US Forest Service

US Forest Service retires Vietnam-era Cobra

US Forest Service retires Vietnam-era Cobra

19-Oct-2021Source: US Forest Service

This past Saturday, the last remaining USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest (Region 5) Firewatch Cobra Program Viet Nam War-era helicopter took its final flight as we transition to a new era of aerial supervision utilizing modern helicopters and implement modern technologies like fixed-wing aircraft to service a larger landscape. . Additionally, Region 5 has stood... Read more

Erickson wins three USFS 2021 fire contracts

Erickson wins three USFS 2021 fire contracts

5-Apr-2021Source: Erickson

Erickson Incorporated, a worldwide leading operator, maintainer, and manufacturer of utility aircraft, announces three new USFS Firefighting contracts for the upcoming 2021 wildfire season. The USFS cooperates with CAL FIRE, US Department of Interior agencies Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and Bureau of Indian Affairs, on aerial firefighting contracts. Erickson has been working... Read more

USFS to contract for 48 Type 1 helicopters this year

USFS to contract for 48 Type 1 helicopters this year

9-Mar-2021Source: Fire Aviation

The U.S. Forest Service (FS) is expecting to contract for 48 Type 1 helicopters for the 2021 wildfire season. These helicopters are the largest that are used for fighting wildfires and can carry between 700 and 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant. See Full Story.... Read more

US Forest Service to get new helicopter base for firefighting

US Forest Service to get new helicopter base for firefighting

19-Nov-2020Source: Daily Independent

The U.S. Forest Service has awarded a contract to a Scottsdale company to design and build a new helicopter base in northern Gila County to support firefighting activities. See Full Story. ... Read more

US Forest Service considers improvements to Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness

US Forest Service considers improvements to Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness

7-Oct-2020Source: Dauntless Air

The U.S. Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), recently released the results of the Aerial Firefighting Use and Effectiveness (AFUE) Study. The nationwide, multi-year AFUE study was chartered by the Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management Program to answer a pivotal question given the growing U.S. wildfire threat: “What are the... Read more

Kaman K-MAX® Continues as a Proven Firefighting Asset

Kaman K-MAX® Continues as a Proven Firefighting Asset

21-May-2020Source: Kaman

Kaman Air Vehicles, a division of Kaman Corporation (NYSE: KAMN), announced the United States Forest Service (USFS) awarded 40 percent of all Type 1, large helicopters exclusive use contracts, to K-MAX helicopter operators. These four-year contracts ensure immediate resources are available to the USFS when the need for firefighting arises. “We are very excited to... Read more

Court affirms limits on US Forest Service helicopter use in Idaho

Court affirms limits on US Forest Service helicopter use in Idaho

16-Mar-2020Source: US Forest Service

A federal appeals court affirmed key rulings imposed by an Idaho judge to prevent the U.S. Forest Service from again illegally authorizing the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) to conduct helicopter-assisted wildlife-collaring operations in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.  Today’s ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit... Read more

USFS heliski permit allocation unfair, says pilot

USFS heliski permit allocation unfair, says pilot

5-Nov-2017Source: HeliHub.com

US Forest Service is looking to giving lower Kenai Peninsula a permit for 200 service day usage for a heli-skiing operation in East Ptarmigan and Mount Ascension. While the offer has been welcomed by many, other feel that it is unfair and that lower Kenai is “playing second fiddle to Girdwood,” reports Homer Tribune.... Read more

Erickson wins five-year contract with US Dept of Agricultural and US Forest Service

Erickson wins five-year contract with US Dept of Agricultural and US Forest Service

2-Jun-2016Source: Erickson

Erickson has been contracted to provide helicopter transport in support of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Inventory Analysis project. Under the five-year contract, Erickson will deliver one exclusive-use, light lift helicopter for charter services to an interagency field crew led by the Alaska DNR Division of Forestry, United States Department of Agricultural... Read more

Columbia Helicopters Chinook fights first fire

Columbia Helicopters Chinook fights first fire

11-May-2016Source: HeliHub.com

Columbia Helicopters reported recently that they had added internal fire fighting tanks to its fleet of CH-47D Chinook helicopters this season, and now they have confirmed that their aircraft N471CH has fought its first fire in Minnesota. Working in the land of 10,000 lakes, the Chinook and crew fought a 100 acre fire and was... Read more

