News

RTHK - #GovernmentFlyingService

An episode introducing the Government Flying Service is now available through the following link (in Cantonese only):

TV Program

 
 

RTHK Program " 精靈一點 : 健康人物專訪- 飛行任務 "

An episode introducing the Government Flying Service is now available through the following link (in Cantonese only):

TV Program

Radio

 
 

Thematic Article – Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

The most considerable threat to outdoor activities during the summer months is heat illness, which encompasses any scenario where a person becomes exposed to extreme heat. Heat illness can result in heat exhaustion, or if not properly treated, can result in a heat stroke, which is life threatening. So how prepared are you to embrace the heat?

Challenge yourself to the following quiz on heat illness:

Heat illness quiz

Nailed the quiz? Want to learn more on heat illnesses? Read on!


Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke Are Preventable

Despite the fact that they are preventable, heat related illnesses accounted for 45% to 50% of GFS search and rescue callouts during the summer months. This article provides information and helpful tips to help you better prepare your next hiking trip / outdoor activity.


What Causes Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke?

When we get hot, during exercise or exposure to the sun, our body normally cools itself down by means of sweating and increasing breathing rate. However, this might not be enough in an extremely hot and/or humid environment. In these cases, the body temperature rises faster than it can cool itself down, heat exhaustion or even heat stroke will occur.


What Are The Differences Between Heat Exhaustion And Heat Stroke?

From Heat exhaustion to Heat stroke

Heat exhaustion Heat stroke
Cool, pale, clammy skin Dry and hot skin
Conscious Unconscious
Normal body temperature Body temperature >= 41°C
Rapid heart beat Cardiac arrest if not treated


What Do We Observe On-scene?

During summer time, GFS is frequently tasked to rescue those suffering from heat illness at the countryside.

Heat exhaustion cases

Victims commonly present with dizziness, headache, nausea and shortness of breath. Our immediate treatments include rapid cooling and fluid rehydration. The helicopter downwash and cabin air-conditioning can also be effective measures to cool down the victims. The rescue crew will prepare them for onward ambulance transfer if their conditions are stable.

Heat stroke cases

However, for victims with prolonged exposure to extremely hot and humid environment, their body will progressively lose the function to regulate the body heat. Signs and symptoms of convulsion, incontinence, altered mental state or even loss of consciousness may develop. The body temperature can reach 41°C or higher; and that is heat stroke.

First aid treatment must be taken promptly or otherwise, their lives will be in danger. In addition to rapid cooling, the rescue crew will closely monitor their conditions, provide the intravenous therapy and prepare for active resuscitation if the case further deteriorates. These cases will be transferred to hospital directly.

“Cool Met Stuff” Video by HKO


What Should I Do As A Bystander?

Before the rescue parties arrive, you can:

  1. Move him/her to a shaded area or provide shelter if possible
  2. Remove excessive clothing and maintain good ventilation
  3. Cool down by water spray or iced fluid
  4. Provide fluid with electrolytes for conscious victim

When the rescue helicopter is around you:

  1. Stow all loose articles that can be blown off by downwash e.g. cap, towel
  2. Draw the rescuers’ attention by waiving colorful object (torch at night)
  3. When the helicopter is approaching your location, squat down to prevent sudden loss of balance due to downwash

How Should I Prepare For My Next Trip?

Stay Cool

  • Wear appropriate clothing
  • − Lightweight, light coloured, loose-fitting

  • Schedule your activity
  • − Pick morning or evening
    − Rest in shady areas

  • Know your limit
  • − Cut down on exercise during the heat (or reduce intensity)
    − Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water / fluids
  • − Drink more water / fluids, at regular interval. Don’t wait until you are thirsty
    − Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks

  • Replace salt and minerals
  • − Sweating removes salt and minerals from the body that need to be replaced

Stay Informed

  • Weather updates
  • − Check the HKO website / HKO mobile app for latest weather updates

  • Know the signs
  • − Learn the symptoms of Heat Exhaustion / Heat Stroke
    − Cross monitor the conditions with your friends throughout the activity

Reference: Centre for Health Protection

 
 

Police Magazine: Weekly Topic – Mountain Rescue

On hot summer days, the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) often issues very hot weather warnings. There are still citizens who are not afraid of the blazing sun and go for hiking and water sports in the suburbs on weekends. Hiking injuries and suspected heatstroke accidents are prone to occur and very often require rescue by the Government Flying Service (GFS). Everyone should be adequately equipped for outdoor activities, and understand the potential risks involved.

https://youtu.be/6kATVq-BKbA?t=903

 
 

Emergency Services • Coming to Your Rescue by Sea, Land and Air • Chapter 3 of 3: Air

Hong Kong boasts a lot of scenic areas perfect for hiking. However, some hikers tend to venture into relatively remote and inaccessible locations. When they are caught up in accidents, rescue officers may not be able to reach and save them within a short period of time.

