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10,000 flying hours puts Victoria Police fleet at number one
The Victoria Police AW139 fleet has flown more than one million nautical miles over 30,000 deployments in three years, putting it top of the flying hours table of the global AW139 law enforcement fleet.
Acting superintendent Kelly Walker of the specialist response division with StarFlight Victoria director the Hon Rob Borbidge AO and acting deputy commissioner Bob Hill.

Victoria Police’s helicopter fleet has marked 10,000 hours in the air keeping the community safe. The Australian law enforcement agency’s three AW139 helicopters, which were delivered by StarFlight Victoria three years ago, are ranked number one for flying hours out of the 114 Leonardo AW139s currently serving law enforcement around the world.

Victoria Police choppers have flown more than 1.1 million nautical miles. They have been deployed to more than 30,000 tasks since taking to the skies, played a crucial role in helping Victoria Police make more than 3,000 arrests, and their specialised crews have completed more than 60 winching tasks.

The aircraft are fitted with advanced infrared cameras and mapping systems, as well as object detection software, which assist with marine and land-based searches.

Behind the success is a team of dedicated and experienced StarFlight Victoria engineers working 24/7 to keep the helicopters serviceable, ensuring availability and reliability to Victoria Police. For every flying hour, five hours of engineering manpower is required by the team, which works on various aspects of helicopter engineering including structural, mechanical and avionics. 50,000 engineering hours have been clocked up, including 34 heavy maintenance inspections and eight modification requests. There have been 50 main tyre changes and a total of 1,090 litres of oil used for the engines and gear boxes.

"The contribution these helicopters and the support team behind them make to Victoria Police Air Wing's capabilities is incredibly significant," says StarFlight Victoria director Ashley van de Velde. "StarFlight Victoria is proud to have delivered what has proven itself to be the best example of a multi-role police helicopter fleet anywhere in the world."

The helicopters are able to seat three times as many people as those previously flown by Victoria Police. This enables the rapid deployment of specialist police to regional areas when a major incident occurs.

Victoria Police’s Air Wing celebrated the extraordinary record of its helicopters and their crews with a special gathering at its Essendon Fields airport headquarters. Acting deputy commissioner Bob Hill, assistant commissioner Dean McWhirter, StarFlight Victoria directors Hon Rob Borbidge AO and Brett Quarrell were among the guests. Victoria Police aviators and the specialist engineers joined them in marking the 10,000 hour milestone.

"This milestone reflects the collective effort from Victoria Police and StarFlight. I take this opportunity to congratulate everybody who has played their part and acknowledge the successful relationship between Victoria Police and StarFlight Victoria," says van de Velde.

StarFlight was created by Australia-based companies LifeFlight and the Linfox Group, combining aviation experience and infrastructure with logistic supply and support capability.

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