Fire Control

Fire Control

For over 20 years, McDermott Aviation have been involved in various Fire Control Operations for DPI Forestry, NSW Parks & Wildlife, NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria Country Fire Authority (CFA), South Australian Country Fire Service (CFS), Queensland Fire and Rescue (QFRS) and a number of privately owned forest plantation companies.

We currently hold one of the largest NAFC Aerial Fire Fighting contracts across Australia, and have fought fires all over the world including, Canada, America, Portugal, Indonesia and New Caledonia.

Water Bombing

McDermott Aviation, in joint venture with Isolair U.S.A, has developed and manufactured the ‘Tsunami’ Belly Tank system for the Bell 214B Helicopter. With a capacity of 2600 litres, it is one of the highest capacity tanks available. This system, along with the Eliminator II Bell 204/205 Tanks manufactured by us under license with Isolair inc, provide the complete ‘in house’ fire fighting solution.

These systems comprise of both a foam retardant system – with an automatic injection, or a gel injection tank that allows a pre determined mix to be injected by the pilot.

The system also has a high volume (214 – 75L/second, 204 – 35L/second) Kawak “Snorkel Pump” allowing rapid ‘hover’ loading from shallow water.

Both tank systems allow for either a “drop” of the entire load, or partial “drop” as required. All actions, including dump volume and drop length (time) are precisely controlled and monitored by the pilot.

Each water load can be tracked via an onboard GPS logging system which allows us to gather data for our clients and show them exactly where the water was sourced, how much water was sourced, and also where the water was dispersed and how many Litres/ha was dropped on a particular fire.

As well as belly tanks, we also use under slung buckets ranging up to 3000 litre capacity. Our range of buckets include the latest technology multi-drop, self-filling buckets; all available with foam injection systems. These buckets are under slung and can be fitted to various length long lines.

During recent fire disasters in Australia, McDermott Aviation had helicopters deployed into some of the most severely effected areas, regularly flying 10 hour operational days per helicopter, with all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance carried out ‘after-hours’ to ensure all machines were available for tasking each morning.

Air Attack

Coinciding with fire control, we also conduct ‘Air Attack’ support, which is an industry term used for the actual planning of aerial assets on a fire as it happens. ‘Air Attack’ also refers to the supervisor in the air who supervises the process of attacking the wildfire from the air via another aircraft and has continual communication with the ground personnel to inform and report on the fire bombing containment and/or if further assistants is required.


A large part of what has made McDermott Aviation so successful within the Aerial Fire Fighting industry is our reputation for being completely self reliant and able to totally support our operations 100% without assistance from any 3rd party.

  • We have multiple versions of each aircraft – including 14 x Bell 214’s, 8 x AS365 Dauphin’s and 5 x AS355 Twin Squirrel’s, which allows us to have some redundancy in the rare case of an unforeseen serviceability issue.
  • A massive range of spare parts and consumables to keep our aircraft in the air.
  • A large contingency of engineers that are highly experienced in field work.
  • A large number of our own sheet metal workers, avionics and electricians.
  • An extensive stores team that are sending and receiving parts throughout Australia and across the world each and every day.
  • 13 Refueling vehicles, ranging from 2400L up to 35,000L capacity.
  • 7 Engineering Service vans that allow engineers to follow the aircraft to the fire ground and perform routine maintenance and daily checks.
  • Exclusive access to a range of fixed wing aircraft to be available for use 24/7 365days of the year at the drop of a hat.
  • The attitude to “get the job done”, year of valuable experience and practical know-how


What Aircraft do you need?
Role; Aircraft;
Water Bombing (Tank) Bell 214B
Bell 204
Water Bombing (Bucket) Bell 214B
Bell 204
Air Attack Bell 214B
Bell 204
Bell 206L
RART AS365 Dauphin
Aerial Survey/Mapping AS355 Twin Squirrel
Bell 206L
Incendiary Bell 206L
McDermott Aviation