The Government Flying Service (GFS) plays an instrumental role in such emergencies. With immense flexibility, GFS officers are poised to work with officers from the Hong Kong Police Force as well as Fire and Ambulance Services anytime, providing the strongest backing for emergency services agencies!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipVCl_bRf9I

To revisit “Chapter 1 of 3: Sea”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amdgYMZrgGw

To revisit “Chapter 2 of 3: Land”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVrQT4Y_enY

 
 

"Cool Met Stuff" : Aviators - Tracing Radiation in the Air

One of the vital missions of the Hong Kong Observatory is to monitor the environmental radiation level in Hong Kong. Amongst other work, the Observatory, in collaboration with the Government Flying Service, conducts regular aerial radiological surveillance. We will also conduct emergency exercise every year to simulate the prompt monitoring of aerial radiation level in the unlikely event of a nuclear incident. The latest episode of "Cool Met Stuff" tells you in detail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1s36knBIHk&feature=emb_logo

You are welcomed to view the broadcast of "Cool Met Stuff" from the following link: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/wxonairyoutubec2.htm

Please also refer to the following webpage for the broadcast schedule of television stations: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/weatheronair.htm

 
 

Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Exercise "POWERSKY"

In recent years, the volatile and rapidly evolving terrorist landscape poses a heightened threat to the global security. To ensure that Hong Kong’s counter terrorism capability and preparedness are adequate and be enhanced continuously, the Inter-departmental Counter Terrorism Unit (ICTU) was set up in April 2018 under the coordination of the Security Bureau. ICTU comprises members from six disciplined services, including the Hong Kong Police Force, the Immigration Department, the Customs and Excise Department, the Correctional Services Department, the Fire Services Department and the Government Flying Service.

In order to enhance the coordination amongst ICTU and its member departments on CT intelligence and response, and to enhance public awareness on CT, ICTU organized a major inter-departmental CT exercise, codenamed "POWERSKY".

 
 

Second wind for retired plane

Most retired aircraft end up on the scrapheap. But the Government Flying Service has bequeathed one of its old workhorses to the community, to give the public an accessible keepsake of Hong Kong's aviation history.

The Jetstream 41 fixed-wing plane was part of the GFS fleet for 17 years before it was retired in 2016. It was used for search and rescue missions, medical evacuations, law enforcement and aerial surveying.

Recently, it was given a permanent resting place in Kai Tak Runway Park to play a new role - educating the public.


Details
 
 

"Cool Met Stuff" : Aviators - Typhoon

In order to ensure aircraft safety on ground, Government Flying Service has a series of procedures to prevent the aircraft from being damaged during extreme weather conditions. In this episode of the "Cool Met Stuff", we will introduce to you our precautionary procedures for the typhoon season.

This episode is now available at the "Cool Met Stuff" channel on the Observatory webpage and "MyObservatory" mobile application (programme is broadcasted in Cantonese). Enjoy the show!


You are welcomed to view the broadcast of "Cool Met Stuff" from the following link: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/wxonairyoutubec2.htm

Please also refer to the following webpage for the broadcast schedule of television stations: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/weatheronair_uc.htm

 
 

"Cool Met Stuff" : Aviators - Training

Government Flying Service (GFS) and the Hong Kong Observatory have jointly produced an episode of a series of educational programs, "Cool Met Stuff" to introduce to the public the GFS’s work as well as to enhance public's understanding on meteorology.

A new episode is now available at the "Cool Met Stuff" channel on the Observatory webpage and "MyObservatory" mobile application (programme is broadcast in Cantonese).

In this episode, our pilots and aircrewmen officers will show you parts of their daily duties as well as a typical Search and Rescue training flight. You will discover that the weather information provided by the Hong Kong Observatory has an essential role in our operations.

Enjoy the show!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKehfH7KVF4

You are welcomed to view the broadcast of "Cool Met Stuff" from the following link: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/wxonairyoutubec2.htm

Please also refer to the following webpage for the broadcast schedule of television stations: https://www.hko.gov.hk/video/weatheronair.htm

 
 

"CLAP for Youth@JC" program

Youngsters aged 15 to 21 from the "CLAP for Youth@JC" program was orgainsed by the Hong Kong Jockey Club visited Hong Kong Government Flying Service (HKGFS) in April.

