One of Coulson Aviation’s aerial firefighting CH-47D Chinook helicopters hovers over the runway at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. The Chinook has been on Vancouver Island for about a week after spending time in Washington State, according to its flight history. (PHOTO COURTESY BILL MCLEOD)

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation hits milestones with firefighting in U.S.

Company's aircraft back in California for third year in a row

One of Coulson Aviation’s CH-47D Chinook aerial firefighting helicopters was spotted at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport this week.

The Chinook was conducting a test hover over the runway during a flight Monday, Aug. 9. The aircraft had previously been in Washington State near Wenatchee for a week or so.

Coulson Aviation’s aircraft have been dispatched to California to assist in battling fires in the coastal U.S. state. A B737 Large Airtanker bomber from Coulson Aviation Australia has been contracted to work in California for the U.S. Forest Service as well, the company stated. This is the third year in a row that Coulson-based aircraft have been dispatched to California.

Coulson’s C-130 and two Chinooks have been working on the 20-hectare (50-acre) Antonio fire in the Angeles National Forest that broke out Aug. 5. The Chinooks can carry more than 11,000 litres (3,000 gallons) of water or fire retardant and are considered “optimal” for urban firefighting.

As of Aug. 1, Coulson Aviation had dropped 19 million litres (five million gallons) of water or fire retardant on wildfires in the U.S. in 2021.

“This is a big milestone as it reflects the leading role that Coulson has played in initial attack firefighting operations,” the company posted on its Facebook page, Coulson Aviation—Next Gen Firefighting.

Alberni Valley News