A New York Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter will be testing the National Guard's Firehawk helicopter firefighting system on the Mohawk River between the Thaddeus Kosciusko Bridge (Twin Bridges) on I-87 and the Route 9 Crescent Bridge tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 5) in Crescent, Saratoga County.
The Firehawk system consists of a 1,000-gallon tank and spray apparatus that fits beneath a Black Hawk helicopter and can be filled with a pump system and hose from a river or lake in 60 seconds.
It is able to drop all or just part of its water payload. It can also be filled with other types of fire-retardant material such as foam.
The landing gear of the Black Hawk must be modified to accommodate the system. A UH-60 helicopter assigned to the Army Aviation Support Facility at the Albany International Airport was modified to support the system as New York state agencies prepare to respond to possible brush fires during the summer months at the direction of the governor.
The Firehawk system can be used to supplement local and state firefighting capabilities.
Tomorrow's flight, designed to test the newly installed system, is expected to take place between 10 a.m. and noon. The helicopter will practice drawing water from the Mohawk River and discharging it from the tank.
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