Our aircrew shared with them the vision, mission and value of HKGFS, alongside with detailed introduction of the Search and Rescue, Air Ambulance, Fire Fighting mission as well as HKGFS’s supporting role to other government departments. We hope, through this visit, to kindle the youngsters’ interest in aviation and encourage them to explore the possibilities of joining the sector, especially HKGFS in future.

 
 

Government Flying Service New Member - Challenger 605 Aircraft

Government Flying Service (GFS) is pleased to announce that two Challenger 605 aircraft by Bombardier Aerospace are now in service. With a maximum range of 4000 nm (7408 km) and maximum cruising speed of 470 kts (870 km/h), the two new aircraft will be able to further enhance our capability in Long-Range search and rescue and other special mission applications, such as the air data collection related to windshear, turbulence and tropical cyclones. Its multi-role adaptability will also provide us with greater flexibility in our daily operations

 
 

The Legislative Council Panel on Security visited the Government Flying Service

The Legislative Council Panel on Security conducted a visit to the Government Flying Service on 7th October, 2015 to better understand its operation and the emergency services provided. Members first visited the Maintenance Information and Control Centre and received a briefing on the work of GFS. Members then toured the Hanger to better understand the equipment of different types of aircraft. Members also visited the Air Command and Control Centre and were briefed by the representatives of GFS on the flight dispatch and supervisory roles of the Command Centre. Before concluding the visit, Members met with the frontline staff to learn more about their daily work.

 
 

The Vice-Governor of the People's Government of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, Mr Liu Zhigeng, visited the Government Flying Service

The Vice-Governor of the People's Government of Guangdong Province and Director of the Guangdong Provincial Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, Mr Liu Zhigeng, along with the officials of the Guangdong Provincial Communications Department and the Guangdong Maritime Safety Administration visited the Government Flying Service on 23rd September 2015.

Mr Liu expressed appreciation and gratitude for the long range rescue provided by the GFS of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, in particular for two maritime rescue operations on 21st July 2015 in which the GFS rescued 20 Chinese crew members from two vessels in distress.

 
 

Examination of Estimates of Expenditure 2015-16 Controlling Officers' Reply to initial Written Questions

 
 

Government Flying Service assisted in a fire in Tai O fishing village

A fire broke out in Tai O fishing village on Lantau Island at 15:07 on 2nd May 2013. As the fire scene was remote and difficult to be reached by fire boats and fire engines, the Fire Services Department (FSD) requested assistance from the Government Flying Service (GFS). The GFS launched a Super Puma helicopter for water bombing. Several stilt houses at Tai O village were covered in severe flames and dense smoke when the helicopter arrived on scene. It was reported that some liquefied petroleum gas cylinders exploded causing the flames. Also, there were intensive stilt houses surrounding the fire scene. These factors increased the difficulty for the fire fighting. Through a good communication with the on-scene commander from the FSD, the helicopter precisely dropped four buckets of water over the flames. The fire was under control at 16:49 and the helicopter returned to the GFS headquarters. Finally, the fire was extinguished before 17:00.

 
 

Government Flying Service underslung a bomb near Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir

A bomb was found near Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir by a hiker on the afternoon of 12th March 2013. The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) of the Hong Kong Police Force confirmed that the bomb was not dangerous and suspected to be left during the Second World War. As the bomb was heavy and weighted 250 kg, it was not easy to be removed from its location which was a slope and surrounded by trees. Hence, the EOD requested assistance from the Government Flying Service (GFS). On 13th March, GFS sent a Super Puma helicopter to undersling the bomb from its location to the base of EOD at Jardine’s Lookout.

 
 

1 July 2012 - 15th Anniversary of the Establishment of the HKSAR - Fly Past

 
 

The HKCEC Heliport will be put into service starting from 28 May 2012

As of 07:00 on 28 May 2012, all flying operations by the Government Flying Service (GFS) will be transferred from our current heliport at Hung Hing Road to the heliport at Expo Drive East, next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Location
Expo Drive East, next to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Please refer to the map and photos as shown below.

Facilities
One passenger waiting room and four car parking spaces are available.
If large vans or lorries are to be used, clients should submit such request with the booking so that special arrangements can be made. The heliport is next to the Wan Chai Ferry Terminal and the Bauhinia Square Bus Terminal if public transport is required.

Boarding
As the heliport is next to a major tourist attraction, it will inevitably affect the tourists nearby if helicopters are sitting on the helipad with rotors running. To assist in the noise abatement measures, clients are advised to ensure their arrival of at least 15 minutes before the boarding time for safety briefing and boarding.

