Fire Fighting

Fire Fighting



The benefits of the Iroquois (Huey) are indisputable when comparing apples with apples, – and on a typical fire, no other helicopter type in NZ can deliver bulk water from the air, on a per litre basis, cheaper.

Not only is it faster with a fully loaded bucket of water than a BK or B3 (the latter due to the open door restrictions), it will still climb out at 1000‘ a minute, and make 85 knots (loaded) in speed to the site. Return is around 100-105 knots. The Huey has the ability to “dead- lift” out of a water hole fully loaded, where other machine types, “fully loaded,” may struggle to drag out at low angle. With our base in Taranaki, Beck Helicopters is centrally placed for deployment, and with numerous contracts in the South Island and Central/North-Eastern North Island, we are sometimes only a short flight away. For example, we are closer to Nelson than an aircraft from Christchurch. As a matter of course, we take fire equipment with us to the South Island during the fire season. Please feel free to call when a fire breaks in your area, we may be closer than you think.




  • For the future we plan 3 Bell 204 Iroquois (Hueys) in the operational fleet, with one in the South Island during the fire season. All will be equipped as above. We also have some new projects in the planning stage, including, but not limited to:
    • Power filling of the water bucket, for low water depth dams.
    • Variable Swath, from “column”, to “wide swath”, controlled from the cockpit.
    • Higher visibility with Forward Facing Hi Intensity LED flashers.


All these developments will make the Huey an even greater fire assault machine, and with our central location, and Engineering backup, Beck Helicopters can offer a strong Fire Fighting Force, at a price that will be hard to emulate on a long term basis. With the US military repowering and reintroducing the Huey (as the Super Huey II) we are assured a supply of parts for years to come! Becks Fire Fighting helicopters are equipped to the following standards:

  • Certified for Fire Fighting in Restricted Category, Single Pilot approved
  • Under slung Water Buckets with up to 1500lt capacity, including:
    • Multi open / shut capability with single load
    • Ability to vary discharge rate during flight by flick of a switch
    • Hi-Alt / Hi –Volume drop for penetration
    • Lo-Alt / Lo –Volume drop for wide swath
    • Variable Electronic Foam Injection, with Air Agitation
    • Variable lines from 6 meters to 60 meters, for optimum filling
    • High climb and cruise speed when fully loaded
    • No restriction on speed when returning (100 knots normal)
    • Large, (600 ml diameter) opening plug
  • Fire Service/DOC/Emergency radios, GPS, TracPlus, Xponder
  • High Vis (USFS) blades and strobes.
  • Portable fuel bladders for effective instant deployment, other tankers available
  • Highly skilled Pilots with experience in US, Australia, and NZ

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