In compliance with the Contract signed in June 2007 between the Aviation Authority of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Portugal and BERIEV Aircraft Company, two serial aircraft Be-200ES were fighting forest fires in Portugal from July 10th to September 30th, 2007.
Fire-fighting air missions were performed by BERIEV Aircraft Company (JSC) commercial airline which operates the Bå-200 amphibious aircraft and holds International Certificate of Operator.
Over the period mentioned above two aircraft of the BERIEV Aircraft Company airline made 58 fire-fighting mission flights with total flying hours of 167 hours 35 minutes. A total of 2560 tons of water were delivered to the seats of fire in a time of fire-fighting mission flights.
Fire-fighting air missions were performed over continental territory of Portugal and border areas of Spain both in mountainous, hardly-accessible areas of the country and in close proximity to human settlements.
Under contractual obligations the Bå-200ES amphibious aircraft demonstrated superb maneuverability which allowed aircraft operation in mountainous area without any difficulty. Thanks to a high speed of the amphibians it was possible to reach promptly the area of fire and perform quick transit flights from the seats of fire to the areas of water scooping, thus enabling to perform the missions in the long-distance regions of the country at a long distance from the base aerodrome with autonomy exceeding 3.5 hours.
All routine maintenance was performed upon operational readiness completion, thus ensuring maximum flight readiness of the aircraft.
A considerable volume of water (12 000 liters) dropped per attack by each amphibious aircraft on the seat of fire as well as operation of the Bå-200ES aircraft in pair, which significantly increased effectiveness, were the key factors in fighting quickly expanding and big fires.
As one of the examples of a prompt response and a quick effective operation may serve liquidation of a big fire threatening the barrio of Lisbon - Sintra - former summer residence of Portuguese kings, which is a historical site included by UNESCO into the list of world heritage. Separate thanks on behalf of operational National Security Commander were expressed to the personnel of Russian aviation group for the liquidation of this fire. Exclusive aircraft performance and crew piloting skills were particularly stressed.
The Be-200ES amphibious aircraft successfully coped with all contractual obligations dealing with protection of forestlands, human settlements, buildings, roads, agricultural holdings and vitally important communications of Portugal against fires. Representatives of "ÅÌÀ" company, authorized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Portugal, expressed their interest in a long-term cooperation with BERIEV Aircraft Company on protecting the territory of Portugal against forest fires by using the Bå-200ES amphibious aircraft.
BERIEV Aircraft Company
1 Aviatorov sq., Taganrog, 347923, RUSSIA
Tel.: ++7 (8634) 39-08-39, 39-08-82
Fax: ++7 (8634) 64-74-34