Security
To ensure the security of the facility, access will only be granted to those named on the tasking request on production of a photo ID. The only exception will be Emergency Services Staff carrying out their duties during Emergency Response.

 
 

Government Flying Service orders two Challenger 605 aircraft

Government Flying Service (GFS) is pleased to announce that Bombardier Aerospace has been awarded the tender to deliver two Challenger 605 aircraft to GFS. With a maximum range of 4000 nm (7408 km) and maximum cruising speed of 470 kts (870 km/h), we believe the two new aircraft will be able to further enhance our capability in Long-Range search and rescue and other special mission applications. Its multi-role adaptability will also provide us with greater flexibility in our daily operations. We look forward to the delivery of the two new aircraft.

The picture below shows the Challenger 605 aircraft in a tentative colour scheme.

 
 

Air Monitoring Joint Operation with The Hong Kong Observatory

On 21 March 2011, the Hong Kong Observatory and Government Flying Service conducted a Joint Operation to measure and monitor the radiation level in Hong Kong.

 
 

The Hong Kong Life Saving Society – Life Saving Star Award

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Mrs. Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee JP, officiated at the Water Safety Campaign 2009 Rescue Star & Honorary Lifeguard Incentive Scheme Presentation Ceremony on 29 May 2010. A total of 129 people who saved other peoples lives in different situations were commended, amongst them Acting Aircrewman Officer II Mr. Philip Ho from the Government Flying Service, who was honored with the 'Life Saving Star Award' for his actions during the rescue of 4 sailors in distress, 67 Nautical miles North East of Hong Kong waters on 2 February 2010.

After a rigorous adjudication process, it was announced that the Government Flying Service was the most outstanding team, and was awarded the Chairman's Trophy. The GFS rescue team was awarded the Trophy in recognition of the exemplary act of gallantry displayed during the same rescue mission on 2 February 2010.

On 2 Feb 2010, the GFS rescue helicopter crewed by Captain Ellen Yan, Captain James Sze, winch-operator Mr. Kenny Cheng and winchman Mr. Philip Ho departed Hong Kong for four sailors in distress, 67 nautical miles Northeast of HK. The on-scene weather was extremely poor with visibility down to 2 km, cloud base at around 500 feet, wind up to 35 knots and a sea swell up to 5 meters. The team located the survivors in a rough and unforgiving sea. Mr. Ho was lowered into the water and successfully rescued all of the survivors. One of the survivors was unconscious, was not breathing and had no pulse. After 30 minutes of continuous cardiac-pulmonary resuscitation and defibrillation, the survivor regained consciousness and was transferred to hospital for medical treatment.

The key to the success of the mission was the spirit of GFS – excellent crew cooperation and Crew Resource Management.

 
 

National Day 2009 - Fly Past

 
 

Award of 2009 Civil Service Outstanding Service Award Scheme – Team Award - Specialised Service Award

The Acting Chief Executive, Mr Henry Tang, commended and congratulated the winning departments and teams for their commitment to service excellence, keeping Hong Kong as a city of quality life, when officiating at the prize presentation ceremony of the 2009 Civil Service Outstanding Service Award Scheme on 29 September 2009. Government Flying Service won the Champion of the Team Award - Specialised Service Award.

In his address, Mr Tang spoke highly of the outstanding achievements of the winning departments and teams. He quoted two cases of exemplary service, including the project of intercepting drains at the Queen's Road Central and the Sichuan disaster relief operation in 2008, which amply demonstrated the pursuit of excellence and people-based culture of the civil service.

The Champion's commendable features: The GFS responded promptly after the 12 May Sichuan Devastating Earthquake had occurred. In their first-time venture into unfamiliar, far-flung regions for rescue missions, the crew fully proved their team spirit and determination. Constantly faced by great risks, the flying crews and the engineering support personnel overcame the ever-changing conditions of the quake-stricken areas and succeeded in accomplishing their rescue missions.

 
 

GFS and US Air Force Pre SAREX Exercise

 

Vice-President Xi Jinping met with members of government departments that had taken part in search and rescue efforts in Sichuan after the May 12 earthquake at the Government Flying Service hangar.

 

SAREX with US Naval Ship

On 28th July 2007, a US Naval ship hosted the Hong Kong Government Flying Service for a joint search and rescue exercise 40 kilometers south of Hong Kong, involving one Jetstream aeroplane and one superpuma helicopter. The GFS helicopter carried out landing practice and a rescue winching exercise with the US Naval Ship. This is the first time a GFS helicopter practiced rescue winching from a US Naval Ship.