Helicopter mechanical fault delays Litchfield fall rescue

Published: July 23, 2015

A nasty accident and delayed rescue at Litchfield National Park has dramatically highlighted the need for the Northern Territory to have a second medical rescue helicopter.

There was a hold-up getting a woman with a head injury to hospital because the Territory’s sole rescue chopper suffered a mechanical fault. The helicopter had been able to successfully land at the intersection of Litchfield Park Road and Buley Rockhole Road about 120 kilometres south of Darwin and pick up the patient who had fallen off the rock outcrop known as The Lost City.   However, the ABC reports that the crew unsuccessfully tried to take off several times but couldn’t due to engine fault.

A fixed-wing aircraft was eventually scrambled to fly the woman to hospital. The incident happened earlier this week.

CareFlight co-founder Ian Badham told the ABC that the helicopter was later fixed and flown back to Darwin, and that the woman was “not too seriously injured”.

He said the Northern Territory was the only jurisdiction in Australia to have one medical rescue helicopter and the incident underlined the need for a second chopper.

“When it’s out for service it means we do not have a dedicated medical rescue helicopter in the Territory.”

  • Are you surprised there is only one rescue helicopter in the NT? Should there be more? Comment below.


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Robyn Davies
7 years ago

Actually I think it is alarming there is only one helicopter.


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