SINGAPORE - Visitors to the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) anniversary celebrations in Sembawang this weekend (March 31 to April 1) will get to see live demonstrations of the Super Puma helicopter for the first time.
They will watch a simulation of a search and rescue (SAR) operation featuring the helicopter and involving personnel from RSAF’s 125 Squadron and 1 Medical Squadron.
Visitors will be able to get a better understanding of the process of an SAR operation - from activating of the pilot and crew, rescuing the casualty, to the takeoff and landing of the Super Puma helicopter.
“This is something the public doesn’t get to see often and I think it’ll create a lot of excitement,” said MAJ Roy Chew, team lead for the demonstration.
A typical SAR operation would involve two pilots, two air crew specialists (ACS) and a medical team consisting of a medical officer (MO) and a medic. Upon receiving an emergency call, the medical team will be activated and they will collect bags containing medical equipment. They will then hop onto an ambulance which will take them to the aircraft.
At the same time, a crew from the helicopter squadron will also be activated. After collecting their equipment, they have 15 minutes to go airborne, before flying over to pick up the casualty who will be winched into the helicopter and transported to the nearest hospital.
The demonstrations, which are part of the RSAF50@Heartlands events, will be carried out at the open field beside Sembawang MRT station between 11.45am and 12.15pm on Saturday and Sunday. There will also be an exhibition from 10am to 9pm.
Since 2002, the RSAF has been involved in 317 SAR missions across the region. One of the challenges it has faced is bad weather conditions.
CPT Jonan Goh Yong Hou, Super Puma pilot and planner for the demonstrations, said that RSAF personnel have been put through multiple context training and are able to formulate plans for their SAR operations based on the weather and sea conditions.
The RSAF50@Heartlands will also be making a landing in Punggol, Bedok and Jurong East this year as part of the airforce’s plan to reach out to the public through its 50th anniversary celebrations.