Convair will supply flight crews and support personal over the period of the contract. Other duties, such as dispatch and management, will be performed by Australians. Along with two Skycrane's and other local assets, this will constitute by far the largest aerial firefighting force ever assembled in the country.
Every three years the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issues new contracts for SEATs. I received my copy about a week ago. There were no big changes from past contracts and most of the new items are related to pilot training and safety. All pilots will now be required to pass a mission competency evaluation.
Today, the plan for providing Macedonia's Protection and Rescue Directorate with aerial firefighting capabilities has been completed giving the small Balkan country a strategic and above all, dedicated aerial fire-fighting asset.
The 2010 summer fire season is more than halfway over. Unless something changes, this season will be the third slow season in a row. The National Preparedness was still at Level 2 on a scale of 1-5 (as of August 1). In comparison, the last two years we were at Level 3 by this time; which is still a low number for a normal year.
The Croatian Air Force (Hrvatsko Ratno Zrakoplovstvo - HRZ) has recently increased its amphibian firefighting fleet by one aircraft. This was achieved by the conversion of a land-based Air Tractor AT-802A (military serial number 896) into an amphibian Air Tractor AT-802A Fire Boss.