Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, recognized PHI Aviation during HAI Heli-Expo for its critical role in executing life-saving search and rescue (SAR) missions and ensuring safety with their S-92® helicopters. Sikorsky delivered the first S-92 to PHI in 2004.
From harsh and unpredictable offshore conditions to remote and secluded landscapes, PHI is no stranger to challenging missions—and its SAR crews are more familiar than most.
In 2022, the PHI Aviation SAR team based in Western Australia performed a historical number of rescues for both offshore and inland emergencies. Utilizing the venerable S-92, the team completed a total of 19 missions, equaling more than 82 flight hours and the successful recovery of 146 persons, including 20 who were successfully hoisted to safety.
The exploits included several multi-casualty incidents resulting from boating accidents and major flooding events, along with numerous medical evacuations. The most notable of these rescue missions was a night-time rescue of a crew member from a vessel located some 350 nautical miles offshore. The aircraft required refueling on an offshore installation en route before continuing to the scene to winch the injured crew member aboard. In total, a 700-nautical mile round trip over the Indian Ocean.
“On behalf of our teams around the world and especially our Australian SAR crews involved in these life-saving missions, we are incredibly proud and honored to be recognized by Sikorsky,” said Cory Latiolais, Chief Operating Officer – PHI Aviation, APAC. “PHI is proud to partner with companies like Sikorsky who share our commitment to aviation excellence.”
PHI began SAR operations in December 2017 in Broome, Western Australia, providing 24/7 SAR and aeromedical evacuation services. They have since expanded those operations in Truscott in November 2022 and Exmouth recently. To date, its SAR team has completed 104 offshore medical evacuations and 59 government and community support missions, most recently responding to the state of emergency declared by the Western Australian government in response to the historic flooding event in the Kimberley region.
A leader in safety and reliability, the S-92 continues to play a leading role in PHI operations across the globe. Currently, the company operates a fleet of 34 S-92s in all three of its operating regions: Americas; Asia-Pacific (APAC); and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
A PHI Aviation SAR Rescue Crewperson accompanies the stretcher extraction of a casualty from a small pontoon following a serious, multi-casualty boating incident near the Horizontal Falls area in Western Australia. The Hi-Line (handling rope) is used to stabilize the stretcher to prevent swing and spin and also allows the S-92 pilot to stand off from the on-top position, minimizing rotor wash effects on those assisting below.