Fire Fighting Aircraft in Western Australia 2014/2015

20 December 2014 (UPDATED 12 January 2015) © David Eyre

A list of the fire fighting aircraft in Western Australia for the 2014-2015 summer fire season (Oct 2014 – April 2015).

AIR ATTACK: Air Attack call signs are fire agency designations for air attack supervisor platforms, and the call signs remain unchanged regardless of whether the actual airframe is changed. DPaW frequently rotate their Scout fleet around the various bases, so their AIR ATTACK callsigns change, but their SPOTTER callsigns remain unchanged.

  • AIR ATTACK 1 / FIREBIRD 620 /  VH-EGU Eurocopter AS350B2 Squirrel Soloy SD2  – Helicopter Logistics – Based at Jandakot.
  • AIR ATTACK 2 – Scout (rotated). Based at Bunbury.
  • AIR ATTACK 3 – Scout (rotated). Based at Manjimup.
  • AIR ATTACK 4 – Scout (rotated). Based at Albany.
  • AIR ATTACK 5 / FIREBIRD 623 / VH-YUQ Eurocopter AS355F1 Twin  Squirrel – McDermott Aviation – Based at Jandakot.
  • AIR ATTACK 6 – Scout (rotated). Based at Jandakot

BIRDDOG: Fixed-wing aircraft used primarily for air attack supervision.

BOMBER: Dunn Aviation Australia provides fixed-wing water bombing aircraft for the WA Government – the Air Tractor AT-802 and AT-602 for water and fire retardant dropping. Its aircraft are also contracted out to other states to perform firebombing and agricultural duties. Based at Jandakot, Bunbury, Manjimup, Albany.

FIREBIRD: The Air Attack FIREBIRDS coordinate aerial firefighting operations, and can usually be seen circling high above firefighting aircraft. The Air Intelligience FIREBIRD 625 is an fire information resource for incident managers on the ground.

HELITAC: Medium (Bell 214) and heavy (Skycrane) fire fighting helicopters are operated for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services for the fire season (October – April). Four Bell 214 helicopters are based at Jandakot and two are based at Busselton. The Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane is based at Serpentine Airfield, south of Perth.

SPOTTER: Department of Parks and Wildlife uses American Champion 8GCBC Scouts as fire spotter aircraft for forest patrols in the south-west of WA, flying across areas set according to fire weather conditions. They fly more during the hotter months (about 3,500 hours) due to the increased fire risk. They also supervise waterbombing operations in the south-west, relaying information on fire behaviour to fire controllers. Aircraft rotate around bases at Jandakot, Bunbury, Dwellingup and Manjimup.

Notes:

