The Australian summer contracts are at an end for four of Coulson’s heavy aircraft.
A C-130, a Sikorsky S61 large helitanker, and two CH-47D very large helitankers have completed their time for this season with New South Wales and Victoria.
The 737 FIRELINER operating as the first ever national Large Air Tanker (LAT), remains in Australia for a while longer under the contract with the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) in partnership with the Commonwealth Government.
While it has been a relatively quiet fire season in Australia generally, Western Australia has had a number of large bushfires and Coulson has mobilized assets from across Australia to assist. The Coulson Aviation 737 LAT has been providing invaluable assistance alongside the other contracted aircraft and dedicated emergency services personnel.
Coulson continuing to innovate
Coulson Aviation continued this year to undertake NVG operations in Australia in the CH47D, building on the earlier success of NVG operations in the S61’s in Victoria, and the ability to run 24/7 operations in California.
The Victorian crew continued to provide support for the current Victorian NVG trial while NSW led its first ever NVG program. Coulson Aviation continues to innovate and lead the industry in high volume NVG firebombing and was honoured to continue the operation this year in Australia.
Showing the fleet versatility
At the time of massive flooding in New South Wales in early March, the Sydney-based CH47D was reconfigured in only a matter of hours with the removal of its tank so it could assist with heavy lift of essential supplies and equipment, showing the versatility of the aircraft and the teams.
This highlighted the versatility of all Coulson’s multi-role aircraft and while some helicopters were being packed up and shipped back to North America, Coulson was able to continue significant operations supporting the emergency service agencies.
Under the three year plus contracts awarded through NAFC, the CH47’s, S61 and a Large Air Tanker will return later in the year in time for the next Australian summer period.
Coulson Aviation has operated in Australia for more than 20 years, providing aerial support across multiple Australian States.
The Australian arm of the organisation Coulson Aviation Australia continues to support New South Wales Rural Fire Service in operating five aircraft owned by RFS.