The only SA Air Force (SAAF) helicopter squadron on the east coast – 15 in Durban – recently provided airborne platforms for professional rescue technicians to fine-tune their skills.
The day of airborne training was part of a Netcare 911 annual rescue meet, focussing on the skills needed to be a successful rescuer.
Netcare 911 KwaZulu-Natal liaison officer Shawn Herbst said the flying training day utilised both rotary-wing aircraft operated by the squadron. This saw technicians in Agusta A109 light utility and Oryx medium transport helicopters doing casualty evacuation, hoisting and other practical work. Flying work was preceded by a through briefing.
The Netcare 911 rescue team all had a big thank you to 15 Squadron for making the hands-on training a reality.
The rescue meet also had technicians working on high angle rope access and vehicle rescue.
15 Squadron is the lone aviation resident of what was Durban International Airport until the new King Shaka International SAAF was taken into service eight years ago. There is as yet no indication when the squadron will leave and where it will go. King Shaka has been mentioned as a possible site as has Hluhluwe further up the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. The squadron’s Charlie flight is based at AFB Port Elizabeth.