Ready for the Fire Season?

Nicola Tims
August 23, 2019

Last month, July broke its own 140-year old record. According to NOAA’s dataset records, which date back to 1880, the global land and ocean surface temperatures were 1.71°F above average, making it the warmest month to date. Since June, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) have tracked over 100 wildfires in the Arctic Circle alone. Rising temperatures, dry conditions, and climate change are continuing to increase the risk of wildfires and prolonging the season across the globe.

A combination of hot, dry, and windy conditions are like rocket fuel for a fire. Strong winds can send it in several directions, and cause burning embers to be blown through the air. These high-risk environments require teamwork, clear communication, and an awareness of where your team members are located. Having the ability to share critical information is key to effectively managing the situation, as well as ensuring the safety of all those involved.

Stay on Track

Flying in dangerous and unpredictable conditions requires pilots and crew to have acute situational awareness, which is where the focus should be, and stay. Our partnership with Olympic Aero Services (OAS), ensures pilots can do just that. The integration of the Spider 8 and Olympic’s ATU (Additional Telemetry Unit) provides real-time, accurate reporting on specific firebombing events, including tank/bucket open / closed, and volume filled and volume dropped. This FAA STC’d solution allows us to offer our customers a simple and certified method of reporting for their aerial firefighting operations.

In addition, depending on your requirements, our Spider 8 can be used as a standalone solution. It provides position reports, engine on/off, takeoff/landing, and GPS data in real-time, reassuring those flying the aircraft that someone back at HQ knows where they are, and how the aircraft is being flown.

Safety First

Our vision has, and always will be, to make the aviation community a safer place to live and operate in. This vision is equally important to the team at Redding Air Service, Inc, who place safety at the forefront of everything they do. They have been in operation since 1957, and pride themselves on a long and trusting service history, providing reliable and professional services, primarily conducting aerial fire fighting, and long line utility operations.

Gordy Cox, the Director of Operations, 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" he says.

Their pilots have helped the US Forest Service and Cal-Fire combat several of the largest fires in United States history, including the Carr fire in Redding and the Camp fire in Paradise. With 10 aircraft in their fleet equipped with the Spidertracks / OAS integration, the team can effectively record, report and share the information required by the USFS, such as tank/bucket open, close, volume filled, and volume dropped.

We’re proud to support our customers who spend their days flying and operating in high risk environments, in a bid to protect people, property and communities.

If you’re looking for someone who’s got your back, talk to us today.

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