USFS awards 90-day contracts for 22 additional helicopters

The U.S. Forest Service has awarded 90-day contracts for an 22 additional helicopters that can lift at least 3,300 or 7,000 pounds. This second list was released by the agency May 13 and is a result of a solicitation requesting bids for  30 helicopters that were already on Call When Needed contracts in three tiers — capable of lifting up to 1,600, 3,300, or 7,000 pounds. The Forest Service was looking for 10 helicopters in each tier, if available, with Mandatory Availability Periods commencing on either June 1st or June 15th.

On May 9 the agency released a list of 14 helicopters for the >1,600 tier.


Contract wildfire Helicopter 90-day awards
Screenshot of the USFS list. May 13, 2020.

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7 thoughts on “USFS awards 90-day contracts for 22 additional helicopters”

  1. Why is it presented as CWN when it looks like E.U? Why aren’t fixed wing on CWN awarded a offered daily minimum?

    1. CWN rotor craft normally have a daily rate and a flight rate. Normally both are higher with a CWN. Some of the contracts have a set number of guaranteed hours instead of a daily rate. For example they get 4 hours of flight pay whether they fly 0 or 3.8. And then everything over 4 hours is paid too obviously.

      1. Won’t the guaranteed hours for a contract be a exclusive use. Where the CWN is available cost per a number of days, or per day, and the flight rate as shown on the Hopps meter. These CWN have a number of day to end of termination clause. Regardless of how many aircraft are available it is how to use them in a timely manner, not a 1000 mile ferry two days later. Like I have mentioned before at the Fed level, “too much too late”.

        1. Most exclusive use helicopters have a daily rate and a flight rate, but no guaranteed hours. Potentially an EU ship could sit all season and never turn a rotor and they would only collect the daily rate. In reality the CWN is the same, many times EU ships roll into a day by day CWN extension of their EU contract after the mandatory availability period is over if there are still fires. These are basically short term Exclusive use contracts and I expect will be moved around at such per fire danger needs, and will be putting lots of hours on Hobbs meters.

  2. Great to see that ‘ole S-58T N1168U workhorse from Aris is still getting after it!
    I don’t know if there is another 1960s Choctaw still flying fire!
    I remember seeing N1168U on the LP & Southern Sierras in the 80s!

  3. There are still going to be normal cwn helicopters. However cwn have a slower response time because they are not usually fully staffed. These were but up for bid to have extra fully staffed helicopters ready to respond due to the virus. These are not the usual 4 years contracts that should be announced soon.

  4. Companies like Columbia and Erickson are considered too big now. Columbia sold to another company last year and with the combined ammount of aircraft they are considered a large company. Same thing with Erickson. Columbia has been focusing a lot of their efforts to Afghanistan and other overseas over the last decade.

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