Coulson Aviation Australia team members in various roles supported the efforts of the United States Forest Service (USFS) through the deployment of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service-owned 737 to America.
Licensed Aircraft Engineer and CASR Part 145 Responsible Manager Stuart spent around five weeks in the USA, assisting in maintenance support of Bomber 210 which was on contract with the USFS.
He flew into Minnesota from Australia, and days later the aircraft was diverted to Twin Falls, Idaho for firefighting missions.
“The USFS controls hundreds of aircraft, and the Marie Bashir was one of those dispatched. A standard day you didn’t know if you would be sitting in a particular port, end up at another one, or if it was going to be a quiet day or a busy day,” he said.
“We were on a short call contract and went wherever the USFS needed us. There was a bit of ticking off all the normal day to day tasks, but when the call (to dispatch) came through the loudspeaker, it was full action stations dispatching the aircraft to the fires.
“It’s pretty cool to see in action,” he said.
Stuart began with Coulson Aviation Australia in 2020 as a LAME (Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer), and subsequently moved into a dual LAME/Responsible Manager role with the Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASR) Part 145 Approved Maintenance Organisation.
Over the years he’s worked with Ansett Australia, a Canadian regional airline, and most recently as a Senior Engineer for Virgin Australia before starting with Coulson Aviation Australia.
Even when there’s no fire in the landscape the Australian the team is extremely busy. There is intense work involved preparing for the application to CASA for becoming an Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMO) under CASR Part 145, work on the RFS Citations and B210, carrying out scheduled winter maintenance programs, engine changes, landing gear changes, and all the other daily checks, has resulted in an “all hands-on deck” approach.
In the last 12 months the Richmond team has undertaken a lot of work on the RFS aircraft; changing engines, replacing landing gear, Cessna Citation training, Citation avionics and system upgrades.
Stuart said his dual role provided a wide variety of work planning upcoming events and projects, or recently, heading to the US to assist with fires at the coal face.
“There’s always something new going on and it’s impressive to see the Coulson Group family band together to get very complex logistical tasks accomplished,” he said.
“It’s clear to me that on both sides of the Pacific Ocean there are many engaged and dedicated people, in many diverse areas of specialty, that go the extra distance every day to achieve the goals of the organisation.”