EMERGENCY services were placed on a full scale response footing on Saturday afternoon after an ambulance helicopter crew reported a mid air malfunction.
The helicopter, based at Orange, was rushing a seriously ill male patient from Mudgee Hospital to a hospital in Sydney when a warning light was activated in the cockpit indicating a possible problem.
The crew radioed the ambulance control centre and advised they would be diverting to Lithgow for a potential emergency landing.
Two fire brigade units, ambulance and police crews monitored the helicopter’s progress towards Lithgow and rushed to Lithgow Hospital.
The drama ended when the helicopter landed without incident a short time later on the hospital helipad.
The patient was quickly transferred to a Lithgow ambulance vehicle and continued the remainder of the journey to Sydney by road.
There was never any danger to the crew or the patient and the emergency was reported to have been triggered by a faulty warning light that indicated failing oil pressure.
After a check of the equipment the helicopter took off a short time later and returned to Orange.
It was the first reported incident of its kind in the Lithgow area in the many years that the lifesaving medivac helicopters have been operating.