This article was first published at Fire Aviation.
A pilot was killed in Australia February 14 when a helicopter crashed while working on a bush fire southeast of Pipers Brook, Tasmania. The accident was reported to the police and emergency services at about 3:20 p.m. The pilot was the only person on board.
From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:
Tasmania Fire Service Acting Deputy Chief Jeff Harper said the northern Tasmanian man was an experienced pilot who had been assisting water-bombing activities as a subcontractor.
Mr. Harper said it was a tragic incident, and that the man had worked on multiple Tasmanian fires in the past.
Firefighting aircraft were grounded after the helicopter crash, and will all be assessed overnight before being deployed again.
The Tasmania Police said the pilot’s next of kin has been notified.
Since it started several days ago the fire has burned 1,660Ha (4,100 acres). Helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, heavy machinery, and firefighters on the ground have been working to control the blaze. A number of forestry plantations have been impacted and one structure has been destroyed.
The ABC reported that the bushfire had resulted from a registered burn that got away from the “very remorseful” owner, and it had been deemed accidental.
The Tasmania Police is asking that anyone with information who may have seen the helicopter near Pipers Brook just before the crash should call Launceston Police on 131444 or report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000 or crimestopperstas.com.au. Information can be provided anonymously.
On January 23, 2020 the three crewmembers of an EC-130Q, Air Tanker 134, were killed when the aircraft crashed while working on a fire in New South Wales.
Fire Aviation sends out our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of the deceased pilot.
The make and model of the helicopter has not been released.