Columbia Helicopters wins US Forest Service contracts

Columbia Helicopters wins US Forest Service contracts

22-Apr-2016Source: Columbia Helicopters

With fire season rapidly approaching in the Western United States, Columbia Helicopters is prepared once again to assist in battling wildland fires. The Oregon-based company has five aircraft under contract with the U.S. Forest Service this season, and more helicopters could be made available if needed. “We have a long history of supporting Forest Service... Read more

Railroad owner seeks approval to use firefighting helicopter on adjacent US Forest Service land

Railroad owner seeks approval to use firefighting helicopter on adjacent US Forest Service land

7-May-2015Source: The Durango Herald

Al Harper, owner of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, is seeking federal permission to allow his firefighting helicopter to battle blazes on federal lands near the railroad tracks. See Full Story... Read more

USDA Forest Service selects Latitude Technologies

USDA Forest Service selects Latitude Technologies

4-Mar-2015Source: Latitude Technologies

The USDA Forest Service has awarded Latitude Technologies the contract to supply Operation Loads Monitoring  Systems (OLMS) for deployment by the US Forest Service on government and contractor  aircraft engaged in aerial wildfire fighting operations in the US over the next four years. Government-owned aircraft include Cessna TU 206 and Citation Bravo, Raytheon King Air 90, A100... Read more

USFS Vendor Summit Meeting, Boise, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

USFS Vendor Summit Meeting, Boise, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1

19-Aug-2014Source: HAI

HAI advises members of the aerial firefighting industry of a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Aviation and Contracting Vendor Summit Meeting in Boise, Idaho, September 30 and October 1. Note these are corrected dates as per a USFS announcement in FedBizOps. The meeting will be held at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho, and information regarding... Read more

US Dept of Interior and Forest Service issue helicopter safety reminder

US Dept of Interior and Forest Service issue helicopter safety reminder

12-Jun-2014Source: HAI

As this year’s wildfire season gets underway, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forestry Service have issued a safety bulletin reminding pilots of the dangers of rotor strikes — main and tail — and the situations and attitudes that can cause them. While the safety bulleting is intended for crews flying firefighting missions, many... Read more

Airtanker Base Frequency Change 2014

Airtanker Base Frequency Change 2014

17-Mar-2014Source: US Forest Service

The FAA reviews and engineers all aviation Air-to-Air AM frequencies for all Airtanker Bases each year. Usually, the frequency 123.975 MHz is assigned for this purpose. However, if the frequency is not available at a given location, the FAA will engineer an alternative frequency. Due to engineering restrictions there are several new frequency assignments/changes to... Read more

Court rejects Croman challenge to $130M US Forest contract

Court rejects Croman challenge to $130M US Forest contract

5-Aug-2013Source: Law360

The Federal Circuit shot down helicopter operator Croman Corp.’s request to force the U.S. Forest Service to take another look at its bid on a $130 million contract to provide helicopters for fighting forest fires see full story... Read more

US Forest Service adds night-flying helicopter in California

US Forest Service adds night-flying helicopter in California

6-Jun-2013Source: US Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced today that the agency will begin night helicopter wildfire suppression operations this season in Southern California. “The re-introduction of Forest Service night helicopter firefighting operations in Southern California further establishes the agency’s commitment to protect lives and property in the region,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. ... Read more

Feds issue helmet safety guideline reminder

Feds issue helmet safety guideline reminder

2-May-2013Source: HAI

With the fire season approaching and interagency aviation operations gearing up, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) this week issued an accident prevention bulletin reminding helicopter flight crews to ensure their helmets meet interagency guidelines and, more importantly, offer adequate protection. The bulletin warns that some helmets may contain outdated... Read more

US Forest Service contracts exclusive night-flight firefighting helicopter

US Forest Service contracts exclusive night-flight firefighting helicopter

27-Feb-2013Source: US Forest Service

The United States Forest Service announced Thursday it would contract a full-time night-flying firefighting helicopter beginning next year. The helicopter will be used for dropping water and flame-retardant on fires. The Forest Service plans to use the helicopter in the future to also include emergency medical transport and aerial management of controlled burns and wildfires... Read more

