Victoria’s Large Air Tankers are state strategic assets that are based at Avalon Airport but can be deployed across Victoria according to need and the identified risk. Avalon, Australia - February 24, 2015: Coulson Coulson Aviation Lockheed EC-130Q large aerial fire fighting aircraft N130FF dropping a load of water. Mr. Alder said they may experiment toward the end of the 2018/2019 bushfire season with a fixed wing large airtanker (the C-130Q, T-131) using NVIS/NVG, but there is much work still to be done to design the trial and obtain the necessary regulatory approvals. The SEATs can also be supplemented by other aircraft on Call When Needed (CWN) arrangements if required. A 15,000-litre firefighting plane is to be based in Queensland to combat large bushfires like the blazes that destroyed dozens of homes in the state's south-east over this summer. LATs can only operate at a limited number of Victorian airbases because of their size. In early to mid-December the MAPs for two other large airtankers will begin for another C-130Q and a RJ85 from Coulson and FieldAir/Conair, respectively. Have a fire aviation news tip? Avro RJ85 waterbomber‎ (8 C) ... Cl 215 fighting the Pagami Creek Fire, 2011.png 1,024 × 741; 346 KB. The extensive planning and proactive response from all Conair’s teams translated into a seamless trip south! To get the aircraft over the Pacific, a ferry fuel system is installed in its body, consisting of five 500 US gallon fuel bags in five dedicated leakproof containers. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Ryan is a former police officer that turned his skills toward the aviation industry. “We aim to continue and extend the helicopter NVIS firebombing trial in Victoria, operationalizing the learnings from the Victorian trial earlier this year, but it will be in small, careful steps” Richard Alder, General Manager of NAFC said. The Conair RJ85 fleet is currently the largest and newest single aircraft type Large Air Tanker fleet in the World today. When departure day from Canada came, the two pilots and two maintenance engineers boarded Hunter knowing it was fully fueled, well maintained, qualified, prepped, and ready for the journey ahead. After a decade of providing story and photography content featured globally in the industry, Ryan joined Marsayl Media as the editor of AerialFire in 2019. Conair crews were responsible for fitting a long range fuel tank to the aircraft for the long journey to Australia. Air tanker 165. Christening the new facility was Conair’s Tanker 166, an RJ85 from Canada that is spending the Northern Hemisphere winter down under. There will be six large air tankers from North America working in New South Wales and Victoria this summer. For it to be used in Australia it must first receive their regulatory approvals. Months before departure to Australia, Conair’s maintenance team identifies qualified aerial firefighting maintenance engineers for the Australian deployment. Conair’s Q400AT and Q400 MR: A Sustainable Aerial Firefighting Solution. on Air tankers support firefighters at the Deep Space Network near Canberra, Australia, on Aussies set the summer lineup for their firefighting aircraft, “Aussies set the summer lineup for their firefighting aircraft”, on Excellent video of RJ85 drop on Carr Fire, Australia sets their firefighting aircraft lineup for the bushfire season, Portable air tanker base at Canberra used for the first time, Victoria establishes new air tanker base at East Sale, Air tankers support firefighters at the Deep Space Network near Canberra, Australia, Aussies set the summer lineup for their firefighting aircraft, first flight tests for the U.S. Interagency Airtanker Board, Aussies experimented with dropping water from helicopters at night in Victoria, Excellent video of RJ85 drop on Carr Fire, Three large air tankers are working the bushfire in Western Australia, Triple Nickles, paratroopers who fought wildfires during World War II, Photos of PBY-6A air tankers from the 1960s and 1970s, Chief Ranger/Pilot for Alaska’s Northern National Parklands Receives National Aviation Safety Award. A fire that was a few kilometers away from NASA’s Deep Space Network of satellite antennas near Canberra, Australia was attacked by firefighters on the ground assisted by large air tankers that have migrated below the equator for the Australian summer.. Seen in these photos are a C-130Q (T-134) and an RJ85 (T-165). As Australia moves into their summer and enters the traditional beginning of their bushfire season the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in finalizing the lineup of firefighting aircraft for the 2019-2020 season. New Beginnings for Former ... fire fighting" Aero-Flite Canadair CL-415 tackling a blaze at Del Norte County - … A portable air tanker reloading base at Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory was used recently for the first time. The video is by @nascom1. Click on a title to visit the episode page & download or listen to the episode from there. Continue reading “Aussies set the summer lineup for their firefighting aircraft”. The additional COVID-19 paperwork prepared to accompany Hunter was there to support if needed. Albury, in NSW can also accommodate the LATs if required. Already in place