On the back of a record breaking forest fire season in North America and with persistent dry conditions closer to home, Australian emergency services have been gearing up for a busy local bushfire season.
Eagle Australasia has been playing its part, providing MRO support to local operators of fire suppression helicopters.
Earlier this year Eagle welcomed a UH-1H otherwise known as "Lucy" into their hangar for some TLC. Lucy is no stranger to the Eagle's nest, having been transformed by the Eagle Customisation team into a stand-out pink Cancer Council helicopter back in 2014. Lucy spent winter 2017 with Eagle, undergoing some well-deserved MRO before flying the coop as summer approached to be on standby for the firefighting effort.
Lucy is operated by Fleet Helicopters, an Armidale-based business who provide vital fire suppression services along the east coast of Australia. Fleet's Director and Chief Pilot, Lachie Onslow, explains how Eagle's customisation has helped draw attention to a worthy cause, "When we arrive on site, Lucy's paint job draws a crowd immediately," Onslow says. "People are even more impressed when they get up close and see the all-over detail of the rebuild. It's proven to be great marketing for Fleet Helicopters and the Cancer Council".
Another helicopter recently at Eagle for a major inspection was a Bell 212 from Victorian-based operator Jayrow. The aircraft is fitted for fire suppression with a Simplex Fire Attack System, consisting of a 1,420L belly mounted tank together with a Kawak Aviation hydraulic hover refil pump capable of filling the tank in approximately 30 seconds. Jayrow will put the 212 to work contributing to the firefighting effort along the eastern seaboard.
Eagle Australasia are proud to provide ongoing support to aircraft bringing such a vital service to the community.