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An Erikson skycrane crashed this morning in Gippsland, Victoria, working the Thompson Complex Catchment fires. Three on board, all got out and were able to swim to shore. The aircraft was substantially damaged. The crew are fine.

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Was it operated by Erickson? The article I saw said it was owned by a local agency, but we know how accurate the news is...

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Lots of interesting things can happen operating in and out of confined areas. Also shallow water with hidden objects to hook your snorkel on and roll you over. Similar to the snagged pond snorkel on the Day Fire rollover back in 2006 (Erickson S64E Day Fire Accident) and (Erickson Libby, MT Accident).


Appears the sea snorkel is stowed due to the shallow water; therefore, they would have been using the pond snorkel.





One of Victoria’s fire bombing Aircranes, "Christine" 341 has been involved in an incident during fire operations over the Thomson Complex Catchment fires in Gippsland. The two pilots and one engineer are safe after swimming to the edge of the dam where the aircraft crashed. Ambulance Victoria will assess the crew members.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Worksafe have been notified.

Over the past several days, the aircraft had been involved in fire suppression activities at the Thomson Catchment Complex fires. The Aircrane was one of ten aircraft working on the fire.

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said that he was grateful that the crew are safe.

Victoria has 49 contracted aircraft including two Aircranes.


Owner/operator: Erickson Inc Registration: N173AC

Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 3 Other fatalities: 0

Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)

Location: Gippsland, VIC 37º 41.575'S 146º 08.432'E

Elev: 3,497'

Phase: Manoeuvring (firefighting)



A helicopter crashed into a reservoir during fire fighting operations. Crew swam to shore and are OK.
Edited by iChris

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It was operated by Erikson, but in Oz the state agencies like to put their names on the aircraft and claim them.


"Ownership" by the "local agency" is akin to an exclusive use contract in the US.

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