and available are the NSW RFS 737 (Tanker 138) and a FieldAir/Conair Avro RJ85 (Tanker 165) both based for now on the outskirts of Sydney at Richmond, New South Wales. To ensure Victoria has protection, a New South Wales-based LAT will move to Victoria during this period. (map). On arrival in Australia, the Brisbane Approach Controller thanked the crew for “coming out today.” The airport itself was completely empty. Victoria also has a surge capacity of up to 100 aircraft that can supplement the core fleet when needed. The airframe of the aircraft and many other key areas were … Three other tankers with their primary base at Richmond include a 737 (T-137), a C-130Q (T-134), and another RJ85 (T-165). “At this stage”, he continued, “it is anticipated that night firebombing will only occur on fires where the aircraft crew has operated during the day – so at this stage there won’t be any initial attack at night.”. Conair painters remove and replace all tail numbers and apply nose and cowling decals appropriate to Australian requirements. The crews conduct up to 6 weeks of heavy maintenance tasks, forecasted to ensure no significant maintenance is required during fire contract operations. The Conair team was safely tucked away in their hotel on arrival in Australia for a two week quarantine period. We have undertaken a detailed evaluation of both the BAe 146 and Avro RJ85 including simulator and flight testing of the aircraft in the demanding low-level profile required in The final decision on which type will be made shortly, according to how the season is developing.”. A BAE Systems-built Avro RJ85 Airtanker has arrived back in Canada after completing nearly three months of aerial A total of six large air tankers from North America have been working in Australia during their 2018-2019 summer. All photos are by the Canberra DSN. The RJ85 Heads Downunder. Images Show Aftermath of Massive Fire as Aerial Firefig... Erickson Air Crane “Camille” Burned in Arso... Several Fires Continue Spread in New Mexico, Naval Station Norfolk brings back the ‘Bambi Bucket’ to put out fires, save lives, Blue Sky Network’s Scottsdale, Arizona Facility Receives the AS9100 Certification, Hillsborough County – Leading The Way on Multi-Agency Training, McDermott Aviation Continues to Fight Western Australia Fires, Kestrel Aviation Launches FireHawk 1 in Australia, Combination of ground and aerial reseeding in Wenas Wildlife Area totals over 1300 acres to date. Preparations for Hunter’s ferry flight to Australia annually is an exercise in coordination and communication between all Conair departments to ensure every facet of the trip and subsequent 4-month firefighting role locked down for overseas operations. RJ85, T-165  (Aeroflite/Conair via FieldAir) based in Sydney (Richmond); B-737,  T-137 (Coulson)  based in Sydney (Richmond) – subject to  regulatory approvals; RJ85, T-166  (Aeroflite/Conair via FieldAir) based in Sydney (Richmond)/Dubbo; C-130Q, T-134 (Coulson) based in Sydney (Richmond); RJ85, T-163  (Aeroflite/Conair via FieldAir) based in Melbourne (Avalon); C-130Q, T-131 (Coulson) based in Melbourne (Avalon). During each maintenance break, its pilots undergo intensive training from Conair’s Training + Tactics Centre, including ground, flight, and line instruction from experts with decades of aerial firefighting experience. (This is an “extra” for the 2018-19 season only, considering the predicted above-normal potential of the fire season on the east coast of Australia). In the video below is the C-130Q. Contracts are in place for four large privately owned large air tankers and nine large Type 1 helicopters. Required fields are marked *. In Europe, each country has its own fleet of aircraft – some are civil and some military and each have their own standard operating procedures. The nine Type 1 helicopters under exclusive use contract will include six S-64E Air-Cranes (Kestrel/Erickson) and three S-61s (Coulson). Picture by Jeff Zimmerman. We are catching up on some photos sent in by our readers. This season, the RJ85 and crew were strategically based in Dubbo, approximately 300 km (186 Miles) Northwest of Sydney. Screenshot from the video below of BAe-146 air tanker. Hunter, the RJ85 LAT demonstrates water bombing capability this morning at Dubbo. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “The updated seasonal outlook confirmed the forecast of an above normal fire risk in East Gippsland. Hunter has already been busy this last weekend assisting with fire fighting in the Tamworth area. It is the first time a portable retardant base has been used at Canberra. With COVID-19 this year, the team has been proactively planning, anticipating potential supply delays and longer shipping times. Seen in these photos are a C-130Q (T-134) and an RJ85 (T-165). From April to August, “Hunter” works firefighting missions on forest fires in western Canada. We posted a video on August 14 of a BAe-146 air tanker dropping retardant on a fire. Conair Group Inc. of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, formerly known as Conair Aviation, is a company specializing in retrofitting firefighting aircraft, maintaining customer and company-owned aircraft and aerial firefighting.Conair currently [when?] This includes six Erickson