The two-day Aerial Firefighting North America conference hosted by Tangent Link was held this year in Sacramento at the McClellan conference center at the former McClellan Airforce base in Sacramento. Beginning with an opening keynote address from Thom Porter, Director of CAL FIRE, the opening address laid the groundwork for what would be two days of learning and education from some of the most experienced people in the aerial firefighting industry.
Day two started with a heartfelt tribute from Wayne Coulson and the Coulson Aviation team, paying tribute to their lost team members from the Tanker 134 crash in Australia just a month prior to the show.
Some of the other show highlights included confirmation from Conair that the company expects to open the world’s first Aerial Firefighting and Tactics center early in the spring of 2020 that will contain multiple fully Networked Flight Training Devices configured to simulate the cockpit and flight dynamics for eight aircraft platforms performing different roles during an aerial firefighting mission.
Viking Air Limited introduced during their session the Canadair CL-515 First Responder, a new production multi-mission scooping amphibian and purpose-built aerial firefighting aircraft. Among other major announcements, Coulson Aviation showed off their largest in class 3000 gallon RADS tank fitted to their CH-47.
Columbia Helicopters also introduced a Type 1 multi-mission Standard Transport Category helicopter – the Columbia Model 234 LR Chinook, which can be configured to carry up to 19 passengers, a 2,800-gallon internal tank, a 2,600-gallon bucket, or internal and external cargo.