Thursday, December 7, 2017

Neptune Aviation Services sends two aircraft to California

MISSOULA -

Fire crews from around Montana are in California lending a hand.

Including Neptune Aviation, the company is assisting in this fire fight from the sky.

There may be snow up on the mountains in Montana right now, but this record-setting fire season is not over yet.

The Neptune Aviation Services just sent out two of these BAE 146 aircraft to help fight the fires in California.

Dan Snyder, Chief Operating Officer at Neptune Aviation Services said that this wildfire season is a record-high for not only the number of miles fire planes have logged in the sky, but also the number of operations.

"We started in January of this year and here we are in December flying again. It's been a very long year for us," said Snyder.

Snyder said that Neptune Aviation sent out two aircraft to California earlier this week with a crew of four in each.

He said that the aircraft they sent over, the BAE 146 200 holds 3,000 gallons of fire retardant, travels fast over 400 miles per hour, and can attack both small and large fires.

"What we are currently doing is protecting the small fires that start small. A lot of these fires in California all began at a single point. If you can catch them at that point you can mitigate the damage and that’s what we are doing right now is helping to assist catch those small fires," said Snyder.

Snyder said that their aircraft is on a call when needed basis with California.
He said that they were surprised to get a call so late in the season, but he said that they always have resources ready. 

"We have dedicated personnel who volunteered to do this mission. We have the ability to cycle people out as they need to for vacations and so forth. But we had a bunch of people stand up and say yes i want to help because again it’s a mission we a subscribed to and want to support," said Snyder.

Snyder said that they do not know how long their aircraft will be assisting in California.

It could be anywhere from two more days to two more weeks.

"It's what we do we fight fire. And when there is fire were willing to be there and able to help. Are we ready to end and have a Christmas break, yes, but when there’s a need we're ready to get out there and help," said Snyder.

This prolonged fire season has delayed maintenance, so the Neptune Aviation team is working extra hard to get the aircraft ready for the 2018 fire season.

Story and video ➤ http://www.abcfoxmontana.com

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