25-Aug-2017 Source: Erickson
Andy Mills, Interim CEO and president said, “We have an outstanding reputation for having some of the best pilots and maintenance crews in firefighting. When property is at risk and a wildfire is out of control, we are called in to help control the situation.” Erickson’s Aircranes have 2,650 gallon hydrotanks and a sea snorkel that helps provide outstanding capabilities for fire authorities in both initial attack of fast moving fires and advanced structure protection.
British Columbia Canada: Erickson currently has multiple Aircrane Helitankers assisting fire authorities across British Columbia as they battle several large-scale fires that have consumed vast forested areas and released smoke visible all along the West Coast of North America.
California: Erickson currently has one Aircrane under contract with Los Angeles County, one Aircrane with Los Angeles City, one with San Diego Gas and Electric, and one under contract with CalFire in Santa Rosa, CA for initial attack and rapid response to the extreme fire conditions across California. Additional Aircranes are available to the U.S. Forest Service for western U.S. wildfires.
Greece: Erickson currently has three Aircrane Helitankers under contract to provide fire protection throughout Greece and are based in the cities of Tatoi, Elefsina and Andravida, Greece.
Turkey: Erickson currently has one Aircrane under contract in Istanbul, Turkey for year-around fire protection and emergency services response for natural disasters. Erickson has worked with the Turkish authorities for more than three years.
The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) has extended a contract with Erickson for 2017-2018, through Australian partner Kestrel Aviation, for six S-64 Aircrane helicopters to support firefighting efforts across the country. It’s expected that Erickson will provide services beginning in early October, which is the start of fire season in that part of the southern hemisphere. Earlier this year, six Aircranes fought fires in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
Erickson provides the S-64 Helitanker with a 2,650 gallon tank capable of snorkeling or scooping fresh or salt water. It has internal foam mixing capabilities and provides water or retardant dispensation utilizing eight coverage levels. The aircraft can be configured with a water cannon for high rise and structure protection. The S-64 E & F model is a twin turbine helicopter certified in Standard Category and designed exclusively for cargo carriage and external load. The F model, the larger of the two has a maximum gross weight of 47,000 lbs., a fuselage length of 88.6 feet and a rotor disk diameter of 72 feet, and a combined horsepower rating of 9,600 SHP.
As populations and development expand, aerial firefighting over residential properties and structures becomes a more crucial part of the equation. Erickson’s S-64 not only excels at supporting ground fire fighters in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), but the aircraft is capable of dipping for water in areas a fixed wing cannot access and it is able to come in slower and lower for precision placement of the water drop on and around residential properties and structures.