  • SPOTTERS are all owned and managed by DPaW, which holds an Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
  • BOMBERS and all of the AIR ATTACK platforms (except FIREBIRD 623 / VH-YUQ) are also managed by DPaW.
  • HELITACS, FIREBIRD 623/VH-YUQ and FIREBIRD 625/VH-XRG are managed by DFES.
BOMBER 601 / VH-DUQ Air Tractor AT-802 Dunn Aviation ‘Ballidu’. Based at Manjimup.
BOMBER 602 / VH-EOG Air Tractor AT-802 Dunn Aviation ‘Tumblin Dice’. Based at Jandakot.
BOMBER 603 / VH-NIN Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation
BOMBER 604 / VH-DUN Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation ‘Ian Leslie’. Based at Jandakot
BOMBER 605 / VH-NIZ Air Tractor AT-602 Dunn Aviation ‘Rock n Roll’
BOMBER 606 / VH-NIY Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation ‘Forever Young’
BOMBER 607 / VH-DUJ Air Tractor AT-802 Dunn Aviation
BOMBER 608 / VH-DUA Air Tractor AT-802 Dunn Aviation ‘Magic’
BOMBER 609 / VH-DUW Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation
BOMBER 610 / VH-JID Air Tractor AT-802 Dunn Aviation ‘Chop’
BOMBER 611 /  VH-NIP Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation
BOMBER 612 / VH-NID Air Tractor AT-802A Dunn Aviation ‘The Boss’
BOMBER 614 / VH-FEC Air Tractor AT-504 Dunn Aviation ‘Blacky’. Used as training aircraft, as it has two side-by-side seats. Not for fire fighting.
FIREBIRD 620 / VH-EGU Eurocopter AS350B2 Squirrel Soloy SD2 Helicopter Logistics Based at Jandakot. Also uses callsign ‘AIR ATTACK 1′
FIREBIRD 621 / VH-LGG Eurocopter AS350B2 Squirrel Soloy SD2 Helicopter Logistics Based at Jandakot.
FIREBIRD 622 / VH-JTQ Eurocopter AS350BA Squirrel Helicopter Logistics Based at Jandakot
FIREBIRD 623 / VH-YUQ Eurocopter AS355F1 Twin Squirrel McDermott Aviation Based at Jandakot. Also uses callsign ‘AIR ATTACK 5′
FIREBIRD 624 / VH-JRI Bell 206B JetRanger III Helicopter Logistics Based at Jandakot
FIREBIRD 625 / VH-XRG Eurocopter Bo-105LS-A3 Heliwest Based at Jandakot.
AIR INTEL. Wescam MX-15i high definition FLIR turret, laser mapper, microwave transmitter
SPOTTER 640 / VH-LKQ American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 641 / VH-DXZ American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 642 / VH-KTG American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 643 / VH-DXM American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 644 / VH-CVI American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 646 / VH-DXL American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 647 / VH-LKV American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 648 / VH-KUE American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
SPOTTER 649 / VH-DXU American Champion 8GCBC Scout Dept of Parks and Wildlife Base rotated between Bunbury/Jandakot/Manjimup/Albany
HELITAC 671 / P2-MBH Bell 214B McDermott Aviation Based at Jandakot. Australian flag on tailboom
HELITAC 672 / N49732 Bell 214B1 McDermott Aviation Based at Jandakot
HELITAC 673 / N234PH Bell 214B1 McDermott Aviation Based at Jandakot
HELITAC 674 / P2-MLJ Bell 214B McDermott Aviation Based at Jandakot
HELITAC 676 / P2-MSA Bell 214B1 McDermott Aviation Based at Busselton
HELITAC 677 / C-FXNI Bell 214B1 McDermott Aviation Based at Busselton. White/Gunmetal/Red livery, with maple leaf.
HELITAC 739 / N154AC Sikorsky S-64E Skycrane Erickson Air-Crane, USA Based at Serpentine. ‘Georgia Peach’
VH-DUA / BOMBER 608 Air Tractor AT802 (MSN 802-0366) owned by Dunn Aviation, named “Magic”, at Jandakot Airport – Fri 14 November 2014. Built 2010, ex N8521E, EC-LHZ. Operated for the WA Government on fire fighting duties, Photo © David Eyre
VH-DUA / BOMBER 608 Air Tractor AT802 (MSN 802-0366) owned by Dunn Aviation, named “Magic”, at Jandakot Airport – Fri 14 November 2014.
Built 2010, ex N8521E, EC-LHZ. Operated for the WA Government on fire fighting duties,
Photo © David Eyre
VH-YUQ / FIREBIRD623 Eurocopter AS355F-1 Twin Squirrel (MSN 5057) owned by McDermott Aviation, contracted to WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services, at Jandakot Airport - Fri 14 November 2014. The FIREBIRD aerial command and control helicopters coordinate firefighting operations. Built in 1981, ex N281AP, N117LB. Photo © David Eyre
VH-YUQ / FIREBIRD623 Eurocopter AS355F-1 Twin Squirrel (MSN 5057) owned by McDermott Aviation, contracted to WA Department of Fire and Emergency Services, at Jandakot Airport – Fri 14 November 2014.
The FIREBIRD aerial command and control helicopters coordinate firefighting operations. Built in 1981, ex N281AP, N117LB.
Photo © David Eyre
VH-XRG / FIREBIRD 625 Eurocopter Bo-105LS-A3 (MSN 2037) of Heliwest at Jandakot Airport – Fri 24 October 2014. During the Summer bushfire season, this helicopter is used as an aerial command and control helicopter to coordinate firefighting operations. It has not had the equipment re-fitted yet. On the nose is what appears to be a rotor tracking camera, to check correct alignment of the main rotors. Photo © David Eyre
VH-XRG / FIREBIRD 625 Eurocopter Bo-105LS-A3 (MSN 2037) of Heliwest at Jandakot Airport – Fri 24 October 2014.
During the Summer bushfire season, this helicopter is used as an aerial command and control helicopter to coordinate firefighting operations. It has not had the equipment re-fitted yet. On the nose is what appears to be a rotor tracking camera, to check correct alignment of the main rotors. Built in 1991 (by Eurocopter Canada), ex C-GNZB, N30702, JA6678, N727WW, C-FRIQ.
Photo © David Eyre
VH-LKQ / SPOTTER 640 (MSN 538-2011) American Champion 8GCBC Scout of the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), at Jandakot Airport – Fri 14 November 2014. After takeoff from runway 24R. Built in 2011. DPaW's fleet of American Champion 8GCBC Scout aircraft are used as fire spotter and forest patrol aircraft in the south-west of WA. They are based at Jandakot, Bunbury, Dwellingup and Manjimup, and fly across areas set each day according to the forecast fire weather conditions, with more hours flown during the bushfire season. Photo © David Eyre
VH-LKQ / SPOTTER 640 (MSN 538-2011) American Champion 8GCBC Scout of the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), at Jandakot Airport – Fri 14 November 2014.
After takeoff from runway 24R. Built in 2011. DPaW’s fleet of American Champion 8GCBC Scout aircraft are used as fire spotter and forest patrol aircraft in the south-west of WA. They are based at Jandakot, Bunbury, Dwellingup and Manjimup, and fly across areas set each day according to the forecast fire weather conditions, with more hours flown during the bushfire season.
Photo © David Eyre
Fire fighting in Whiteman Park – Sunday 14 Dec 2014
Fire fighting in Whiteman Park – Sunday 14 Dec 2014
Photo © Matt Hayes.
N154AC at Woodmans Point – 23 Dec 2014
N154AC at Woodmans Point – 23 Dec 2014

 

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