Coulson Aviation Australia attracts people who possess a broad range of experiences, a passion for flying, and a strong desire to help communities.

Aircrew Officer Duncan Macdonald is no different. He feels a strong sense of purpose when working in a Bell 412 helicopter for the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.

Duncan came from the New South Wales Police Force, where he worked in various roles, including his work as a Tactical Flight Officer with the Aviation Support Branch.

As an Aircrew Officer with Coulson Aviation Australia, Duncan and his team members support NSW RFS missions, the deployment of the volunteer Remote Area Response Team (RART) members, and working with volunteer Aviation Rescue Crew Officers (ARCs) serving to protect communities during bushfires and floods.

The “ARCs” perform down-the-wire (DTW) rescue duties and along with Coulson Aviation Australia Aircrew Officers and Pilots, they are now honing their skills as mission systems operators for intelligence gathering.

In Duncan’s Own Words

“The Aircrew Officer role is fairly broad but fundamentally we are on the other side of the flying operation, doing all the things the pilot doesn’t do. The job of the aircrew is to safely provide a means to meet the needs of the NSW RFS air-supported mission plans,” Duncan said.

“It feels good to be able to do a job that is aligned with my values. I wake up in the morning and know what the purpose of my job is. Everyone is enthusiastic about building a smart and effective air support unit within the NSW RFS.”

“Naturally there’s a sense of adventure and anticipation of heightened experiences in doing our job as best we can with the NSW RFS, but that is the carrot that we spend much of our time preparing and waiting for.”

“I like the mixture of indoor and outdoor work, the sedentary times followed by prolonged physical and mental effort. I enjoy the whole mechanical and technical side of the job, travelling to different places with workmates, working alongside NSW RFS volunteers, meeting new people, and seeing our beautiful country along the way…….and flying helicopters is a lot of fun.”