Role: CH-47 Pilot
I started my flying career in the Blackhawk way back, and I’ve flown the SkyCrane.
I’ve been coming here (to Australia) on and off for 25 years – I’ve completed 12 different seasons between Ballarat, Moorabbin, Bankstown, Essendon.
This is my first year with Coulson in Australia. I was in Los Angeles during the summer with the Quick Reaction Force and Chile before that, flying in the BlackHawk.
What does a “typical” day look like for the team?
Each day we’ll come in to work and speak with the maintenance folks, and see what’s been completed overnight.
We’ll do pre-flight on the aircraft and look over the entire aircraft; we’ll undertake any risk assessments and weather checking and check the fire danger for the day in the particular State we’re working in.
We’ll get in the aircraft and do some of the pre-flight checks that we can to cut down response time, and then we’re monitoring fire apps and any operational information to make sure we can identify and get ahead of any fire calls, in case it’s one for us to deploy to.
What’s good about the Chinook?
I like it, it’s a very stable platform, and with the capabilities of the aircraft in terms of the automatic flight system and the tank system, it’s very modern.
Another great aspect of the Chinook is it’s much faster than the other aircraft I’ve flown, which means it can get to a fire faster and it can drop the most water.
It has a lot of benefits, it’s a pleasure to fly.
You never hope for fires but eventually it’s going to happen, so we’ll be ready.