S-64E Aircranes, as well as five Type 2 /Type 3 helicopters that will be specially equipped for intelligence gathering, with gimbaled sensors and on-board image processing, mapping, and transmission gear. News & commentary about aerial firefighting, air tankers, and helicopters. Video: Moment a fire-fighting plane nearly crashes into a mountain ridge after its distracted pilot became fixated on putting out the flames . For the past three years, the Conair RJ85 has traveled from its home hangar at Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, to New South Wales, Australia, to support government agency partners and local firefighters in protecting communities and natural resources from wildfires during their summer season. Securite Civile was the first firefighting agency in the world to use the dash-8 as a fire fighting aircraft. Against predictions, the -200/RJ85 were the … An RJ85 nicknamed Boomer, is available in East Sale today (January 11) and Saturday, and could be deployed based on conditions and other requirements across the state. Masks were mandatory with restrictions in place from being on the street unless exercising. Once everything is installed, Hunter is rolled out for extensive ground runs and fuel system tests, capped off by a post-maintenance and ferry fuel test flight to ensure all systems are in perfect working order. Flying from Canada to Australia is a stretch for the RJ85 at over 20 hours of flight time. Australia’s National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) has virtually settled on its lineup of the country’s firefighting aircraft for the 2018-2019 bushfire season which is getting underway. It generated many comments, with one person writing “it doesn’t appear to be a problem” while others considered it a good cautionary learning opportunity. Aircraft types: P2V, HC-130H, BAe-146, MD-87, C-130Q, RJ85, 737 and USAF C-130H/J equipped with Modular Airborne Fire Fighting Systems (MAFFS). Details on this extremely close call are sparse but what is known is the plane is a RJ85 Fire Fighting Airtanker and this near crash (…) The final touches – the expert cleaners ensure the aircraft is clean and polished. The image above is by Austin Catlin — an Avro RJ85 working on a fire in Eastern Idaho. Not all have arrived yet — T-137 and T-131 should be there soon. The five large air tankers available is one less than in 2018/2019. Today our Large Air Tanker Boomer worked to strengthen containment lines during hot and windy conditions – helping to protect a farm adjoining the bushfire in Holey Plains State Park, south of Rosedale. “If required this LAT will continue the work the other LATs and night helicopter firebombing operations have had on the Rosedale fire since Friday in support of ground crews.”. They are tight, supporting each other during missions and while on the ground, forming a small family bubble while away from home for months at a time positioned remotely at bases. Two of the Air-Cranes will be at Bankstown, and one each at Melbourne (Essendon), Melbourne (Moorabbin), Adelaide, and Perth. This includes the Planning group’s input to forecast current and future maintenance schedules and from the Purchasing and Materials departments to ensure the spare parts inventory that might be needed. So far, Conair have converted eight Avro RJ85 aircraft into the Air Tanker role with the full support of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), British Aerospace. Coulson Aviation BAE Systems 146 Avro RJ85 aerial fire fighting aircraft N355AC dropping a large load of water. RJ85, T-165  (Aeroflite/Conair via FieldAir) based in Sydney (Richmond)  –  already in place; C-130Q, T-134 (Coulson) based in Sydney (Richmond) – already in place. While exiting the area the aircraft flew closely over a ridge stirring up dust on the ground. Other recent Conair work includes the conversion of eight Avro RJ85 regional airliners to water bombers. Given this, arrangements were put in place to be able to use the RAAF base if required,” he said. The skies were empty save for the odd cargo flight. There have been calls, primarily by the French Ministry of Interior which runs the Sécurité Civile fire-fighting fleet, to standardise the SOPs across Europe as the US has, but so far nothing has materialised. Aero-Flite and Conair Aviation stated the RJ85 has capabilities that are well suited to fire fighting with excellent slow speed flight characteristics and true airspeeds in excess of 300 knots. There is no cost, and in case you change your mind each email has an unsubscribe button. Together with our Australian partner, Field Air, Flight Operations managed the logistics of the crew schedules for the entire stay in Australia, working through ferry flight planning details and coordinating routes along with fuel and overnight technical stops. Large Airtankers (LATs) can deliver from 2,000 to 4,000 gallons of fire retardant to support firefighters on the ground. The RJ85 team knows the aircraft inside and out. In late September, the RJ85 aerial firefighter heads south, taking off to battle bushfires in the southern hemisphere until February. They can operate from Avalon, Mildura and now Sale. Large Air Tankers on exclusive use contracts. employs over 250 staff and has a fleet of