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Standby chopper a colourful sight

The Trust Tairawhiti Rescue Helicopter team have been operating one of their standby machines for the past week while a new engine was being fitted to their normal front-line chopper in Napier.

They dubbed the standby aircraft Rainbow Racer and it is pictured above on the helipad at Waikato Hospital after transporting a Gisborne patient earlier this week.

"We figured Rainbow Racer was a good name for it, given it's got blue-coloured skids, a red tail and a yellow, orange and white body," said chopper base manager Doug Buchanan.

"We might not see the Kawasaki BK117 flying here again for a while though because it's our third standby machine. Our second one is currently in Taranaki."

Mr Buchanan said the fact the Gisborne rescue chopper operation was part of a much wider organisation meant they always had access to other helicopters. Their normal MBB BK117 machine returned from Napier yesterday.

Rainbow Racer. Picture supplied