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Specialised Capabilities


Starlite have a South African Civil Aviation (SACAA) Part 138 endorsement on the Part 127 Air Operators Certificate and HEMS approval from the IAA which allows for Air Ambulance Operations on both the Irish and South African licence.

Procedures have been developed specifically for Medevac operations in remote and underdeveloped areas. These are strictly adhered to and applied to all Medevac contracts which Starlite conduct in order to ensure a safe and successful operation.

Night Vision Systems (NVS)

Night Vision Goggles (NVGs) enhances night flying safety exponentially. Starlite obtained the first ever official approval for Night Vision Systems (NVS) from the SACAA and EASA as a Civilian Air Transport Operator and are the leaders in this field of operation. Starlite utilise NVS in a purely civilian role to enhance the safety of night operations throughout the spectrum of our helicopter operations. It is especially beneficial during Medevac, SAR and Helicopter Hoist operations by offering the following advantages:

  • NVS provides the ability to conduct night VFR flights which would normally not be possible by improving a pilot’s situational awareness and provides visual contact with ground and obstacles at night.
  • NVS allows flights to unprepared Landing Zones (LZ) at night offering the ability to land as you would in a day VFR scenario.

Forward Looking Infra Red (FLIR)

Starlite have approved operating procedures for the use of FLIR. The approvals are based on the FLIR system used on a Puma 330 J and are documented and certified by the SACAA. The Puma LEO observation system provides stable television & thermal images and a recording facility for debriefing and further dissemination of gathered information. It allows for real-time video to be streamed making it possible to immediately change the mission objectives, targets and timings. Data is recorded, so detailed study of certain situations is possible for planners.

The following operations are greatly enhanced with the support of FLIR:

  • Search and Rescue
  • Command and Control
  • Firefighting
  • Reconnaissance and Surveillance


Starlite are licenced to perform Winching Operations and have a significant number of aircrew who are experienced to perform these operations in all environments.

Winching requires precision hovering and as the pilot can invariably not see the target, it is up to the winch operator to guide the pilot to ensure the helicopter gets into the correct position and then maintains position as required, to affect a successful lift.

Training and practice are vital and onsite training flights are regularly performed by Starlite to ensure that the Starlite Standard Operating Procedures are strictly adhered to for this purpose.

Fast Rope Insertion and Rappelling

Both fast roping and rappelling can be used to provide an efficient and safe method to put rescue crew and HEMS crew members into terrain where a helicopter is prevented from landing using ropes from both sides of the helicopter and is therefore an integral part of helicopter operations. Extraction and evacuation can be done via winching or short haul depending on the situation. Starlite is approved to provide this service.