Media Release 27.11.2018

Pilatus Hands Over First PC-24 Air Ambulance

The very first PC-24 with medevac interior has been handed over to the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS Western Operations). Pilatus presented the key to PC-24 serial number 105 to RFDS CEO Rebecca Tomkinson on 26 November 2018 in Stans.

Configured for patient transport, this PC-24 was especially developed to meet the particular needs of the RFDS and has been equipped for medevac missions all over Australia. 

Rebecca Tomkinson commented at the handover: “The Royal Flying Doctor Service Western Operations is proud to be introducing with Pilatus the first Rio Tinto Lifeflight PC-24 into service in Australia. The innovative aeromedical interior is the first of its kind in the world – a game changer for patient outcomes and improving health care to regional and remote Australians.”

Oscar J. Schwenk, Chairman of Pilatus added: “The PC-24 will become the emergency ward in the sky and will almost half the time for long-haul critical patient scenarios. I am positive that the PC-24 will ideally supplement the existing fleet of PC-12s of the RFDS. The PC-24 will enable the RFDS to enhance the outstanding service that they provide to the Australian people. In the name of Pilatus, I would like to express my most sincere thanks for the trust and I am extremely proud that the RFDS now flies the Pilatus PC-24 as the first Super Versatile Jet medevac operator in the world.”

The interior was installed under a supplemental type certificate procedure in partnership with Aerolite AG, a Swiss company specialising in aircraft medical interiors. The RFDS Western Operations is the first organisation to use the Super Versatile Jet as a medevac aircraft. The RFDS Central Operations will follow next year. 

High-tech medical equipment

The spacious pressurised cabin can accommodate the required medical equipment and beds for three patients and additional seats for medical personnel. Depending on the type of mission, the cabin is designed to allow fast, flexible modification for maximum freedom. The large cargo door and bespoke electric stretcher loading device facilitate safe, ultra-easy loading and unloading of patients. The PC-24 is the world’s first jet to offer this possibility thanks to the cargo door which comes as a standard fit from the factory.  

Individual oxygen, vacuum and power systems ensure multi-parameter patient monitoring and support. Additional security is provided in the form of a second and separate power system for the cabin and dedicated communication systems for the medical crew, thereby ensuring uninterrupted medical assistance.

RFDS to use the PC-24 from 2019

In continuous operation since 1928 the RFDS is one of the world’s largest and most professional aeromedical organisations. It provides comprehensive basic medical assistance across Australia plus a 24-hour emergency service. The RFDS currently owns a fleet of over 35 PC-12s, each of which has proved itself over and over again through many years of cost-effective airborne operations. 

The RFDS will celebrate their 90th anniversary with the entry into service of the PC-24. The PC-24 will be used for the cost effective transport of patients over longer distances in conjunction with their existing fleet of PC-12 aircraft. The PC-24 was developed for outback use from the very outset and this is exactly how the RFDS plans to use it: its outstanding performance on short runways and unpaved strips will provide the RFDS with a previously unattained degree of flexibility of direct benefit to patients in Australia.