search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
If asked to describe the present state of the privately operated aerial firefighting industry in the U.S., I would call it robust, thanks in large part to aggressive fleet upgrades prompted by customer requirements and vendor initiatives. Including UH-60 Black Hawks and CH- 47Ds, operators have acquired turbine- powered equipment that is at least one generation newer than most of the current fleet of medium and heavy Cold War and Vietnam War-era helicopters. At the same time, some regional airliners have transitioned to new lives as large air tankers.


Due to their twin engines and redundant control systems, the later generation helicopters afford faster response times, increased speed and maintainability, enhanced safety of flight, and the


74 Jan/Feb 2020


availability of parts for improved systems and components. As examples, the increased power and reliability of T700-GE- 701D engines are available from General Electric for the UH-60. Sikorsky, the UH-60 manufacturer, offers improved durability gearboxes


incorporating structural and control strength enhancements.


Across the industry, helicopters used for firefighting are also being upgraded with state-of-the-art avionics. In tandem with that, improvements continue to be made to training programs and safety management systems, which are paying off.


According to National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) statistics, there were no fatal accidents involving helicopters and fixed-wing tankers in fiscal year 2018 while engaged in firefighting, a year in


which some of the most destructive fires in the U.S. took place. For FY 2019, just one fatal accident has occurred to date. That was the first one since March 2015.


While the industry is better positioned from the standpoint of equipment and technology, new challenges have arisen that can impact its long-term viability. Among them is a changing contracting environment that is trending toward more call-when-needed (CWN) contracts and fewer exclusive-use (EU) agreements — long the mainstay for fixed-wing tanker providers, and to some extent, helicopter operators. The CWN model works quite well for operators during high-activity fire seasons, due to increased amounts of flying. However, a company that becomes largely dependent on CWN takes a financial hit in years when there are fewer


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92