For quickly covering large areas of remote country for controlled burns, back burning whilst fire fighting and obtaining a cleaner burn on pulled country, SKY FIRE is the answer.


SKY FIRE is the latest development in drip torch type fire lighters for helicopters and is designed and built by Reid Heliwork. The lighter is slung beneath the machine which has obvious safety advantages over other incendiary devices which are carried in the cabin of the aircraft. The actual incendiary is a revolutionary controlled flow gel. This is pumped from the nozzle at the tail of the lighter through a pair of igniters. The gel is burning as it leaves the lighter and will remain alight on the ground for up to five minutes after it lands.

The gel pump and igniters can both be controlled from the cabin of the helicopter during flight. Flow rates for the gel are also adjusted from the cabin depending on the type of operation. The capacity of the tank is up to 200 litres, coverage varies widely depending on the type of work. A tank full could light several thousand acres of pulled country or light a 50 km line on a controlled burn.

Sky Fire operations incorporate a computer based GPS mapping system which enables pinpoint accuracy in lighting fire trails. The pre flight briefing session includes discussions with the client as to the exact location of intended burning. This information is drawn onto a map and uploaded into the aircrafts GPS receiver which the pilot then follows. Maps can be printed before flight indicating the proposed path and post flight with the actual path superimposed over the top.