BILLINGS – Representative Matt Rosendale visited the Magic City Wednesday, checking out the Billings Flying Service to learn more about their involvement in fighting fires.
Al Blain, Co-Owner of Billings Flying Service, showed off their prized CH-47 Chinook Helicopters to Rep. Rosendale, explaining how they prepare the helicopters to fight fires all around the world.
“We’ve been to Chile, we’ve been to Indonesia, but right now our aircraft are scattered from Alaska to Arizona, we have some in Colorado. As the season evolves, we go wherever we are needed and where we’re told,” Blain said.
Billings Flying Service owns eight CH-47 Chinooks which were built in the early ’60s. Blain says they were the first in the nation to purchase the helicopters from the U.S. military.
Blain’s team works to upgrade the aircrafts which can now carry up to 2,600 gallons of water. He says the Chinook Helicopters are the best aircrafts for dropping fire retardant.
“They’re the most effective aerial firefighting tool there is out there, and we feel like our company is the best there is. So, we do a better job at setting up our aircraft than everybody else,” Blain said.
Rep. Rosendale seemed impressed by the Billings Flying Service and mentioned how vital their services will be as we expect a difficult fire season in the coming months.
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