How Helicopter Firefighting Works
You've heard of helicopter firefighting, but it can be tough to picture exactly how the process works. Helicopter firefighting is a type of aerial firefighting that combines the latest technology with experienced pilots to create fire suppression that is impossible to beat. Helicopter firefighting may use water and/ or chemical fire suppressants to put out bushfires. Our firefighting aircraft fleet consists of both helicopters and aeroplanes. Both are valuable tools that can be used to stop fires from spreading across the Australian landscape.
When water buckets are used in tandem with helicopter firefighting, helicopters soar high above the fires. Pilots use their experience and information from the technical equipment on board the helicopter to judge where to drop the water, as well as to decide how much water will need to be dropped. Pilots need to be able to adjust their altitude and lateral position quickly, as fires can change course in seconds.
One of the common issues with firefighting on the ground is the inability to access certain areas of the rugged Australian landscape due to the ups and downs of the land, hills and valleys, and treacherous coastal areas. When we fight fire from the air, we're able to deal with these issues easily. We're able to dispatch to and from a convenient, safe landing area, while providing aerial firefighting skills over any landscape, no matter how rough it may be.
When working with a firefighting aircraft, it's important that we do all that we can to keep everyone safe. That includes our pilots and aeroplane staff, as well as the people on the ground. We work hard to make sure that no one is harmed in the process of fire suppression.