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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Rotorcraft Report: Russian, U.S. Firms Send Helicopters to Assist In Greece Wild Fires

COMMERCIAL/UTILITY

The Russian operator UTair Aviation has sent an Mil Mi-6 to help contain forest fires in Greece.

The helicopter, which can carry 15 metric tons (33,000 lb) of water, was sent in response to the Greek prime minister’s request for extra assistance. Russia sent two planes and three helicopters.

Greece has also contracted for four Erickson Air Crane S-64E Helitankers under a seasonal fire suppression contract. Greece has contracted Ericksons since 1999 for the fire season from May to September.

Thousands of firefighters were involved in the firefighting effort. More than 40,000 hectares (98.8 acres) have burned this summer.

Greek firefighters were also involved in fighting fires on the island of Crete with the help of two Russian-built Mil Mi-8s. Each aircraft has a water-carrying capacity of seven tons.

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