Erickson Begins 20th Season of Fighting Fires in Australia
Erickson Incorporated, an aerospace manufacturer and global aerial services company that has fought fires for nearly 50 years, returns to serve the citizens of Australia for its 20th year. The October start of the fire season parallels the beginning of summer “Down Under,” and Erickson has six S-64 Aircranes located in or en route to Victoria, South Australia; New South Wales; and Perth, Western Australia. The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) extended a contract to supply Aircranes for 2017-2018, through Australian partner Kestrel Aviation.
Erickson’s first season in Australia began in 1997 with a single aircraft in Melbourne, Victoria, and continued to grow and evolve to the current partnership with Kestrel Aviation which serves four states through five bushfire agencies. Erickson is remembered for raising public and international awareness of aerial firefighting effectiveness with ‘Elvis’ during the critical fire campaigns of 2001 in New South Wales. (All Erickson Aircranes have a nickname painted across the nose of the aircraft.) Four Erickson employees have served for all 20 years of the contract and look forward to returning again this year.
Douglas Kitani, Erickson CEO and director, says, “Erickson has an outstanding reputation for having some of the most experienced pilots and maintenance crews in firefighting. We appreciate the trust of our agency customers in Australia and will endeavor to do our best for the people of Australia.”