HAI enlists industry help to stop amendment SA2060

HAI enlists industry help to stop amendment SA2060

21-Nov-2012Source: HAI

One of the measures on tap for the U.S. Congress’s lame duck session is to pass a bill that would reform the Postal Service (S.1789), due to its serious financial issues. However, the bill contains an amendment (SA2060) that would permit all federal agencies to attend only one association meeting per year. The category of “association meetings”... Read more

Helicopter pilot commended for fire bucket rescue incident

Helicopter pilot commended for fire bucket rescue incident

13-Nov-2012Source: OPB

An Oregon helicopter pilot who rescued a firefighter from the Pole Creek Fire this summer says he feared for his job after the incident.  But a new Forest Service review commends both men for their quick thinking and decisive actions. (see full story)  File photo... Read more

Heli-skiing company cited for cutting trees in National Forest

Heli-skiing company cited for cutting trees in National Forest

4-Sep-2012Source: Methow Valley News

The U.S. Forest Service has issued a notice of non-compliance to North Cascade Heli-Skiing for cutting two dozen trees on a high ridge to create an unauthorized helicopter landing zone. (see full story)... Read more

US Forest Service to resume night firefighting in SoCal in 2013

US Forest Service to resume night firefighting in SoCal in 2013

17-Aug-2012Source: US Forest Service

Beginning next year the U.S. Forest Service will contract a helicopter capable of fighting wildfire at night in a move to strengthen the agency’s capability to suppress fires and better protect firefighters and communities in Southern California. “We have made this important decision very carefully,” said Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell.  “We have studied night... Read more

US Forest Service adds four heavy helicopters to support wildfire suppression

US Forest Service adds four heavy helicopters to support wildfire suppression

25-Jun-2012Source: US Forest Service

U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced the agency is adding four heavy helicopters to the aviation firefighting fleet. “The addition of these helicopters to our aviation fleet will increase our ability to respond quickly and aggressively to fight wildfires and protect lives and property,” said Tidwell. “We will continue to mobilize our firefighting... Read more

Erickson Air-Crane wins US Forest Service contract

Erickson Air-Crane wins US Forest Service contract

20-Jun-2012Source: Erickson Air-Crane

Erickson Air-Crane, a leading operator and the manufacturer of the powerful heavy-lift helicopter, the Erickson S-64 Aircrane, today announced that it has been awarded a new exclusive use firefighting services contract with the US Forest Service (“USFS”). Under the terms of the contract, Erickson Air-Crane will provide aerial firefighting services using one heavy-lift Aircrane helicopter... Read more

US Forest Service Chief discusses role of helicopters in fire mitigation

US Forest Service Chief discusses role of helicopters in fire mitigation

19-Apr-2012Source: HAI

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing April 18th to discuss the U.S. Forest Service’s budget. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell testified on behalf of his department, with the focus of the hearing being on the forest fire season. When asked by Sen. John Tester (D-Mont.) on how the agency will fight fires in the... Read more

US Forest Service still undecided on nighttime firefighting

US Forest Service still undecided on nighttime firefighting

21-Feb-2012Source: KPCC

Firefighters in Southern California are still waiting to find out whether the U.S. Forest Service will help them battle flames from the air, after dark.  The ban went into effect after a 1977 helicopter crash. Critics say the lack of Forest Service air support during the 2009 Station Fire allowed it to get out of... Read more

US Forest Service seeks comments on proposed changes in pilot/aircraft requirements

US Forest Service seeks comments on proposed changes in pilot/aircraft requirements

28-Jul-2011Source: US Forest Service

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest ServiceInformation Collection; Airplane Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Helicopter Pilot Qualifications and Approval Record, Airplane Data Record, and Helicopter Data Record AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice; request for comment. SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and... Read more

US Forest Service snub National Guard as fire burns 240 sq.miles

US Forest Service snub National Guard as fire burns 240 sq.miles

22-Jul-2011Source: KOB

During the last four weeks, two National Guard Black Hawks have sat at Santa Fe Airport, with full firefighting equipment while the largest fire in New Mexico burns close by.  The Las Conchas fire has burned over 240 square miles (full story)... Read more

US Forest Service sued for herding bison with helicopters

US Forest Service sued for herding bison with helicopters

19-May-2011Source: Moscow-Pullman Daily News

An environmental group is suing the U.S. Forest Service over plans to use a helicopter to drive bison from Montana into Yellowstone National Park.... Read more

