Erickson delivers another Air Crane to Korea Forest Service

This brings the KFS operational fleet up to six S-64 Air Crane helicopters

Korea Forest Service S-64 Air-Crane
File photo of a Korea Forest Service S-64 Air-Crane using its water cannon. Yonhap news Agency Photo, 2017.

This month Erickson Incorporated delivered another Air Crane firefighting helicopter to the Korea Forest Service (KFS), completing the delivery of the latest two-aircraft order. Another S-64 was delivered to the KFS in November. This brings the KFS operational fleet up to six S-64 Air Crane helicopters.

In 2001, KFS became the first foreign government to purchase S-64 helicopters from Erickson. The recently delivered versions have composite main rotor blades and glass cockpits. Some of the S-64 helicopters in the KFS fleet have the optional front-mounted water cannon.

Flight Global reports that the helicopter delivered in December, registration HJ9659, is a re-manufactured aircraft built by Sikorsky in 1968 that has been out of service since 1993. Erickson purchased it in November 2018.

Korea Forest Service S-64 Air-Crane load Antonov
Korea Forest Service S-64 Air-Crane being loaded into an Antonov An-124 transport for the flight to South Korea. Erickson photo.

Two S-64 helicopters have crashed while hover refilling in the last six years. One owned and operated by the KFS crashed into a lake May 9, 2013 near the Andong Dam, Kyeongbuk Province, South Korea. The two pilots died at the scene and a maintenance crew chief on board sustained serious injuries. On January 28, 2019 an Air-Crane impacted the water while assigned to a wildfire in Victoria, Australia. Three crewmembers sustained minor injuries.

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