San Diego’s third firefighting helicopter, a civilian variant of the military’s UH-60 Black Hawk, is now ready to battle bush fires from the air.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer joined Fire Chief Colin Stowell to show off the new S-70i Firehawk helicopter built by Lockheed Martin and United Rotorcraft.
“The fire season is now year-round in California so we’re constantly looking for opportunities to be as prepared as possible for when the big one strikes here in San Diego,” Faulconer said. “This new Firehawk bolsters our ability to quickly address any fire situation and ensures we have the most advanced equipment to keep San Diegans safe.”
The $20 million aircraft is capable of flying at night and can drop 1,000 gallons of water in a single load. Its military heritage makes it particularly suitable for flying low over fires. Its call sign will be “Copter 3.”
The city is building a $13.7 million hangar at Montgomery-Gibbs Field to house all three of its firefighting helicopters.
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