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Hanga Talk

forecasters are projecting as an


dangerous fi re season. As in the past, Oregon-based Columbia Helicopters is prepared to assist with fi ghting fi res across the western United States.

Columbia owns and operates

the largest

privately held fl eet of heavy-lift helicopters in the world, which are ideally suited to aerial assault on wild fi res. The company operates the Columbia Model 234 Chinook, the Boeing CH-47D Chinook helicopter, and


Columbia Vertol 107-II helicopters.

up to this point,” said Keith Saylor,

“Fire season has offi cially begun, but it’s been mild director

Columbia Helicopters Prepared for Busy 2015 Fire Season

Memorial Day and the unoffi cial start of summer has passed, leading the way into what

of commercial operations for Columbia Helicopters. “However, all indications suggest above normal fi re activity as we approach the heaviest part of the season.” Jim Rankin, company president, said, “Our aircraft and crews are getting ready to respond as soon as they are needed. The aircraft have undergone

One of Columbia’s Chinooks has already begun its EU assignment, reporting to LaGrande, Oregon, on May 1st. The aircraft remains in northeastern Oregon on standby until the forest service needs it on a fi re elsewhere.

The other three EU aircraft will deployed to John Day, Oregon; Pollock Pines, California; and Missoula, Montana. Columbia’s aircraft fi ght fi res using SEI Torrentula Bambi Buckets equipped with the Powerfi ll System. Carried roughly 200-feet below the helicopters, the pilots are able to fi ll these buckets from limited- access water sources, such as tree-lined streams or ponds, and then deploy the water in variety of drop patterns.

The company’s two models of Chinook helicopters will carry buckets designed to carry almost 2,600 gallons of water or retardant, while the Vertol 10-II will carry a 1,100-gallon bucket. Each bucket is equipped with four high-volume

routine winter maintenance and the crews have completed the necessary annual training.”

“We will have four aircraft that are on exclusive- use (EU) contracts with the U.S. Forest Service this summer,” added Rankin. “We also have several other helicopters that we will make available under call-when-needed (CWN) contracts with the forest service and other fi re agencies.”


The number of winning companies that will be featured in the Sept. issue of Rotorcraft Pro’s 2015 Innovators Contest; the grand prize is $5,000 in free advertising! It’s easy to enter, so get the details here:



The projected speed in MPH that the Sikorsky S-97 Raider is expected to achieve. The rigid coaxial rotor

prototype achieved its fi rst successful fl ight in June.


The year the AH-1G Huey Cobra was delivered to the Army. The Cobra broke the Army tradition of naming helicopters after American Indian tribes and chiefs.

Tribal leaders protested the trend break, so the Army resumed Indian names with the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Apache, and Black Hawk (chief pictured above).

18 July 2015

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