Hospital. These rescues showcase just how important the technology is on the BK117 helicopter.

LifeFlight is committed to providing additional training to crew members, to ensure all are capable of utilising the upgraded technology on the helicopter.  


LifeFlight is a community-based charity funded and supported by the LifeFlight Foundation.

To support the LifeFlight Foundation visit: https://www.lifeflight.org.au/page/support-us/