By Jim Messer, Chief Operations OfficerAircrane
As we start into November it really does feel like the year is winding down. It is often said "don’t wish time away" but many aspects of our business are waiting out the US election, and hopefully a return in consumer confidence. The housing starts in the US are at their lowest level in a quarter century, and forecasted to remain down well into 2009. This directly affects our harvesting and lumber manufacturing operations, and indirectly our helicopter activity levels.
The Hawaii Mars and her fleet of support equipment returned home October 17th from a three month firefighting stint in California. The fleet was relocated to Southern California (Lake Elsinore) in early October, and then dispatched home when Santa Ana fire events were at low to moderate levels. Photos above show the Hawaii Mars and ground support equipment in position on shores of Lake Elsinore. The US Forest Service will be auditing our Port Alberni facilities in mid November, where we will have further discussions on contracts for the 2009 fire season.
C-FCLM has been trucked to the docks in Long Beach, California and is awaiting departure to Melbourne for their fire season. C-FMAY will join her shortly for the same voyage. One aircraft will be positioned at Mansfield and the other at Colac, both in Victoria State. They will be in service until late March, 2009.