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Aerial fire code proposed in New Zealand

The National Rural Fire Authority (NRFA) of New Zealand has unanimously agreed that a new code would be developed for aerial firefighting. The code will be auditable as part of the AIRCARE Audit, but is likely to be limited to just proof of pilot competency, equipment status and condition.
Initial thoughts on the content of the code are:
• Pilot training to the appropriate Unit Standards (or equivalent) for fire behaviour and safety
• Pilot competency and a one-off check ride with an E-Category Instructor who is experienced at fire fighting
• Personal Protective Equipment
• Operational Risk Assessment
• CAA certification for operations and maintenance
• Equipment requirements including foam operation and pilot controlled variable rate discharge for buckets over 1,000-litre capacity, aircraft fit for purpose
• Communications, e.g. radio frequencies
• Logistics – what an operator must supply with the helicopter, e.g. fuel for helicopter and pilot
• A fatigue management program
• Lead pilot responsibilities
• Monsoon bucket operations
• Compilation of Flight Management Summaries Source: New Zealand Helicopter Association via NZAAA newsletter

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