Fighting Fire with Data

Nicola Tims
July 19, 2020

Suppressing and eliminating bush fires is both difficult and dangerous. How can you and your team ensure you are best prepared when weather and ground conditions are becoming increasingly harder to predict and manage?

In Australia alone, the 2019/20 bushfire season saw a combination of record-breaking temperatures, drier landscapes, and strong winds. Fires burned through an estimated 18 million hectares; over 2,500 homes were destroyed; 25 lives were lost; and, the University of Sydney estimates more than 800 million animals were killed by the fires.

Many organisations choose to partner with us to fight the heated battle around the globe. And we speak to them regularly about the benefits of implementing additional tools in the cockpit - so their pilots can focus on the mission at hand - flying safely, worry-free, and without distraction.

Teams such as the Florida Fire Service work to protect 26 million acres of public and private forestland from wildfire.

“We have some unique fire problems here in Florida,” says FSS’ Aviation Manager, Brian McKee, “The southeast USA is quite fire-prone overall, and Florida is the USA’s lightning capital. In recent times we’ve had fewer fires than the West Coast, but it goes in cycles.”
Getting the burning done pre-fire season in Australia via @mihelicopters

Gordy Cox, Director of Operations at Redding Air Service, knows a thing or two about utilizing helicopters for firefighting applications, and recognises it as being one of the most complex, demanding, and important missions in all of aviation.

“Spidertracks gives us the ability to have real time information on the location, heading and speed of our aircraft. With the OAS integration we can now also assist authorities to track the effectiveness of our water drops.”

Our team is here to help your team meet contractual requirements, industry compliance, and specific regulations.

Here are four key points to consider during the planning stages:

1. Let others know where you are

With lower visibility during the season, it’s essential to know where your crew, and others bravely fighting the battle, are located.

Wouldn’t it be great if your ground crew can see real-time information for each of your aircraft, such as location, speed, altitude, and a precise GPS position - from the convenience of any internet-connected device?

For many regions around the world, this can be a mandatory requirement. We support all prerequisites of the US Forestry Service and NAFC (Australia).

Learn about real-time tracking

2. Keep your team connected.

What if you could communicate with your pilots in real-time too? 

Solutions such as Spidertxt is a secure and reliable form of communication. And leaves nothing up to chance. You can message aircraft-to-aircraft, aircraft-to-ground, and ground-to-ground, regardless of whether or not you have cellular reception.

Learn about Spidertxt

3. Keep your team informed.

Baron® are the industry leaders in aviation weather intelligence, where they enable the visibility of live, real-time weather information. Wouldn’t it be handy if you could see live infrared satellite imagery, lightning, wind layers, and your aircraft’s live flight path?

Spidertracks weather overlays

4. Provide efficiency from the cockpit

Did you know you can record, report, and share information such as tank/bucket open, close, volume filled, and volume dropped - and your pilots won’t even have to think twice about it?

Learn more about event reporting

Preparation for unpredictability is a task in itself. If you’d like to talk about sorting out less of the guesswork, schedule a time with one of our friendly team members today.

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