The Direction de la Défense et de la Sécurité Civile (DDSC) of Marseilles, France, has selected StandardAero to provide PW100 and PT6 engine maintenance services. The total contract value for the first six years is expected to be approximately $20 million. A six-year contract extension is possible.
Investigators are continuing to study why a Carson Helicopters Sikorsky S-61N “Fire King” crashed August 5, killing nine of 13 aboard. This was the first major crash of an S-61 in 25 years.
With the recent wildfires in Northern California reaching historic proportions, the human toll rose as a helicopter ferrying an 11-member firefighting crew from the front lines crashed on August 5, resulting in nine fatalities (see story on facing page).
Sikorsky S-64F, Torino, Italy, June 1, 2008– The Erickson Air-Crane aerial firefighting demonstration S-64 crashed in Lake Aviguana, near Torino, in VMC. The helicopter was flying over the lake at 40 to 50 knots to scoop up water when it hit the surface of the lake. The Italian government is investigating the accident. The commercial pilot-in-command and copilot reported minor injuries.
Summer means fire season, and Columbia Helicopters’ tandem-rotor Chinooks and Vertols have already been dispatched to their bases, primarily throughout the Western U.S., under contracts with the U.S. Forest Service.
Oregon-based Erickson Air-Crane recently signed an 8.5-year, e200 million deal covering the continued operation of four S-64F Aircranes flown in support of Italy’s Department of Civil Protection for fire protection and disaster relief through 2016. Erickson has leased S-64 Aircrane Helitankers to the agency since 1999. Days before the deal was made public, Erickson announced substantial layoffs at its Central Point, Ore.
Air Tractor of Olney, Texas, better known for its line of Air Tractor agplanes, is working on an amphibious 10-passenger turboprop called the S-22 Surveyor.
LOCKHEED C-130A, WALKER, CALIF., JUNE 17, 2002–Engaged in a firefighting mission near Walker, the four-engine turboprop broke apart during a low-altitude run to deliver its fire-retardant load. All three crewmembers were killed and the aircraft was destroyed.
Winners of this year’s Sikorsky Award for Humanitarian Service talk to Curt Epstein about the past, present and future of helicopter use in firefighting. Click here to watch.
With fires in Colorado and Arizona consuming more than 500,000 acres of forest earlier this summer and other wildfires burning three million acres across the U.S. as of July 4, Evergreen Helicopters Inc. (EHI) of McMinnville, Ore., scrambled to keep crews in action to meet Forest Service and international fire-suppression needs.