Second helicopter test flight planed for KGH

Test will allow hospital officials to monitor landings on the roof of new Centennial tower.

Kelowna General Hospital is conducting another helicopter test flight and landing on the pad atop its new Centennial tower today at 10:30 a.m.

The test will be the second, after the first was conducted last month.

The ability to provide air ambulance helicopter service directly to  KGH is considered critical in saving time in the treatment of seriously ill and injured patients from around the Southern Interior.

The tower will open May 27, along with the new clinical services building across Pandosy Street, which is connected to the tower via a third floor skybridge.

Like the previous test flight, the helicopter today was scheduled to fly west across the lake and circle the hospital before it lands.

It will approach from the northwest, as that will be the primary route used for real patient transport.

The helicopter will depart shortly thereafter and  take off to the northeast. That will be  the secondary route, and will be used for patient transport only when weather conditions don’t permit use of the primary route.

The test flight is being conducted to allow hospital officials to monitor impacts to the KGH campus and surrounding neighbourhood from the landing and takeoff of the helicopter.