Scone-based Pay’s Helicopters is again bringing an ex-US Army UH-60A firefighting Black Hawk to Australia this summer after a first successful tour of duty last bushfire season.
The refurbished Black Hawk, N563DJ, was shipped from Timberline Helicopters’ Sandpoint, Idaho facility in early November. It is expected to arrive in Scone in during the first week of December.
The Black Hawk will again be equipped with a 3,410 litre multi-shot BBX7590 Bambi bucket with a fast-fill pump to help fill it in just over 30 seconds.
Last season, Timberline’s N434TH, callsigned ‘Helitack 260’, became the first civilian registered Black Hawk to operate in Australia for aerial fire fighting operations where it demonstrated its value and capabilities to state and territory fire agencies.
Meanwhile in July, StarFlight Australia, Sikorsky Helitech and Kaan Air Australia signed an agreement to bring an initial 10 ex-US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters into Australia to be refurbished for use locally in aerial firefighting, emergency services and disaster relief operations.