DFES withdraws proposal to base Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane at Stoneville

N957AC / 738 Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane (MSN 64-065) of Erickson Air-Crane, named “Ichabod”, operated for Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) at Bertram - Sat 29 December 2012.
N957AC / 738 Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane (MSN 64-065) of Erickson Air-Crane, named “Ichabod”, operated for Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) at Bertram – Sat 29 December 2012.
On this 41°C day, a bushfire started at about 1.15pm near Bertram Primary School and moved quickly in a NE direction along Johnson Road, towards Thomas Road. Sections of Kwinana Freeway and Johnson Road were closed.
100 firefighters in 16 appliances on the ground and several aircraft fought the blaze.
Photo © Matt Hayes

10 September 2013 © David Eyre

The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has withdrawn its application to the Shire of Mundaring for a proposal to build a helipad at 900 Woodlands Road, Stoneville.

The helipad was to have been used as a base for the leased Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane of Erickson Helicopters during the bushfire season (November to April). DFES wanted to base the S-64 at Stoneville to improve fire response times, compared to its usual base at Jandakot Airport. With Jandakot being located close to the flightpath for Perth Airport’s runway 03/21, operations from Jandakot sometimes require flights to head westwards, off the coast, before heading back inland, and this delays fire response times.

The withdrawn proposal was to have included a site hut, generator, portable ablution block, and water tank. The Skycrane was to use a former bitumen carpark, but some trees were to be removed from the site.

It is not known whether another location has been chosen.

David Eyre

President, Aviation Association of WA Inc

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