The helicopter is an invaluable tool when it comes to fire fighting throughout wilderness areas, rural farmland, urban communities and cities.


The ability to collect large quantities of water from nearby water sources and distribute quickly across all types of fires is critical for fire management and response. Often the helicopter is the most valuable tool when looking to contain and extinguish fires. The more water you can take to the fire the more effective you will be in containing and putting the fire out quickly. Heavy lift aircraft move a lot of water quickly and this is key for rapid outcomes. Nearly every time the Black Hawk lifts a bucket a water, 3400 litres of water (or water with retardant), is heading to the fire ground. Currently in New Zealand, that’s over twice what the largest helicopter is lifting.

3400 Litre Fire Bucket

The SEI Bambi multi drop bucket with PowerFill Snorkel is unique due to it ability to suck water from very shallow (46 cm’s) water sources. Often the nearest water source to the fire might be so shallow that normal conventional filling of the bucket by dunking, tipping or settling into the water is not an option. However with the PowerFill Snorkel, the bucket can be tilted or stood up in the shallow water source and the snorkel fills the bucket in about 45 seconds.

4500 Litre Fire Tank

The Helitak Fire Tank FT 4500 (Future Instal) is a specially designed and constructed belly tank for the Black Hawk. Its fixed to the underneath of the helicopter with a 10 foot snorkel hanging from the tank and is used to move water from the source to the tank in about 45 seconds. The tank is ideal when operating over built up areas and offers a great deal of accuracy for the pilot.