Aiut Alpin Dolomites, based in the north of Italy, has invested in an EC135 T3 helicopter which it hopes will improve its mountain rescue missions. Technical director Raffael Kostner says: “Our first EC135 T2, which we bought in 2004, exceeded our expectations regarding reliability, and we have had nothing but trust in the EC135 range.
“In the beginning, performance of the EC135 T2 was a little weak. Consequently, lifting off from the site of an accident has sometimes been an aggravation. Even if upgrading to the T2e version largely solved this problem, with the T3 we hope to have finally eliminated performance limits.”
Duties performed in the Dolomites include mountain rescue, ski slope and roadway missions, occupational accidents, medical emergencies, and secondary transport. “The EC135 is good value for money, allowing us to perfectly perform and finance air ambulance work,” adds Kostner.
The T3 offers increased perfor-mance reserves, enhancing safety for patients and crew. Nonetheless, strong winds and bad weather can pose problems for crews. “Pilots need to be aware of their limits and act accordingly, even if this might mean not performing at all,” he explains.
“We hope to continue rescuing lots of people in order to finance those rescue missions. Our association is not established in order to make profits. There is no ambition to enlarge our fleet in the future, as we simply aim to perform appropriate, safe air ambulance services within our region.”