Aerial Fire Fighting
Pay’s Air Service, based in Scone NSW, is a commercial operation that currently provides 7 fixed wing aircraft and other support equipment to both domestic and international agencies. These agencies are responsible for providing specialized aviation resources for firefighting and other land management services. Pay’s Air Service operates an approved maintenance facility from its base in Scone and provides a high level of operational reliability across all aspects of the business. Pay’s licenced Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, along with operational staff, have provided numerous innovative engineering solutions to enhance our operational capabilities.
Pay’s Air Service has been operating Fire Bosses since 2013 where they upgraded one of their Air Tractor 802’s with the Wipline 10000 amphibious float. The addition of the floats and associated water scooping equipment allows the Fire Boss to be a self-filling firefighting platform. This has resulted in shorter turnaround times giving it a significant increase in productivity. The success of this aircraft has led to additional purchases with Pay’s now operating 4 Fire Bosses, with a 5th one on the way.
Pay’s currently operate 3 AT-802’s that are all equipped with computer-controlled fire gates to ensure precision control and drop patterns. They are also equipped with GPS tracking and state of the art cockpit equipment. The Air Tractor 802 is the world’s leading single engine air tanker for fire suppression and control. With a capacity of 3200 litres of firefighting foam, gel or fire retardant and a transit speed of 300Km/h the 802 is relied upon for control of bushfires in all major forested areas of Australia.
Pay’s Air Service are a long-term provider for all forms of fixed wing aerial application training. With Flight Examiners on staff and tens of thousands of hours experience to draw on, Pay’s are recognized as a leading training provider throughout Australasia.
Training services provided at Pay’s include:
- Agricultural ratings
- Night agricultural ratings
- Aircraft endorsements
- Agricultural rating flight checks
- Aeroplane flight reviews
- Aeroplane Firebombing Endorsement
There is a large amount of syllabus knowledge required for the issue of an agricultural rating. There is also a CASA theory exam that must be completed before the rating can be issued. It is recommended that thorough study be undertaken and a pass in the exam achieved prior to beginning training. There is also the requirement to hold a chemical applicators licence applicable to the state of operation. The theory component of this can be satisfied by gaining a pass in the AAAA Spray Safe accreditation examination. It is recommended that all applicants for an agricultural rating become a member of the AAAA.
Agricultural Rating Overview:
Training for initial issue of an agricultural rating is comprised of a minimum of 35 hours training. Of these 35 hours, the first 10 are an introduction to basic low level flying, aerial application principles and emergencies. The next 25 hours are comprised of at least 20 hours dual instruction in advanced aerial application principles, operational planning and methods of application and a minimum of 5 hours supervised solo training.
The dual instruction component of the training is completed in a Cessna 185 equipped with GPS marking equipment. This machine is an excellent test of handling ability and will provide a solid foundation of skills to build upon. The solo portion of the rating is conducted in one of our C188 Ag Husky aircraft in full agricultural configuration. Following the issue of an agricultural rating there is a further requirement for 110 hours of supervision including 20 hours of direct supervision by an employer, prior to being able to fly fully unsupervised.
Personnel: Ross Pay and Harley Mckillop
Air Tractor 802. The Air Tractor 802 is the world’s leading single engine air tanker for fire suppression and control. With a capacity of 3200 litres of firefighting foam, gel or fire retardant and a transit speed of 300Km/h the 802 is relied upon for control of bushfires in all major forested areas of Australia.
Pay’s operate three 802’s, all equipped with computer controlled fire gates to ensure precision control and drop patterns. They are also equipped with GPS tracking and state of the art cockpit equipment.
Air Tractor Fire Boss. For the 2013/14 fire season, Pay’s Air Service made a significant investment in equipping one of its Air Tractor 802’s as an amphibious Fire Boss. The addition of the Wipline 10000 amphibious floats and associated water scooping equipment allows the Fire Boss to be a self-filling firefighting platform, the resultant short turnaround times give it the productivity of approximately 3 wheeled 802’s. The aircraft has proven an overwhelming success, on some days delivering upwards of 150,000 litres to fires.
Cessna C208B Grand Caravan. The 14 seat Caravan is an excellent load carrying aircraft and is capable of operation from short and unprepared airstrips. Pay’s Caravan is contracted to provide fire crew transport, fire reconnaissance and surveillance, and air attack coordination of firebombing aircraft. Pay’s also operate a Cessna 182 on an ad-hoc basis in the same role.