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Old January 7th 17, 11:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.rotorcraft
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Default Range of air sea rescue / medevac helicopters

What is normally the maximum range of a medevac helicopter?

I ask because I'm on a cruise liner that was about 600 miles off the
west coast of Portugal last night when a passenger had to be evacuated
because of a medical emergency. The captain turned due east, towards
land, and opened the throttle wide for 6 hours. The closest point that
we came to land was about 400 miles, before turning back onto the
original course once the passenger had been retrieved by (presumably)
helicopter and winchman in the small hours of this morning. A fixed-wing
plane was also used in the rescue, though only to provide comms between
ship, helicopter and Portuguese shore.

The captain did comment in this morning's briefing that the helicopter
was working right at the extreme limit of its range, but is it feasible
that a helicopter that is capable of taking stretcher cases (and maybe
medical staff for on-board treatment) would have a range in excess of
800 miles (400 out and 400 back)? I presume in-flight refuelling of
helicopters is a no-no :-)