PRESS RELEASE – 18 December 2017
Erickson Begins 20th Season of Fighting Fires in Australia.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Erickson Incorporated, a leading aerospace manufacturer and global aerial services company that has fought fires for nearly 50 years, has returned to serve the citizens of Australia for its 20th year. The October start of the fire season parallels the beginning of summer “Down Under,” and Erickson has six S-64 Aircranes located in or en route to Victoria, South Australia; New South Wales; and Perth, Western Australia. The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) extended a contract to supply Aircranes for 2017-2018, through Australian partner Kestrel Aviation.
Erickson’s first season in Australia began in 1997, with a single aircraft in Melbourne, Victoria and continued to grow and evolve to the current partnership with Kestrel Aviation which serve four states through five bushfire agencies. Erickson is remembered for raising public and international awareness of aerial firefighting effectiveness with ‘Elvis’ during the critical fire campaigns of 2001 in New South Wales.(All Erickson Aircranes have a nickname painted across the nose of the aircraft.) Four Erickson employees have served for all 20 years of the contract and look forward to returning again this year.
Douglas Kitani, Erickson CEO and Director said, “Erickson has an outstanding reputation for having some of the most experienced pilots and maintenance crews in firefighting. We appreciate the trust of our agency customers in Australia and will endeavor to do our best for the people of Australia.”
The fifth Leonardo Helicopters AW169 was delivered to Babcock Mission Critical Services Italia in November … and registered as I-LHCA. This new helicopter entered into service a few days ago from the AREU Regione Lombardia HEMS base of Bresso (MI) as “Horus 4”, replacing the previously operated AW139 … thanks to Diego GARAVAGLIA for these first great images taken during an active rescue in Cuggiono (MI), December 2017.