Twin-engine Aero Commanders are the primary Type 1 Air Attack carded FAA part 135 mission-ready planes. Three AC90As and one AC690D pressurized turbines, and two AC50 pistons turbocharged Shrike Commanders. Commanders are chosen because of their superior performance, operational effectiveness, and excellent downward visibility for emergency service. They are equipped with an extensive array of avionics, datacom, and networking in a human comfortable environment for long back to back missions. Planes are equipped and maintained beyond FAA, State, and Federal (National Interagency Federal Center NIFC) carding standards. Firefighters might tolerate rougher conditions, but because Courtney is also a standard Air Taxi-Charter Carrier and operates Yosemite Flight Tours, planes are kept pretty and ready to impress anyone.
A range of smaller planes are maintained for specific emergency ad mapping missions like Infrared imaging, 3D terrain modeling, wildlife surveys, and manned-UAV monitoring. Four specially equipped short-takeoff and landing (STOL) aircraft, two H295 Helio Couriers, and two Cessnas compete with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) with 8 hours of unencumbered flight time/ less cost/staff and functionality in many more environments than unmanned aircraft.
Cessnas are for fast and cost-effective maintenance support flights and pilot rotation.
All agency carded planes are Type 1+ Air Attack Platforms, and are equipped with:
- Two or more infrared cameras (thermal) see through smoke and at night
- Ability to transmit GIS map data and photos real-time to the ground
- Redundant IFR with TCAS/TCAD to Multi-Function Display (MFD)
- Satellite: Telephone, email map data while flying and AFF tracking
- Four AM VHF com radios
- Four FM com radios (NAT) with simulcast repeater system
- 3 Individual audio panels – one for each person including an ATGS trainee position
- Our AC690As also have
- A Gimbal featuring extreme zoom with tracking people or tankers operated from the plane or the ground, real-time transmission of IR-EO to boots on the ground