Dept of Interior and US Forest Service close La Grande Airtanker Base

Dept of Interior and US Forest Service close La Grande Airtanker Base

1-May-2011Source: US Forest Service

The La Grande Airtanker Base is closed due to significant damage to various taxi routes including the apron.  The Airtanker Base shall remain closed to all airtanker operations until repairs are completed. Forest and Regional Fire and Aviation staff consulted with the National Aviation staff prior to closing the Airtanker Base. A portion of the... Read more

New US Forest Service firefighting standards could cost a $50K upgrade per aircraft

New US Forest Service firefighting standards could cost a $50K upgrade per aircraft

22-Mar-2011Source: WSLS Channel 10

The new standards apply only to call-when-needed contracts, and they apply only to the Type III, smaller type of helicopters used for dropping between 100 and 300 gallons of retardant and transporting up to eight firefighters.  These aircraft will now be required to be equipped with wire-cutting kits... Read more

NTSB to meet on 2008 USFS firefighting crash

NTSB to meet on 2008 USFS firefighting crash

3-Dec-2010Source: NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public Board meeting on Tuesday, December 7, at 9:30 a.m., in its Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. There is one item on the agenda. The Board will consider a final report on the following accident: On August 5, 2008, a Sikorsky... Read more

Bambi Bucket hosts Technical Briefing & Sponsorship at HAI & USFS Meetings

Bambi Bucket hosts Technical Briefing & Sponsorship at HAI & USFS Meetings

19-Nov-2010Source: SEI Industries

SEI Industries Ltd. is proud to be offering a Bambi Bucket Technical Session during the Helicopter Association International (HAI) meetings in Boise, Idaho this week. The Bambi Bucket technical session will offer key repair and maintenance tips to this important group of long term Bambi Bucket users. The slow fire season in North America in... Read more

HAI promotes Fire Safety Forum

HAI promotes Fire Safety Forum

9-Nov-2010Source: HAI

Join helicopter firefighting operators under contract to the U.S. Forest Service or Department of the Interior and attend HAI’s 3rd Annual Fall Government Contracting Committee meeting and Firefighting Safety Forum in Boise, Idaho, November 17th and 18th – sponsorship opportunities are available! Attendees will have the opportunity to sit in on the Government Contracting Committee’s... Read more

US Forest Service appoints new Fire and Aviation Management boss in California

US Forest Service appoints new Fire and Aviation Management boss in California

25-Oct-2010Source: US Forest Service

Regional Forester Randy Moore is proud to welcome Jeanne Wade Evans, who will serve as Deputy Regional Forester for the National Forests in California. Jeanne Wade Evans, Supervisor on the San Bernardino National Forest since October of 2005, will move to the regional level to oversee Fire and Aviation Management as well as State and... Read more

US Forest Service alerts pilots on LatLong coordinates

US Forest Service alerts pilots on LatLong coordinates

30-Jun-2010Source: US Forest Service

The United States Forest Service (USFS) has released an information bulletin regarding latitude/longitude coordinates – focusing on potential confusion between latlong coordinates in degrees and minutes when the aircraft GPS is configured to use degrees and tenths. Please click here to read their Information Bulletin FS 10-02... Read more

Forest Service helicopter stationed in Auburn for now

Forest Service helicopter stationed in Auburn for now

17-Jun-2010Source: The Union

The Forest Service’s Bell 212 helicopter will fly out of Auburn, Station 10, for a month during the early part of fire season, said Fire Chief Jeanne Pincha-Tulley.... Read more

USFS Safety Bulletin: Accident Prevention and Medications, Flying & Fitness

USFS Safety Bulletin: Accident Prevention and Medications, Flying & Fitness

7-Jan-2010Source: USFS

Subject: Medications, Flying, and Fitness Area of Concern: All Aviation Activities Distribution: All Aviation Users... Read more

'Helitorch' ignites phase of 1,000-acre prescribed burn

'Helitorch' ignites phase of 1,000-acre prescribed burn

25-Sep-2009Source: Great Falls Tribune

The U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday launched the second phase of its largest ever prescribed fire in the Lewis and Clark National Forest.  Using a “helitorch,” the Scapegoat Wilderness was intentionally set ablaze at the confluence of Hoadley Creek and the South Fork of the Sun River, 25 miles west of Augusta. A helitorch is... Read more

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