With its then large rural communities, a particularly bad winter in 1962/63 prompted The Dáil to approve an order for the SAR-equipped Alouette III. It was to be the mainstay of Irish Air Corps rotary wing operations from Nov 1963, when the first two of three initially ordered, were based at Baldonnel; the third was delivered in Apr 1964.
A further 5 airframes were ordered with deliveries over 2 years, commencing 1972. By Aug 1987, the SAR role began to migrate to newer IAC models while the government looked to civilianise more of the SAR services and the Alouette IIIs took on a more Utility role.
The last six airframes were formally retired on 21 Sep 2007, after more than 40 years distinguished service.
|FS Eithne class|
List of Aircraft
|C/N||Mod||Built||ID In this Organisation||In other Org|
|1151||sa316b||1963|| 195: ex F-WJDH. Delivered 25 Nov 1963 as 195. wfu 21 Sep 2007, st+|
|1153||sa316b||1963|| 196: ex F-WKQB. Delivered 25 Nov 1963 as 196. Retired from servic+|
|1194||sa316b||1964|| 197: Delivered 15 May 1964 as 197. Retired from service and store+|
|1973||sa316b||1972|| 202: Delivered 24 Mar 1972 as 202. Crash landing 1996 badly damag+|
|1983||sa316b||1972|| 211: Delivered 4 Feb 1973 as 211. Noted wfu at Baldonnel Aug 2005+|
|1984||sa316b||1973|| 212: Irish Air Corps d/d 29mar73, test serial F-WMHH; wfu and st+|
|2116||sa316b||1973|| 213: Irish Air Corps d/d 16dec73 as 213;
Aug05 noted wfu at Baldo+|
|2122||sa316b||1974|| 214: Delivered 25 Mar 1974 as 214.|