Erickson 20th Fire Season in Australia
Erickson, who fought fires for nearly 50 years, has returned to Australia for its 20th year with the S-64 air crane
Erickson, December 18, 2017 - PORTLAND, Ore. — Erickson Incorporated, a leading aerospace manufacturer and global aerial services company that has fought fires for nearly 50 years, has returned to serve the citizens of Australia for its 20th year.
The October start of the fire season parallels the beginning of summer “Down Under,” and Erickson has six S-64 Aircranes located in or en route to Victoria, South Australia; New South Wales; and Perth, Western Australia. The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) extended a contract to supply Aircranes for 2017-2018, through Australian partner Kestrel Aviation.
Erickson’s first season in Australia began in 1997, with a single aircraft in Melbourne, Victoria and continued to grow and evolve to the current partnership with Kestrel Aviation which serve four states through five bushfire agencies. Erickson is remembered for raising public and international awareness of aerial firefighting effectiveness with ‘Elvis’ during the critical fire campaigns of 2001 in New South Wales.(All Erickson Aircranes have a nickname painted across the nose of the aircraft.) Four Erickson employees have served for all 20 years of the contract and look forward to returning again this year.
Douglas Kitani, Erickson CEO and Director said, “Erickson has an outstanding reputation for having some of the most experienced pilots and maintenance crews in firefighting. We appreciate the trust of our agency customers in Australia and will endeavor to do our best for the people of Australia.”
Erickson owns the world’s largest S-64 Aircrane fleet, and the Aircrane Helitanker is recognized throughout the industry as one of the most efficient and largest fire-fighting machines in the world, according to independent studies. The S-64 Helitanker is equipped with a 2,650 gallon tank capable of snorkeling via a “sea snorkel” fresh or salt water that helps provide an outstanding capability for fire authorities in both the initial attack of fast moving fires and advanced structure protection. 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, 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 on and around residential properties and structures.
About Erickson: Erickson is a leading aerospace manufacturer and global provider of aviation services and operates, maintains and manufactures utility aircraft to safely transport and place people and cargo around the world. The Company is self-reliant, multifaceted and operates in remote locations under challenging conditions specializing in Defense and National Security, Manufacturing and MRO, and Commercial Aviation Services (comprised of firefighting, HVAC, transmission line, construction, timber harvesting, oil and gas and specialty lift). With roots dating back to 1960, Erickson operates a fleet of more than 50 aircraft, is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA, and operates in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Australia.