Aviation safety issues and actions

Separation assurance at fire locations

Issue number: AO-2009-075-SI-01
Who it affects: All pilots conducting firebombing operations
Issue owner: NSW Rural Fire Service
Transport function: Aviation: General aviation
Background: Investigation Report AO-2009-075
Issue release date: 29 November 2010
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Issue status justification:

Safety action taken by NSW Rural Fire Service

Safety issue description

There were no published communications procedures or phraseology that should before used by pilots during firebombing operations to provide separation assurance at fire locations when there was no air attack supervisor present.

Proactive Action

Action number: AO-2009-075-NSA-095
Action organisation: NSW Rural Fire Service
Date: 29 November 2010
Action status: Closed

On 8 October 2010, the NSW Rural Fire Service advised that it had developed a Draft standard operating procedure that particularly addresses 'Mission Management' including the use of standard terminology for aerial firefighting activities.

The RFS advised that in November 2010, and on behalf of NSW Fire Agencies, it would be conducting 'a series of workshops for aviation specialists to pass on these changes'.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action by the NSW RFS adequately addresses the safety issue.

Last update 30 January 2014