After 35 years of operations in Italy with Eli Cost, Eli Alpi, Airgreen and Air Walser, this Agusta-Bell AB412, registered I-GONI on date 18 March 1985, was cancelled towards United Kingdom on date 08 April 2020. Looking forward to see her again with new markings soon …
Thanks to Oscar BERNARDI for his contribution in order to realize this Photo Report Page with full coverage of the helicopters present at GRIFONE 2019 International Search and Rescue Exercise. Foligno Airport (PG), 9-13 September 2019.
The Agusta-Bell AB412 I-MGPE operated by Elilario was flying on behalf of Regione Lombardia – Pubbliche Assistenze – USL 75-9 from Milano Ospedale Niguarda Helipad [pictured here on May 1987] … this helicopter was later leased to Swedish Armed Forces as 11339 and used for HEMS purposes, and, afterward, cancelled towards Spain as EC-GBE. Unfortunately crashed on date 14 November 2004 while operating HEMS for Helisureste, just after lift off in Seville area.
Leonardo: Italy’s National Fire Corps receives first two AW139 helicopters, the backbone of the Country’s rescue and emergency response services.
The helicopters will carry out search and medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief with enhanced operational effectiveness from all national bases. The first AW139 of the National Fire Corps is now entering service.
Replacing the AB412 fleet in the next few years, the AW139 has also been chosen by the Italian Air Force, Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and many EMS operators
The new helicopters feature latest generation avionics and sensors and firefighting and rescue equipment for operations in all conditions
Rome, 18 April, 2019 – With the delivery of the first two AW139 intermediate twin engine helicopters, Leonardo and the Italian National Fire Corps (Vigili del Fuoco, part of the Ministry of the Interior) announced a major step forward in strengthening their collaboration delivering advanced, more effective emergency response services in Italy. The event, celebrated during an official ceremony held at Leonardo’s Vergiate facility today in the presence of Government representatives and local authorities. The introduction of the AW139 marks a major enhancement of airborne multirole capabilities with the world’s most modern helicopter for maritime and mountain Search and Rescue (SAR), medical rescue, firefighting and disaster relief duties.
Over 816,000 rescues and sorties are performed every year countering fires across Europe, including many in Italy, and the AW139s, planned to progressively replace the Italian National Fire Corps AB412s which have been in service for decades, will guarantee optimimal coverage and an even more rapid responsiveness across the country. The Italian National Fire Corps will receive a third AW139 this year under the €45 million contract signed in 2018. The contract also includes integrated logistic support and training for pilots and technicians, and encompasses an option for 12 additional helicopters. The first two helicopters will be based in Rome Ciampino for National Fire Corps personnel training.
The backbone of the Country’s rescue services, the AW139 is also in service with the Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, State Police, Coast Guard and Air Force. The National Fire Corps AW139s feature a wide range of mission equipment, including an external rescue hoist, cargo hook with bambi bucket provision, weather radar, multi-band and satellite communication systems, high definition Forward Looking Infra-Red / Low Light TV (FLIR/LLTV) system, Leonardo’s high definition mission console with digital recorder, high definition down link, Leonardo’s Optical Proximity LiDAR System (OPLS), Night Vision Goggle (NVG) capability, new generation Trakka searchlight, emergency floatation system and external life rafts, external loudspeaker, medical rack and bubble windows.
Thanks to Silvano ZAMPIERI for this great shot of the Agusta-Bell AB412 VF-118 operated by Vigili del Fuoco (still wearing previous Corpo Forestale color scheme)… taking off from Venezia-Tessera Airport, March 2019.