I have been commissioned to photograph the work done by the Life Flight Trust. The Life Flight Trust is a charity providing nationwide air ambulance services and the Wellington-based Westpac Rescue Helicopter. As I write this post, I am sitting in a spare office at the Trust, which located at the airport, with the hangars opening onto the runway itself. I can see commercial planes taking off in front of me out the windows. This morning was the first on the job – I met the crew including pilot and paramedics. They took me through the safety briefing and fitted me out with a flight suit + helmet.
The concept is that I will be based on call at the headquarters like the crew and within 8 minutes be suited up, ready to join the team on their mission. Certain missions will not be able to accomodate me. The neonatal machinery for example is so heavy, that they cannot fit an extra person. There are also issues during the summer months with excessively hot days – its harder to stay in the air when the air is hot and thinner. It may also be that at times, I will be left behind if there is no room for the return journey. It’s nothing personal, just practical!