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FROM THE DESK OF THE EDITOR I first became a firefighter in 1990. Despite how compli-


cated we make things in the modern day, the centuries old formula for putting out fires has not changed much. The age- old axiom, “put the wet stuff on the red stuff” still holds true today.


Due to the size and location of wildland fires, especially


at the urban interface, it’s no wonder the versatile helicopter has become a rock star in the world of aerial firefighting since its first use in 1947. Although the formula for putting out fires has not changed all that much, the techniques and equipment used in delivering the “wet stuff” have. Even though the firefighting sector makes up for less


than 10% of the business in the helicopter industry, its value to the protection of life and property cannot be overstated. Whether using the term Initial Attack or HeliTack, thousands of teams worldwide skillfully risk their lives, aircraft, and assets every fire season in order to protect life and property, and the 2012 fire season will be no different. "With near record lows in rainfall, combined with record


high temperatures in much of California in December--plus ongoing dry conditions throughout much of the Southwest-- the aerial firefighters are preparing for an earlier than normal deployment of assets, given the prevailing high fire dangers, especially in those parts of the country," said Tom Eversole, Executive Director of the American Helicopter Services and Aerial Firefighting Association in Washington. In this issue we explore the controversial strategy of aer- ial firefighting at night. With the advancement of night vision


devices, it seemed like a logical tool to throw into the toolbox. That is, until two helicopters collided, crewmembers were injured, and one pilot was killed. Mike Archer gives us the rundown on the initial rise and fall of


firefighting with


NVG’s. He goes on to highlight those pioneering agencies that have re-doubled their efforts and who also know a good thing when they see it. These agencies have developed poli- cies that make this strategy safe and effective when lives and property are on the line. Additionally, we take time to highlight two organizations


that touch our industry in two completely different ways. First, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation supports the families of those lost in the line of duty, 50% of which are aviation related. Secondly, the EHOVE Fire Academy, by using a good old fash- ion grass roots effort, has managed to bring together dozens of helicopter operators in the name of training and safety. On behalf of Rotorcraft Pro, I say thanks to those men


and women who put their aircraft and lives on the line for the good of society. Also, thanks to those operators and compa- nies who keep figuring out better and safer ways of putting the wet stuff on the red stuff!


Fly Safe,


Lyn Burks, Editor In Chief


PUBLISHER Brig Bearden


brig@rotorcraftpro.com


ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Allen Henderson


allen@rotorcraftpro.com


EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lyn Burks


lyn.burks@rotorcraftpro.com


COPY EDITOR Ashley Dempsey


ashley@rotorcraftpro.com


CREATIVE DIRECTOR Dana Maxfield


dana@rotorcraftpro.com


MANAGER, ONLINE ACCOUNTS Lynnette Burks


lynnette@rotorcraftpro.com APRIL 2012


VICE PRESIDENT/CFO Clay Branum


clay@rotorcraftpro.com


VICE PRESIDENT/CAO Rick Weatherford


rick@rotorcraftpro.com


PHOTOGRAPHER Sarah Kritner


sarah@rotorcraftpro.com


CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Pam Fulmer


pam@rotorcraftpro.com 2


is published twelve times a year and mailed out on or around the 20th of the month being covered by Oak Mountain Media, LLC, 2080 Valleydale Road, Suite 10, Hoover, Alabama 35244. Rotorcraft Pro®


Rotorcraft Pro® is distributed free to qualified sub-


scribers. Non-qualified subscription rates are $57.00 per year in the U.S. and Canada and $84.00 per year for foreign subscribers (surface mail). U.S. Postage paid at Birmingham, Alabama and additional mailing offices. Rotorcraft Pro®


is distributed to qualified readers in the helicop-


ter industry. Publisher is not liable for all content (including editorial and illustrations provided by advertisers) of advertisements published and does not accept responsibility for any claims made against the publisher. It is the advertiser’s or agency’s responsibility to obtain ap- propriate releases on any item or individuals pictured in an adver- tisement. Reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without prior written permission from the publisher.


POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Oak Mountain Media, LLC, 2080 Valleydale Road, Suite 10 Hoover, Alabama 35244


Executive Offices


2080 Valleydale Road, Ste. 10 Hoover, AL 35244 Toll Free: 877.768.5550 Fax: 205.978.2925


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