LifeFlight operates two BK117 aircraft which are located at the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg. They are used for rapid response medical emergencies, inter-hospital transfers, neonatal retrievals and search and rescue operations.
The BK117 has a twin-engine and has been a popular choice as an EMS helicopter around the world because of its rear opening clam shell doors. This makes loading and unloading patients easy with the use of a drop leg stretcher.
Both LifeFlight’s BK117 aircraft are equipped with a rescue winch that is capable of winching two adults simultaneously, in addition to 30kg of medical equipment.
Each helicopter has similar cabin fit-outs and is configured to carry two stretcher patients and four crew. However, they feature some differences in the cockpit due to being different models. The Sunshine Coast helicopter is a B2 model while the Bundaberg helicopter is a C1 model.
The B2 model has Lycoming engines (USA) which burn on average around 220kg of jet fuel per hour.
The C1 model has Ariel engines (France) which burn on average around 240kg of jet fuel per hour.
Our BK117 aircraft are fitted with a defibrillator, monitor, medical oxygen and advanced transportable ventilator which makes it suitable for the transport of paediatric patients and those with more complex ventilatory requirements.
Depending on the task, our BK117 helicopters can accommodate several types of stretchers and can be fitted with a humidicrib for neonatal and paediatric transfers.
LifeFlight's BK117s are equipped with a digital autopilot and flight director system, making it possible for them to be flown by only one pilot.
They have advanced weather radar and two Garmin 430 GPS receivers giving modern up-to-date GPS navigation and instrument approach capabilities.