MANSFIELD welcomed an impressive new friend recently when a UH-60A Blackhawk helicopter docked in Australia.
Specifically adapted for firefighting, the blue and orange beast will be made available across the state for fighting bushfires.
The helicopter is the first Blackhawk to operate here on the civil register, and has been shipped from the United States in partnership with Pays’ Helicopters.
“We have been impressed by the performance of the Blackhawk since it went into firefighting service in the US, and now we want to assess it in Australian conditions,” Pays’ Helicopters specialist, Fergus Frater, said.
“Timberline has operated this aircraft for more than 750 hours in the last five months, including firefighting and heavy lifting in 2016.
“Pays has been involved in aerial firefighting since 1993 for NSW, Victorian and Queensland government agencies, and we think the Blackhawk’s unique capabilities will make a valuable contribution,” Mr Frater said.