Forest Service awards contracts for conversion and maintenance of C-23B aircraft

C-23B Forest Service
C-23B. USFS photo.

(Originally published August 5, 2015; updated August 8, 2015)

Over the last year the U.S. Forest Service has awarded or solicited for at least five contracts for conversion and maintenance of the 15 C-23B aircraft that were authorized to be transferred from the U.S. Army to the USFS by legislation signed in December of 2013. The C-23B is the military version of the Shorts 360 (also known as a Sherpa and SD3-60). The USFS plans to use these aircraft to replace all of the USFS owned and contracted aircraft used for smokejumping except for two agency-owned DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otters that will be retained for backcountry operations.

These contracts include:

  • Development installation, and certification of an integrated flight deck and avionics system on 4 to 15 of the aircraft. Awarded July 29, 2015 to Field Aerospace.
  • Paint up to 15 of the aircraft. Awarded August 19, 2014 to Straube’s Aircraft Services.
  • Aviation maintenance services to support USFS fleet aircraft in Boise, Idaho. This also includes other aircraft: Aero Commander AC 500B, Beechcraft King Air Series, Bell 206BIII, Bell AH-1 Cobra, Cessna Citation 550 Bravo, Cessna C-185, Cessna TU206, DeHaviland DHC-2 Beaver, DeHaviland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Piper PA18-150, and Shorts C-23A Sherpa. Awarded December 15, 2014 to Turbo Air, Inc.
  • Avionics maintenance services to support for USFS fleet aircraft within a 150 nautical mile radius of Redmond, OR, Ogden, UT, and Missoula, MT. This also includes support for Aero Commander AC 500B, Beechcraft King Air Series, Bell 206BIII, Bell AH-1 Cobra, Cessna Citation 550 Bravo, Cessna C-185, Cessna TU206, DeHaviland DHC-2 Beaver, DeHaviland DHC-6 Twin Otter, Piper PA18-150, and Shorts C-23A Sherpa. There is no indication on fbo.gov that this has been awarded.
  • Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Support Services to include subscriptions to technical publications, maintenance technical support, engineering data, engineering technical support, and maintenance support. On July 9, 2015 a sole source award was given to Shorts Brothers, doing business as Bombardier Aerospace.
  • Maintenance services Contractor Logistics Services (CLS) in support of smokejumper operations, primarily in Ogden, Utah. Awarded to Neptune Aviation, June 30, 2015.

The agency will use a Government Owned-Mixed Operations (GO/MO) model for the C-23B fleet. Some will be operated by Forest Service pilots and others will be operated by private industry under contract. The aircraft will also be maintained under a GO/MO model with contractor and agency maintenance

3 thoughts on “Forest Service awards contracts for conversion and maintenance of C-23B aircraft”

  1. That’s nice

    Maybe Duncan Aviation will throw their name in the hat since they doing C23A MX in the 1993 thru approx late 2000 time frame

    Those folks already had the knowledge of the Irish Concorde

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