FLIGHT SERVICES

SUPER SCOOPER
OPERATIONS

Overview
CL-415EAF
CL-215T
DHC-6-300
INTIAL ATTACK RATINGS
TRAINING PROGRAM
WATER SOURCE REQUIREMENTS

OVERVIEW

The CL-415EAF Super Scooper is the only purpose-built aerial firefighting aircraft in the world. Capable of rapid response, Super Scoopers are an ideal tool for attacking fires early on and preventing the growth of larger fires.

By scooping water from local sources, they can repeatedly attack the head of the fire in rapid succession without needing to return to an airport for reloading.

The Scooper’s primary purpose is to support ground firefighting operations. By remaining on the fire for up to 4 hours at a time, Scooper pilots can observe changes in fire behavior and directly support the objectives of the Incident Management Team through consistent suppression.

CL-415EAF

(super scooper)

Bridger’s Scoopers seamlessly integrate with other aerial firefighting aircraft such as helicopters, LATs, VLATs, SEATs, and other Scoopers, enhancing operational efficiency and effectiveness.

To prevent the spread of invasive species, Scoopers are thoroughly cleaned before entering different water sources. Our Mobile Repair Units are equipped with hot-pressure washers for this purpose.

The Scoopers and Mobile Repair Units can be stationed at any airport with Jet Fuel and an approximately 5,000 ft. paved runway. No special tooling, ground support, or hangars are necessary.

CL-215T


(International Ops.)

In 2023, we entered into an agreement to acquire and return to service 4 CL-215T Super Scoopers for future operations in Europe from the Spanish government. As the global demand for aerial firefighting assets grows, we are excited to expand our international capabilities and bring these planes back into active operation.

Our mission is to support communities affected by wildfires wherever they occur. These 4 Scoopers have an impressive history fighting wildfires in Europe, and we are honored to continue that legacy.

dhc-6-300


(twin otter)

In preparation for Aerial Firefighting, new Scooper pilot candidates undergo extensive training in the DHC-6-300 Twin Otter. The training not only includes simulated water bombing operations, but builds multi-crew aircraft experience, a vital component for a successful Scooper pilot.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) align closely with the Scooper program, facilitating a smooth transition and adherence to safety standards.

Our multi-engine seaplane training helps hone a pilot’s decision-making skills. Pilots learn to read the water, assess wind conditions, and choose optimal scooping approaches, emphasizing judgment and observational skills without standard airport information like ATIS or windsocks.

INTIAL ATTACK RATINGS

Some of Bridger’s Scooper pilots are IA (Initial Attack) rated. This allows the Scooper team to operate as a first responder, combating the fire without requiring aerial supervision overhead.

This accelerates our response capabilities, allowing the Scooper teams to be dispatched and attack fires on their own in the absence of an Air Attack.

TRAINING PROGRAM

To ensure that each Scooper Pilot is ready for the challenges of the fire season, training includes extensive type-specific ground school, simulator training (under Part 142), and actual in-aircraft currency plus firefighting mission-specific aircraft training.

Extensive float training, instrument flying, two-crew operational experience, and low-level flight experience are necessary to step into the role of a Scooper pilot and to handle the hazardous conditions they encounter on each mission.

WATER SOURCE REQUIREMENTS

  • Water Source Size Approximate Requirements: 4,300′ long and 300′ wide and 10′ deep

  • Minimum Scooping Distance: 1,180′

  • Minimum Lake Depth: 10′ (6′ minimum per manufacturer)

  • Utilizes local water sources to minimize time between drops

  • Capable of scooping from freshwater and saltwater

AIR ATTACK
OPERATIONS

Overview
KODIAK 100
PC-12
training

OVERVIEW

The Air Attack aircraft is the command center over a wildfire. On board, the ATGS (Air Tactical Group Supervisor) maintains essential communication with the Incident Commander and coordinates aerial firefighting resources.

Without an Air Attack aircraft overhead, aerial firefighting resources can only fight fires and support ground crews if an IA (Initial Attack)-rated pilot (such as Bridger’s Scooper pilots) is present.

The Air Attack aircraft maintains communication with ground firefighters and aerial firefighting assets, relaying the overall firefighting objectives and coordinating aerial support for ground crews.

