Firebombing aircraft and ground crew training

Bombing aircraft, air crews and ground crews undertake compulsory annual training each year.

With the purchase of two tanks and the preparation of tank pads at the Hutton Vale Airstrip, it was only fitting that the CFS Region 2 air support crew training be held at the airstrip this year.

It was decided to come to Angaston after Hutton Vale’s John Angas decided to make some alterations to the airstrip to be able to accommodate the large 802 firebombing aircraft.

CFS purchased two tanks and with the help of The Barossa Council, to prepare the tank site, the tanks are now ready for reloading aircraft.

Turnaround time for aircraft to return to the fire ground can be very important to assist the ground crews to extinguish wild fires, the aircraft are important in reducing the intensity of the fire to enable ground crews added safety to perform the tasks they are trained for and do so very well.

Weather is an important factor in the use of aircraft, extremely high winds and smoke can stop the use of aircraft.

Three-thousand litres of either foam, thermogel or retardant can be loaded onto an aircraft in about one and a half minutes.

At the peak of the fire season, there are 10 fixed wing aircraft available on contract.

They are off the ground and respond to a callout in approximately three to five minutes when on active standby.

It was decided to invite local CFS brigades, councillors, neighbours and tanker companies from the area to this familiarisation day, as water needs to be transported in.

It is also an opportunity for ground crews and pilots to become familiar with the strip.

Many thanks goes to John Angas, The Barossa Council and those who attended.