International Fleet Begins Return to Australia for Summer Fire Season

As the fire season winds down in the Northern Hemisphere, the aerial firefighting fleets of companies that provide global resources to Australia have begun the migration south for the Australian bushfire season.

Throughout the last two weeks aircraft have begun to arrive back on Australian shores with the first being the arrival of the Kestrel/Erickson Aircranes in Victoria. The six air cranes have now been reassembled and have begun their transfers around the country to their bases for the next several months.

Six of Erickson’s Air Cranes arrived in Geelong, Victoria last week to begin service around Australia. Photo by Dave Soderstrom/Aviation Spotters Online

In addition to overseas rotary-wing aircraft, McDermott aviation saw the return of several Bell 214s that had spent the last several months on contract fighting fires in Greece that will soon be returned to Australian service fighting the fires back home after their first successful deployment to Greece.

One of McDermott Aviation’s Bell 214’s that served in Greece takes flight from Freemantle docks after returning from Greece. Photo by Daniel Roberts

In addition to the Skycrane’s arrival, Kestrel also welcomed the first of their branded UH-60s from Firehawk that will join the fight in the ever-growing cadre of UH-60s entering the fight in restricted category service in Australia.

The first of Kestrel Aviation’s UH-60’s is offloaded in Victoria. The UH-60 is a joint partnership between Kestrel Aviation and Florida based Firehawk Helicopters.

Coulson Aviation is also continuing to move assets back to Australia with the recent transfer of one of the company’s 737 firefighting aircraft that recently began its trip south to begin work in New South Wales.

Coulson Aviation’s fleet of S-61’s arrives in Victoria to begin the fire season. Photo by Dave Soderstrom/Aviation Spotters Online
One of Coulson Aviation’s Boeing 737’s recently began its trek back to Australia from maintenance in California.

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