Columbia Helicopters has won contracts with the U.S. Forest Service to battle wildland fires in the U.S. The contract calls for the Oregon-based company to provide five aircraft, with more that could be made available if needed.
Among the aircraft provided are two CH-47D Chinooks equipped with removable 2,800-gal Simplex Aerospace internal tanks, which received FAA certification in December. The two aircraft will report to their assigned bases in May, with one assigned to McCall, Idaho, and the second to Rifle, Colorado.
The other three helicopters will be equipped with high-speed pump buckets. A Columbia Model 234 will be assigned to Silver City, New Mexico, and two Columbia Vertol 107-II will be assigned to Hamilton, Montana, and Custer, South Dakota.
Photo courtesy of Columbia Helicopters