Currency training for heli-rappellers in Australia

The two Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) rappel firefighting crews at Ovens in Victoria, Australia undertook currency activities yesterday. They are part of the long-running Victorian rappel program which consists of two eight-member crews at both Ovens and Heyfield.

Rappel crews enable DELWP to rapidly access fires in the remote forest areas of Victoria where there are generally no clearings to land helicopters and road access takes many hours (if tracks exist at all).

For this reason, the rappel crews are used as first attack on bushfires.

As you can see in this clip, each firefighter individually abseils (or rappels) down a rope from a helicopter with a personal kit before a bag of firefighting equipment (hand tools such as rakehoes) is deployed.

4 thoughts on “Currency training for heli-rappellers in Australia”

    1. No one in their right mind rappels from a fixed wing aircraft. However, I would venture to guess that less than 1% of all rappelling is done from helicopters.

      Mirriam-Webster’s definition:

      to move down a steep cliff, rock, etc., by pushing your feet against its surface and sliding down a rope.

    2. I have seen an Australian Army Pilatus Porther “hover” where the wind speed equaled the aircraft forward speed so theoretically someone could rappeller form the fixed wing aircraft!

    3. Yes if it is on fire and the only way out is through the cockpit side window or emergency exit on top. Of course it helps if the aircraft is on the ground.

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