SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Erickson Air-Crane Crashes While Fighting Australian Wildfire

Despite reportedly crashing near a dam, all crew members escaped the crash without major injury.

Posted: Jan 28, 2019 2:39 PM
Updated: Jan 28, 2019 5:28 PM

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — An Erickson Air-Crane helicopter crashed near a dam and sank under water while fighting a wildfire in Victoria, Australia — Erickson, Inc. and Kestrel Aviation confirmed on Monday.

In spite of the crash, the pilot and crew members made it out alright, an Erickson spokesman said.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), the S-64 Aircrane helicopter — nicknamed "Christine" — was aiding with firefighting efforts on the Thomson Catchment Complex fires near Jericho in the state of Victoria, east of the Australian capital in Melbourne.

"The aircraft was actively engaged in fighting the Thomson Complex Catchment bush fire in a challenging and dynamic fire environment," Erickson said in a statement.

For an unknown reason, the helicopter crashed near a dam and began to sink into the water. The three members of Christine's crew were able to swim from the wreckage to the edge of the dam.

All of Christine's crew were recovered, then treated and released from a local hospital soon after the incident.

Erickson said that preliminary data indicates that all aircraft and flight systems were operating normally at the time of the crash. Kestrel and Erickson said that they are cooperating fully with investigative authorities.

ABC reports that all six of Australia's Aircranes have been grounded until the cause of the crash has been determined by investigators. Erickson offered that they will be implementing a "rolling, global safety stand-down" to review and reinforce the importance of crew safety.

"Kestrel and Erickson will continue to support active fire suppression efforts with our fleet in coordination with the Australian authorities," said Erickson.

Just last week an Erickson-owned helicopter — this one a Bell 206 — crashed near Ashland. The pilot did not survive the crash.

Erickson, Inc. has its headquarters in Portland, but the company's main facility is located in Central Point. Its Aircrane aircraft have become an integral part of wildland firefighting operations across the world.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 154554

Reported Deaths: 2204
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31785528
Washington21060212
Marion18335285
Clackamas13310175
Lane10172126
Jackson8299111
Umatilla763181
Deschutes591859
Yamhill375964
Linn356556
Malheur334358
Polk302942
Klamath277455
Douglas242853
Benton231816
Josephine231649
Jefferson195028
Coos142519
Union127519
Columbia124321
Wasco122026
Lincoln112820
Hood River106329
Morrow104414
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6487
Curry4166
Tillamook4122
Lake3746
Harney2726
Grant2221
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3554629

Reported Deaths: 51395
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles118754221106
Riverside2891853749
San Bernardino2853342673
Orange2603483889
San Diego2589823260
Santa Clara1098411765
Kern102627811
Fresno947941412
Sacramento929441464
Alameda800881224
Ventura77238834
San Joaquin665691082
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus55775944
Tulare47784746
Monterey42138327
San Mateo38763515
San Francisco34061398
Santa Barbara31763407
Solano29968164
Merced28915395
Sonoma27954298
Imperial26843589
Kings21951218
Placer19713231
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15390209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12760185
Shasta10944174
Butte10915160
El Dorado9095100
Napa897668
Sutter884597
San Benito574359
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Tuolumne394659
Nevada393274
Mendocino379643
Amador344441
Humboldt316033
Lake313440
Glenn221023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128736
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3947
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Medford
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 41°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 14°
Feels Like: 36°
Medford
Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 36°
Klamath Falls
Mostly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 21°
Drying out, winds diminish this weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events