Friday, December 15, 2017

RAAF Search and Rescue (CHC Helicopters) Sikorsky S-76A Helicopter VH-LAH at Mackay and Gladstone Airports

On Friday 15 December, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Search and Rescue Sikorsky S-76A helicopter VH-LAH was noted passing through Mackay and Gladstone Airports while heading South from Townsville to RAAF Base Amberley.

VH-LAH at Gladstone Airport during a previous visit  (File photo)

VH-LAH is owned by Lloyd Helicopters and operated by CHC Helicopters Australia, and is one of a number of choppers used for RAAF Search and Rescue missions. On this ferry flight, it was noted using radio callsign of "Choppa 42".

VH-LAH "Choppa 42" has been in Townsville since late November where it particpated in the RAAF's Exercise High Sierra - the final training exercise for pilots graduating from Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit. No. 2OCU Squadron which operates out of Williamtown. 

The Exercise finished this week and featured a mass departure of some 14 RAAF McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet and British Aerospace (BAe) Hawk 127 jet aircraft from Townsville early on Thursday 14 December.  They were heard refuelling with RAAF Airbus A330-203 / KC-30A (MRTT) A39-004 "Dragon 16" over inland Central Queensland as they flew South to Williamtown.

Photo taken by Col B  ©

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