News -

Wildlife awareness for aeromedical crew

In a first for the Toowoomba RACQ LifeFlight Rescue base, this morning the hangar played host to a range of animals, including birds, a bat, a possum and snakes, as part of a new wildlife awareness program. 

The training comes after an increase in the number of bird and bat strikes during rescue operations, as well as other wildlife encounters at the aeromedical base.

"The RACQ LifeFlight Rescue crews are most likely to encounter ibises, eagles and bats while flying across south west Queensland," LifeFlight Quality and Safety Advisor Paul Strachan​ said. 

The hands-on session is designed to educate the crew about different wildlife species and their behaviours.

"The more crews and engineers know about the impact animals have on aviation, the easier it is for them to manage potential problems,"  Wildlife expert Martin Fingland. 

Unfortunately, strikes are an inevitable part of aviation.

For helicopters, experts say animals are most likely to come into contact with an aircraft, while it is parked on the ground, or during cruise and approach to landing.

On average, three wildlife incidents are reported each month, across LifeFlight's Queensland fleet.