Operating HEMS in South Africa with Henley Air

Long-standing Bell customer, Henley Air, has launched its very own Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) in South Africa, utilizing six Bell products.

With over 22 years of experience, Henley Air is a family-owned and managed helicopter company that has provided safe and reliable helicopter-related services to the South African market. The company has demonstrated and executed lifesaving missions such as transportation prior to surgery or organ transplant with the support and reliability of Bell products, such as the Bell 222 UT, which provides internal space and long-range capability, in excess of 320 nautical miles.

As a uniquely non-aligned HEMS provider, Henley Air offers its helicopter ambulance service to key hospitals in the country and has been involved in numerous lifesaving missions with Bell helicopters. Three months ago, Henley Air rescued a young boy injured in a motorcycle accident in Swaziland, a neighbouring Country land locked by South Africa. With no facilities around the area, Henley Air were able to stabilize the patient and transport him to a suitable facility.

Another critical patient was flown over 900 nautical miles with a broken back, rescued from a remote hiking location, to a hospital equipped to support his needs. Henley Air pilots supported said mission by flying over four South African provinces in a 10-hour mission.

Boeta Dippenaar, chief pilot said, “Henley Air has partnered with some of the biggest hospital chains in South Africa. As an independent HEMS provider, we are hopeful that our services will be used to help people in the country that are looking for access to quick and reliable emergency services. We have ensured that our fleet maintains a 98 percent serviceability rate, meaning that we are on hand to meet all our patients needs in the shortest amount of time.”

Emergency services are categorized depending on their level of importance. For instance, Henley Air was requested to fly out to a remote area of the country to aid a patient who had been in an accident. Alternatively, the fleet has been used for transportation of a patient from one hospital to another in need of the appropriate medical care. Given the vast area of South Africa and the distances between some hospitals, Inter-Hospital Transfer (IHTs) are not uncommon.

“In addition to working with some of the most prominent names in the country, Henley Air also boasts the only South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) approved and certified Bell 222 simulator. As the only one in the world, it keeps our crews fully prepared for any situation and/or mission. This coupled with a sizeable inventory of spare parts ensures that we can be up and running in the least amount of time to serve any kind of patient” Added, Boeta Dippenaar, chief pilot.

Henley Air pilots typically work a 12-hour shift starting at either 06:00 or 18:00 and comprise of the most experienced and qualified personnel in South Africa. All pilots must conform to six-monthly Operator Proficiency Checks (OPCs), annual line checks and licence revalidations, ensuring that Henley Air keeps the standard of its operations at the highest level.


For more information about Henley Air and its HEMS Operations, please visit its website www.henleyair.co.za . For customers who are interested in learning more about Bell’s products, please click here.

About Bell

Thinking above and beyond is what we do. For more than 85 years, we’ve been reimagining the experience of flight – and where it can take us.

We are pioneers. We were the first to break the sound barrier and to certify a commercial helicopter. We were a part of NASA’s first lunar mission and brought advanced tiltrotor systems to market. Today, we’re defining the future of advanced air mobility.

Headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas – as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Textron Inc., – we have strategic locations around the globe. And with nearly one quarter of our workforce having served, helping our military achieve their missions is a passion of ours.

Above all, our breakthrough innovations deliver exceptional experiences to our customers. Efficiently. Reliably. And always, with safety at the forefront.

About Textron

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Pipistrel, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, and Textron Systems. For more information, visit: www.textron.com.

Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements which may project revenues or describe strategies, goals, outlook or other non-historical matters; these statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, changes in aircraft delivery schedules or cancellations or deferrals of orders; our ability to keep pace with our competitors in the introduction of new products and upgrades with features and technologies desired by our customers; changes in government regulations or policies on the export and import of our products; volatility in the global economy or changes in worldwide political conditions that adversely impact demand for our products; volatility in interest rates or foreign exchange rates; and risks related to our international business, including establishing and maintaining facilities in locations around the world and relying on joint venture partners, subcontractors, suppliers, representatives, consultants and other business partners in connection with international business, including in emerging market countries.

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