Retrieval Process and Issues


Family & Whanau

Both fixed wing aircraft have the capacity to transport another individual in addition to the crew and patient.

Careful consideration should be given regarding the suitability of the family member for flight.

It is prudent to ascertain if the accompanying person has any pertinent medical problems or issues with flying prior to departure to avoid any unpleasant surprises in flight.  Travelling relatives are the responsibility of the crew and should receive a standard safety briefing as per CAA standards.

Transporting relatives should be approved by the pilot in advance.  Certain weather conditions, fuel loads, etc may preclude an extra person.

With the notable exception of paediatric patients, accompanying relatives are almost never taken in the helicopter.



Good communication is important to the successful coordination and completion of each mission, and pivotal for coordinating multiple missions.  A current phone list is available from the CNC.  There is a flight team cell phone stored with the equipment at Garden City Helicopters.  This can be used for all calls during the transport.  The coordinator should be kept informed of progress of all missions, any delays or problems encountered particularly those that may impact on a later mission.


Text messaging has become common place within the CARS to inform the coordinator of routine progress at critical points within the retrieval process; for example, leaving the patient, delay with ambulance etc.  It is common practice, to reply with an affirmative response to indicate that the text has been received.  If this does not occur, consider the possibility of the text not reaching the intended recipient and make a phone call instead.​

​Usual Progress of a Retrieval

​Click Air Retrieval Process.docx to view the flow chart.

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Page last reviewed: 05 December 2016