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CFA a big part of Avalon Airshow
CFA crews on standby at the Avalon Airshow earlier this month responded to an incident after a report an aircraft was in difficulty.
The light plane, a Piper Cherokee, had to make an emergency landing at Avalon Airport, after the plane lost a wheel during take-off.
CFA District 7 Operations Officer Mark Sinkinson said the aircraft was not connected to the airshow, but flying in to attend the event.
A Tanker on standby at the airshow responded, along with Geelong Rescue at the request Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) who were the control agency.
“The plane landed without too much trouble, apart from missing a wheel,” Mark said.
“It did have the potential to flip, and there was potential need for extrication, so we were there as a precaution.”
Over the six days of the airshow CFA members from District 7 worked more than 350 shifts to ensure round-the-clock emergency service attendance.
A shift ranged from 24-30 people, including career and volunteer members, which was bumped up to 35 on the weekends. The event required the establishment of an Emergency Management Centre (ECC) which was operating throughout the airshow. All emergency services were represented in the ECC and also included RAAF liaisons.
Planning for the event started over six months ago and culminated in a team coming together a month out to implement CFA’s component of this massive event. Mark thanked the efforts of firefighters Adam Heddle, Dale March and Laurie Hill.
“Adam and Dale were a great help in implementing our plan and they obtained valuable exposure and experience in another aspect of the CFA deliver,” he said.
“I reckon the airshow would not be the success it was without Laurie.”
On each shift there was a Heavy and Light Pumper, two Slip-Ons, four brand new Medium Tankers and support vehicles in attendance.
Adam said those attending the show enjoyed themselves over the course of the week.
“A lot of people were asking questions about the trucks we had there,” he said.
“The CFA crews on shift rotated so they got to see a bit of the show as well.”
The two Large Air Tankers, which were in use during the fire season and have recently returned home to Canada, were also available for people to view.
“The LATs were also used as a part of a public display for people to have a look at,” Adam said.
“They certainly got a lot of attention, particularly when they participated in the flying displays and dropped water. Operations Officer Wayne Rigg even grabbed the microphone to provide a running commentary of what was going on to the huge crowd.”
The Avalon Airshow ran from Tuesday, 24 February to Sunday, 1 March.
** Pictures by Keith Pakenham and Blair Dellemijn **