aircraft that are broken down into two categories; air attack (a.k.a. More about that later and see the table at the bottom for more details. The aircraft, affectionately named “Hunter” by Australians, is an AVRO RJ85 that has been custom modified by Conair with a proprietary retardant delivery system (RDS) to become an air tanker purpose-engineered for aerial firefighting. The four-engine jet aircraft has excellent low-speed and high-speed performance capabilities, making it ideal for almost any terrain, whether in an Initial Attack capacity or supporting sustained suppression missions. Conair’s crews are what makes these long complicated international flights possible. The RJ85 dropping a line of retardant. This has been made possible with strong cross-border partnerships with NSW. Despite continuing United States Forest Service (USFS) budget issues, contracts recently awarded for the 2018 Conair’s Human Resources team also coordinated with Field Air to ensure all appropriate Australian documents were obtained and that the crew was fully covered for health and welfare for the length of their deployment. Parts required are either shipped or carried on board the aircraft. The base locations for all of the aircraft could change throughout the summer as the bushfire season progresses. Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said East Gippsland had experienced very dry conditions following two record dry winters and in the last 24 hours experienced considerable lightning activity. The aircraft was working on a wildfire near Michelago, New South Wales (map). COVID-19 added to the logistical challenges at least two-fold this year. Below are shots of DC-10s at Sacramento McClellan Airport by Sergio Mara. Fire Fighting Plane Extreme Near Miss (Almsot Crashes Into Ridge) On September 24 an RJ85, Tanker 165 known as “Boomer”, completed final testing and became available joining Tanker 138, a B-737. Posted by Ryan Mason | Jan 5, 2021 | Aerial Fire News, Feature Stories, International Operations, LAT, Print Editions | 0 |. March 19, 2015, Victoria, B.C. The equivalent Avro variants were RJ70, RJ85 and RJ100. Still, the timely pre-departure COVID-19 test proved to be an essential aspect of the trip, with each touch down requiring proof of a recent negative result from all those on board. The crew was met in Honiara with a hospital van to transport them to a quarantine hotel. NSW RFS photo. To the airtanker operator, this means Conair partners with Australian aerial firefighting and aviation specialist Field Air Group, who provides a support staff of 50 to assist during the aircraft’s operational season.. Once routing was approved, overnight accommodations had to be sourced from limited options, and health assessments were performed, including COVID-19 testing. Rick MacNevin and his Conair team obtain all the documentation and ensure the weights of the installed components associated with the ferry trip, both temporary and permanent, are tracked and accounted for. Like the United States and other fire-prone areas, Australia has been experiencing wildfires during times of the year when traditionally they did not occur in large numbers. PCDU Episode 130: Avalon 2017 – Alpha April 15th, 2017; PCDU Episode 129: Going Back to School February 28th, 2017; PCDU Episode 128: Unprecedented October 30th, 2016; PCDU Episode 127: From the Vault July 17th, 2016 Photo by Jeff Bough. Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Isaac. Unlike the European air forces, participating in exercises never happens, which means working together is difficult and dangerous. According to Aero-Flite, a converted Avro RJ85 can carry 11,355 litres (3,000 US gallons) of fire retardant and the aircraft’s high speed performance along with its load carry capabilities make it the ideal aircraft for aerial fire fighting. They know this multi-million dollar machine intimately, having flown critical and challenging missions at its controls for years. The overnight stops en route between Canada and Australia proved interesting at best in the new COVID-19 world. T-166’s main base this summer is Richmond (near Sydney). @FFMVic @CFAGippsland @wellingtonshire pic.twitter.com/FHZmy7vjty, — VicEmergency (@vicemergency) January 11, 2019. The group was kept entertained by Field Air gifts, including groceries, books, and jars of vegemite to enjoy while watching hours of Netflix. Safety is paramount in this unique industry. The ability to do quick turnarounds and strong performance at the fire with its excellent maneuverability, high rate of climb and turning performance. Avalon, Australia - February 27, 2015: Coulson Coulson Aviation Lockheed EC-130Q large aerial fire fighting aircraft N130FF on approach to land at Avalon Airport at sunset. There will be 77 Helicopters of all types for a variety of roles across the country. In addition, NAFC will have 51 Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs) on contract across the country,  including 2 amphibious water-scooping Fire Bosses. The three S-61s are to be based in Victoria at Colac, Mansfield,  and Ballarat. Four engine reliability providing excellent short field performance along with multiple system redundancy. The aircraft’s tank, identified on Hunter by its sizable belly, can deliver 