By S.L. Fuller | December 14, 2017
Erickson Inc. has inked another contract in Chile. The company told R&WI that Ecocopter is set to operate an S-64 for 90 days to fight fires. The operator is set to fly the aircraft for Arauco in the Bío Bío Region to help protect population and industrial centers.
This follows a 90-day contract announced in March that had an aircrane nicknamed “Elvis” fighting fires for the Corporación Nacional Forestal. A helicopter nicknamed “Annie” is set to go to Chile this time around. Erickson said Annie has flown fire control and other natural catastrophe missions in the U.S. and Europe. All 20 Erickson S-64s have a nickname painted across their noses.
The S-64 Helitanker features 10,000-liter tank, capable of snorkeling via a “sea snorkel” fresh or salt water, Erickson said. It also has internal foam mixing capabilities, and can provide water or retardant dispensation utilizing eight coverage levels. The S-64 can be configured with a water cannon.
"Having the presence of ‘Annie’ in Chile, at the beginning of the fire season, showcases how the forestry industry is taking anticipated measures to prevent it from repeating the natural events that occurred during the previous season,” said Armando Weinberger, commercial manager of Ecocopter.
Ecocopter is the “first” operator to fly the Airbus H145 in Chile, according to its lessor, Waypoint Leasing. Announced Nov. 7, the delivery marked the aircraft’s entry into the country.