Volunteers ready to reload aircraft

Member News image Volunteers training in fixed-wing aircraft reloading at Corryong earlier this month.


More than 150 CFA volunteers across the state have been hard at work this pre-season, being trained in reloading fixed-wing aircraft so they can return to the fireground as fast as possible.


Over the past few months, CFA Aviation delivered pre-season training to volunteers from Ouyen to Tyabb, Warrnambool to Kerang and many other places in between. The members will be volunteering to reload aircraft located throughout Victoria this fire season.

CFA Aviation Commander Luke Patterson said the volunteers have learnt how to safely work around and reload fixed wing aircraft to support shorter turnaround times to ensure maximum efficiency of aircraft operations.

“At Bendigo Airport, CFA worked jointly with Forest Fire Management Victoria to deliver a Large Air Tanker reloading capability which sees Victoria’s newest Large Air Tanker – a Dash 8 Q400 with a capacity of 10,000 litres – being filled at Bendigo. CFA members from close supporting brigades to be able to quickly respond to refill aircraft when requested by district officers,” he said.

Sixty-five CFA members have also taken part in Aviation Communication and Evaluation (ACE) courses at Melton, Nhill and Dookie.

“This course gives confidence to ground crews in communicating to aircraft – and also a better understanding of drop characteristics and knowledge for more efficient use of aircraft when needed,” Commander Patterson said.

“Aircraft have already been dispatched close to 200 times so far this season to support firefighters on firegrounds mainly in the north and west of the state and this training ensures we’re ready to support aircraft operations across the state.”



  • Member News imageCFA volunteers and FFMVic personnel training in fixed-wing aircraft reloading in Bendigo
  • Member News image
Submitted by CFA Media