McDermott Aviation have over the years been involved in Fire spotting and Fire bombing for DPI Forestry, NSW Parks & Wildlife, NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria Country Fire Authority (CFA), South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS), Queensland Fire and Rescue (QFRS) and a number of privately owned forest companies.
McDermott Aviation, in joint venture with Isolair U.S.A, has developed and manufactured the 'Tsunami' (Tidal Wave) Belly Tank system for the Bell 214B Helicopter. With a capacity of 2700 litres, it is one of the highest capacity tanks available. This system, along with the Eliminator II Bell 204/205 Tanks manufactured by us under license with Isolair inc, provide the complete 'in house' fire fighting solution. These systems comprises of a foam retardant tank with an automatic injection system that allows a pre determined mix to be injected by the pilot.
The system also has a high volume probe loading nozzle, allowing rapid 'hover' loading from shallow water. This system allows for total dump of the entire load, or partial dump as required. All actions, including dump volume and drop length (time) are precisely controlled and monitored from the cockpit.
We also use under slung buckets ranging from 1400 to 3000 litre capacity. These include the latest technology multi-drop, self-filling, buckets; all available with foam injection systems. These buckets are under slung and can be fitted to various length long line strops.
Moving with the times and developing systems with the clients needs in mind, McDermott Aviation have developed a fixed rate fire retardant gel injection system for all of our fire fighting aircraft. This gives our clients all of the available options for whatever the requirement may be.
During recent fire disasters in Australia, McDermott Aviation had helicopters deployed into some of the most severely effected areas, regularly flying 10 hour operational days per helicopter, with all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance carried out 'after-hours' to ensure all machines were available for tasking each morning.
To coincide with fire control, we also perform ‘Air Attack’, which is an industry term used for the actual application for aerial resources on a fire. ‘Air Attack’ also refers to the supervisor in the air who supervises the process of attacking the wildfire from the air via another aircraft and has continual communication with the ground personnel to inform and report on the fire bombing containment and/or if further assistants is required.