11,355 liters (3000 gallons) of water, retardant, or gel on a fire. The NASA Deep Space Network facilities at Canberra, Australia, seen below in a file photo, are managed by CSIRO. In addition they will have the 737 that the New South Wales Rural Fire Service purchased earlier this year. The recent tender process for SEATs has not yet been signed off, but Mr. Alder expects there will be about 45 on national exclusive use contracts plus another six contracted directly to state government agencies. Just like firefighters at a fire station, health and wellness is always front of mind for the Conair group, from COVID protocol through pilot preparedness, doing everything they can to stay in top shape to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice, 24/7. In addition to aircraft systems instruction and RJ85 simulator training in fire suppression tactics, pilots learn about the mechanics of fighting fires, from strategy to fire behavior, fire weather, and human factors such as fatigue. “This was made possible due to the strong and ongoing partnership between the Australian Defense Force and Emergency Management Australia.”. First of its kind: new firefighting aircraft in Montana. The city was entirely closed except for the odd ABC store. One of Neptune Aviation’s BAe 146s was on exclusive contract with CALFIRE and during 2017 it flew over 226 hours (435 cycles), performed 343 … Coulson Aviation BAE Systems 146 Avro RJ85 aerial fire fighting aircraft N355AC taxiing at Avalon Airport. The aircraft will join another six Avro RJ85 Type 1 land-based airtankers at Aero-Flite. No other travelers were seen in the terminal as the team was processed through airport COVID protocol and immigration teams. They form part of Victoria’s core aerial fleet of 49 aircraft available for the summer season which includes a mix of water bombing aircraft, air supervision, and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft. After refueling in Oakland, Hunter made an overnight stop in Honolulu. - A BAE Systems-built Avro RJ85 Airtanker has arrived back in Canada after completing nearly three months of aerial In addition to aircraft systems instruction and RJ85 simulator training in fire suppression tactics, pilots learn about the mechanics of fighting fires, from strategy to fire behavior, fire weather, and human factors such as fatigue. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, Aerial Firefighting Thrives in Brazil with the Help of Agricultural Aviation, Agricultural pilots seek firefighting role. Here is the list: A fire that was a few kilometers away from NASA’s Deep Space Network of satellite antennas near Canberra, Australia was attacked by firefighters on the ground assisted by large air tankers that have migrated below the equator for the Australian summer. Safety is paramount in this unique industry. In early November the mandatory availability period (MAP) begins for what will be either another 737 or a  C-130Q at Richmond, provided by Coulson. As soon as Hunter returns from its Canadian commitments, tanker 166 is towed into the hangar. And based at Avalon airport in Melbourne, a C-130Q (T-131), and an RJ85 (T-163). ... Simrik Air helicopter conducts fire-fighting mission at Pathivara Temple Area. Combating these fires was a massive task for the fire-fighting community with aerial firefighters playing a prominent role. The Avionics Department removes all Canadian customer radios and installs an FM radio specific to Australian specifications and long-range communication HF radio for transiting the Pacific Ocean. Above: A second large air tanker is now operational in New South Wales. Another 8 SEATs have been contracted directly by State agencies. Amazing flying skills as aircraft tankers drop water on the Pierces Creek fire front. Download wallpapers Avro RJ85, BAe 146, fire fighting aircraft, … Conair’s Tanker 166, named Hunter, was officially greeted by Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons and others on November 5 a few days after it began assisting firefighters on a fire near Tamworth. Having the LAT based at East Sale will mean reducing the turnaround time for refueling and loading of retardant or water. The antenna in the foreground is #DSS36. It is a different world out there traveling during a pandemic, but despite all the restrictions en route, the Conair crew was treated with the utmost respect for the entire journey. Click here. After that, it’s back to Abbotsford’s home base for some needed time off, and another full servicing before it heads back into operation in Canada. Above: Conair/Aero Flite Avro RJ85 Airtanker operating in California. “Ground and air crews continue to work on the Rosedale fire, and while it is contained the underlying dryness and forecasted conditions, a LAT positioned at Sale would support the firefighting effort in the event of a flare up,” he said. The police and health authorities that greeted the group and worked with them through the process were all keen to make the experience as painless as possible under the circumstances. Fuel tank to the episode page & download or listen to the challenges. With restrictions in place from being on the street unless exercising | aerial fire ''... 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