A Sunshine Coast-based helicopter company will again be using its water bombing aircraft to fight bush fires in Greece.
It is the fourth bush fire season McDermott Aviation has sent helicopters to Greece.
This year five of its choppers were recently transported from the firm’s Cooroy base to Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport and loaded on a 747 freighter.
Three other choppers are being flown from the company’s base in Alabama while one remained in Greece after the last fire season.
McDermott Aviation’s, Simon McDermott, said it is a huge logistical operation and he has praised his staff for making it happen.
More than 40 of the company’s staff will be in Greece for more than three months.
“We’ve been doing this in a lot of places around the world. This is by far the largest number in one deployment,” Mr McDermott said.
He said the company’s work fighting bush fires in Australia and on the Sunshine Coast attracts a lot of international attention.
“So our products here in Australia get a lot of publicity and they are a good product. Agencies all around the world are looking for good reliability and support and that’s something we really try hard in,” Mr McDermott said.
“I believe it’s from proving the product that we’re using,” he said.
Fighting bush fires in Greece is similar to Australia but there’s one big difference.
“The biggest thing is we fly with an interpreter in our machinery because all of the fire communications radios and so forth are not speaking English all the time so we always fly with a local interpreter,” he said.
McDermott Aviation also operates its water bombing choppers in the US, Canada and Indonesia.