Above: An Aircrane reloads with retardant while fighting the Beaver Fire northwest of Yreka, California, August 12, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.
Erickson’s Australian partner Kestrel Aviation signed up for a third S64E Aircrane helicopter to support firefighting efforts in Victoria state. Erickson has six Aircranes currently working in Australia.
“We are proud to help protect the lives and homes of Victoria’s residents during the peak of their fire season,” said Andy Mills, Erickson v-p of commercial aviation services. “Our crews have already been busy fighting fires in Western Australia and New South Wales.”
The third Aircrane, previously stationed in Sydney, New South Wales to fight fires, has been reassigned to Mangalore, Victoria where it remains available as required for the remainder of the fire season.
Erickson has also been contracted in support of the initial phases of NASA’s 3rd Generation Mid-Air Retrieval Project focused on mid-air retrieval of NASA spacecraft re-entering the atmosphere. Erickson is contracted to study the concept of operations for proposed NASA missions that employ mid-air retrieval using a single S-64F Aircrane helicopter.