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D-HHDM Bell 412EP c/n 36355 - DRF Luftrettung "Christoph Thüringen" - Bad Berka in Germany - 8 August 2014 lifeliner helicopters

The Bell 412EP is a 15-seat medium lift utility helicopter with a radius of 745 km, powered by a 1920shp PT6T-3DF Turbo Twin-Pac made up of two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3DF turboshaft engines linked through a combining gearbox. On 8 September 1978, the Bell Model 412 program was announced as a development of the Bell Model 212 (UH-1N). The helicopter is basically a Bell 212 fitted with a new composite four-blade rotor. The first Bell 412 helicopter was a modified 212 that flew first in August 1979. The certification of the Model 412 followed in January 1981, the first deliveries were done the same month. The helicopter is produced under license in Italy by Augusta as the AB412 and in Indonesia by IPTN as the NBell 412. Bell built the helicopter in Canada for the Canadian Armed Forces as the CH-146 Griffon. The Model 412EP (Enhanced Performance) features a dual digital automatic flight control system and entered production in 1998. Next to the role as passenger transport the Bell 412 is in use as EMS helicopter with a crew of 2 pilots, a HEMS-crew-member (Paramedic) and an emergency doctor. Over 620 helicopters of the Model 412 are built.

The 2004-built Bell 412EP c/n 36355 was registered first N7008Q with Bell Helicopter Textron Inc.,Forth Worth, TX, USA, and flew first in November 2004. Registration N7008Q was cancelled as exported to Germany on 28 December 2004. The Bell 412EP was registered D-HHDM in Germany with HDM Flugservice GmbH, a member of Team-DRF in January 2005. However registered in Germany, Bell 412EP D-HHDM entered service as an EMS-helicopter with DRF-partner Helitalia SpA in Italy. In 2005, the Bell was operated in Italy by Elibombarda / Helitalia / Team DRF as EMS 118 Regione Lombarda -Sondrio. In 2007, the Bell 412EP was operated by Helitalia / Team DRF as Elisoccorso Regione Abrusso. Starting from 23 September 2008, the DRF-Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V. introduced a new name and logo. From that day, the former DRF consists of three parts: a non-profit sponsored association, a foundation under public law and a non-profit corporation which is the operational unit. The operational work of the DRF continued as before. The German air rescue companies HSD-Hubschauber Sonder Dienst Flugbetriebs and HDM Luftrettung also appeared under the name of DRF Luftrettung starting from 23 September 2008. The previous branding of “Air Rescue Alliance TEAM DRF” is no longer used. As of 26 August 2009, Helitalia operates as a subsidiary of INAER Helicopter Italia S.p.A. and Bell 412EP D-HHDM returned to DRF in Germany. On 11 October 2009, Bell 412EP D-HHDM entered service with DRF Luftrettung as "Christoph Nürnberg". Since, the helicopter moved to "Christoph Thüringen". In 2016, DRF will replace the Bell 412EP in service as "Christoph Thüringen" by the new Airbus Helicopters EC145 T2.

ITH (Intensiv Transport Hubschrauber) Bell 412EP D-HHDM "Christoph Thüringen" was seen at the helipad of the Luftrettungszentrum Bad Berka in Germany on 8 August 2014. This Air Rescue Centre is situated at the location of Zentralklinik Bad Berka. Operations of the Air Rescue Centre Thüringen started in April 1992 in Erfurt. The ARC Thüringen moved in January 1996 to the Central Hospital in Bad Berka. The helicopter of Luftrettungszentrum Bad Berka used first a helipad at the parking in front of the hospital. In January 2001, the ARC moved to the new station next to the hospital. This station was built to house an ITH and a RTH helicopter and is one of the larger hangar centres for rescue helicopters in Germany. The Bell 412 helicopters of HDM - Luftrettung GmbH are equipped for intensive care transport and emergency rescue by day and night. The air rescue centre at Bad Berka is on 24-hour standby. Callsign "Christoph" is used for the German lifeliner helicopters since 1970 and is derived of Saint Christophorus, the Patron Saint for all travellers.

page last updated: 12-08-2014
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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