Albatross Seahawk makes unscheduled hospital stop

SAFETY FIRST: Maintenance crews from HMAS Albatross work to fix an engine problem with a Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron, on the helipad of Shoalhaven Hospital.

SAFETY FIRST: Maintenance crews from HMAS Albatross work to fix an engine problem with a Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron, on the helipad of Shoalhaven Hospital.

THERE was an unusual patient at Shoalhaven Hospital on Tuesday night.

A Seahawk helicopter from HMAS Albatross was forced to spend the night on the hospital’s helipad with an engine problem after a medical evacuation.

The Seahawk from 816 Squadron is the aircraft aboard HMAS Newcastle, which was undertaking a readiness work-up off Jervis Bay. 

On Tuesday evening a sick sailor had to be transferred by helicopter to the hospital for treatment.

Commander of the Fleet Air Arm Commodore Vince Di Pietro said the helicopter landed at Shoalhaven Hospital shortly after 6.30pm to deliver the patient.

“The crew was preparing to return to their ship when a warning light indicated there was a problem with one of the helicopter’s engines and they grounded the aircraft,” he said.

“With the Seahawk being a twin engine aircraft, the engine’s output are matched. There was a problem with the ability of the aircraft to match the required output. 

“A maintenance crew worked on the aircraft overnight on the hospital’s helipad to rectify the problem with a replacement part.

“The crew rightfully followed safety procedures and there was no safety issue.”

Commodore Di Pietro thanked Shoalhaven Hospital for its assistance and support offered to the maintenance crew during the evening. 

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