1-Nov-2010 Source: HeliHub.com
A PZL W-3 Sokol has been in Chile since at least April 2010 on a Polish registration while certification issues are sorted. This process was finally completed in September, and local registration CC-ACJ was issued and it was noted as such on 30th September at Vina del Mar – Rodelillo Airport (photo here). The operator is CONAF – Corporacion Nacional Forestal de Chile – the National Forestry Corporation of Chile.
This is the first Sokol of a reported order for four, although it is currently unclear on whether the remaining three are awaiting funding or not. The first Sokol is fitted for a firefighting role with an expandable external ventral tank capacity of 1,500 liters, and an external Bambi bucket of 1,800 liters. It also has internal tank for retardant. Dependant on its role-fit, the aircraft can also carry nine firefighters plus a supervisor, and has a hoist to facilitate the rapid deployment of such crew in difficult places such as forests and on steep slopes.