Columbia Helicopters signs five aircraft lease deal with US Forest Service
Columbia Helicopters has signed a deal with the US Forest Service to provide five aircraft under contract to assist in battling wildland fires. The helicopters provided will include two CH-47D Chinook helicopters that are equipped with newly certified internal tanks that will permit the aircraft to fight fires in urban areas.
The company’s two tanked CH-47D helicopters will report to their assigned contract bases in May, with one aircraft assigned to McCall, Idaho and the second Chinook assigned to Rifle, Colorado.
Additional aircraft include include a Columbia Model 234 Chinook assigned to Silver City, New Mexico, and two Columbia Vertol 107-II helicopters assigned to Hamilton, Montana, and Custer, South Dakota respectively.
“We have a long history of supporting Forest Service firefighting efforts with our aircraft, and are pleased that the US Forest Service recognises the value of our flight personnel and fleet,” said president of Columbia Helicopters, Jim Rankin. “The new Simplex FAS tank system will allow us to fight fires in urban and forested areas.”