Stephan Rossouw, helicopter pilot for the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS) has reached a milestone in not only his own career but also in the history of the organisation. Rossouw has completed 1 000 hours on the AgustaWestland (AW) 119Ke rescue helicopter. He currently has a total of 1040 hours on the AW 119Ke. The AW 119Ke rescue helicopter that the AMS utilises for aero-medical flights is fully equipped with a dedicated medical intensive care-type interior, with hoist & sling and winch capacity and emergency floatation gear for operations over the sea. The machine is utilised for mountain & surf rescues as well as inter-hospital transfers and primary calls.
Rossouw joined the organisation in 2009 and is stationed at the Oudtshoorn Base, situated in the Eden District of the Western Cape, South Africa. He completed his type rating conversion in 2009 and has since been flying the AW 119Ke. He then further went on to complete his instructor’s rating on the AW 119Ke and has since presented 16 type rating conversions to AMS pilots on the AW 119Ke which includes mountain flying, rescue and instructor’s ratings. “The AW 119Ke is without a doubt a pilot’s machine. One of the greatest design features is the incredible stability during hover maneuvering which is ideal for our challenging rescue operations. Thus enabling us to perform rescue operations with great levels of confidence and safety”, Rossouw said.
During the last financial year the AMS AW 119Ke helicopters has flown over 1 000 missions across the Western Cape and transported more than 700 patients. In the Western Cape the AW 119Ke’s are utilised for Air Ambulance and Rescue Service. The AMS has four AW 119Ke’s and one AW Grand 109 across the country. Rossouw concluded, “It has been an honour working for AMS and safely transporting many patients to medical facilities on-board a modern and sophisticated machine.”