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A day in the life of a fire-fighting pilot

Perth, WA Fire 03/02/14 Mon 3rd Feb 11:50 am Called out to a scrub fire just to the south of our base at Jandakot Airfield, Perth, WA;  just two Helitack aircraft initially, however due to the increasing wind and close proximity to houses and a whole southern suburb we eventually had in the air simultaneously the following aircraft … 6 x B214B1     Helitacks  --  Capacity  2500 lts each / load 1 x Aircrane    Helitanker   --  Capacity  7000 lts  Load 6 x AT 802     Water Bomber Fixed wing   --  Capacity  3000 lts each / Load 2 x Air Attack Helicopters ( AS350 Squirrels)  -- Basically directing response and  air traffic control 1 x Air Intelligence Helicopter Transmitting live video feed of fire operations to ground controller 3 x Media Helicopters from the 3 major TV stations All the aircraft are operating at different 500’ altitudes with ourselves the heavy fire attack helis at 500’ and below, Fixed Wing Bombers at 500’—1000’, Air Attack at 1500’, Intell at 2000’ and Media above 2500’, with a mandatory no fly zone automatically in place for any other itinerate aircraft which occasionally blunder through. The fire eventually burnt through 500 Hectares of land and overran multiple houses and properties, however with relentless air attack and a huge number of Fire crews, Appliances and Bulldozer, Loaders etc, NOT ONE HOUSE WAS LOST, some minor damage to a few and of course smoke and water damage to some. We flew over 8 hours that day, fairly intense aviating, and had a great result which was very satisfying, as was the beer that night! By Dave Latham (More information on the Helicopter work can be found on http://flyinghorseltd.co.nz/helicopter-services/) Action photos: