10,000 Flying Hours for the La Rochelle Dauphin

January 30, 2019 (Google Translation) – On January 18, 2019, the Flottille 35F Dauphin N helicopter No. 6081 passed the 10,000 hour mark symbolized by the La Rochelle Airport Fire Brigade.

In 1990, the French Navy acquired three Dauphin AS365Ns . These helicopters bearing the numbers 6019, 6081 and 6091, are distributed on the metropolitan coast in La Rochelle, Cherbourg and Touquet. Intended for many public service missions (safeguarding at sea, preservation of goods and people, pollution research), they are then armed by the company Heli-Service. From 1993, it is up to the sailors of Flottille 35F to ensure its implementation.

In 10,000 hours of flight, the Dauphin 6081 totals 28 years of rescue operations at sea conducted from the three metropolitan maritime facades (Mediterranean, Atlantic, Channel – North Sea) where it is stationed in permanent alert.

The 35F La Rochelle detachment thus provides a permanent maritime rescue alert since 3 December 1993 under the orders of the Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic. Originally stationed at NAS Rochefort, it is transferred to the airport of La Rochelle on 1 st September 1997 and operates in a vast theater of intervention that extends approximately from Bayonne to Quiberon. The reactivity imposed by the missions results in a take-off time of less than one hour from 08h to 18h, weekends included, and less than two hours of night. To cope with the constraints arising from these alert periods, two teams of six people take turns every two weeks.

The crews maintain their recognized expertise in winching at sea, day and night, thanks to the weekly competitions of the stars of the SNSM, the Customs, the Maritime Gendarmerie or the military ships of passage.

Since its creation, the detachment based in La Rochelle has carried out 1773 takeoffs on alert and rescued 823 people.