KODIAK 100

The Kodiak was built to handle rugged, unimproved runways. Its high-wing design and single engine allow for greater visibility over a wildfire than many other aircraft.

With its unique design and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capabilities, the Kodiak is a perfect aircraft for maneuvering in harsh conditions above a fire and backcountry flying.

PC-12

Bridger Aerospace is proud to be the first to operate the Pilatus PC-12 as an Air Attack platform. With high visibility, incredible speed, and proven reliability, the PC-12 is the perfect aircraft to take on this mission.

TRAINING

Bridger Aerospace has set the standard for Air Attack training, incorporating a fire-training week where pilots are tested in a simulated fire situation.

With multiple aircraft, Air Attack pilots are required to coordinate a simulated FTA “Fire Traffic Area” and efficiently manage the airspace.

Pilots also gain practical experience in fire scenario simulations, including mock fires and integration with other aerial assets.

Each pilot will gain mountain flying & fire experience, undergo a part 135 & USFS/DOI check-ride, and be a part of a dedicated mission.

SPECIAL
MISSIONS

Overview
WESCAM MX-15HDI
OVERWATCH TK-8
SENSOR-ENHANCED AIR ATTACK
NEW START DETECTION
FIRE MAPPING AND IMAGERY
SHRIKE COMMANDER 500S

OVERVIEW

The Bridger Aerospace Multi-Mission Aircraft (MMA) program integrates cutting-edge imaging systems into the Pilatus PC-12 Special-Missions Platform.

Equipped with modular payloads such as the 5th Generation Wescam MX-15HDi and Overwatch TK-8, this aircraft provides real-time wildfire imagery and data transmission to both frontline and rear-echelon ground firefighters.

The program plays a crucial role in incident planning, decision-making, and tactical firefighting.

MX-15HDI

Payload

Best Use Cases

Capabilities

OVERWATCH TK-8

Payload

Best Use Cases

Capabilities

SENSOR-ENHANCED AIR ATTACK

The “Sensor-Enhanced Air Attack” mission augments the Air Tactical Group Supervisor’s (ATGS) visibility over a fire with real-time imaging.

Utilizing a multi-spectral sensor it enhances situational awareness, enabling visibility through smoke and magnification of critical areas.

With medium and short-wave infrared capabilities and multiple zoom levels, the ATGS can closely monitor the crews and ground firefighting operations, even in “zero-visibility” conditions.

NEW START DETECTION

The “New Start Detection” mission involves close collaboration with meteorologists from the Geographic Area Coordination Center (GACC) to pinpoint areas with a high likelihood of lightning-induced fires.

The team leverages lightning strike location data and strategically plans flight profiles to cover fire-prone areas.

The MX-15’s thermal sensor can detect new fire starts at the single-tree stage, even before visible smoke emerges, allowing for a more rapid firefighting response.

FIRE MAPPING AND IMAGERY

The “Fire Mapping and Imagery” mission can utilize either sensor, capturing comprehensive high-resolution images of the entire fire.

The TK-8, with its automated system, captures wide-area multi-spectral data and produces mosaics that offer precise information on fire location and intensity. This can be done day or night.

In contrast, the MX-15, manually controlled by the Mission Systems Operator (MSO), offers a more customized approach, collecting high-definition imagery and video for enhanced perimeter data.

SHRIKE COMMANDER
500S

The Commander was first developed for business travel in 1948. 

In 2014, Bridger’s Shrike Commander (manufactured in 1975 and known as “Whiskey Yankee” due to its tail number N578WY) became the first aircraft to fly with the Bridger Aerospace team.

Throughout its history with Bridger, WY has flown many Air Attack and Surveillance missions. Today, WY is utilized as an incident mapping and surveillance aircraft. Outfitted with an Overwatch TK-8 Camera System, it can identify fire locations and hot spots, even through heavy smoke.

MAINTENANCE
AND REPAIR

Overview
IN-FIELD MAINTENANCE
AVIONICS
CAREER PATH AND TRAINING

overview

Our maintenance team is dedicated to ensuring the readiness and operational capability of all firefighting aircraft. Our highly trained mechanics provide exceptional maintenance support and attention to detail, contributing to minimal contract downtime.

During the off-season, maintenance activities take place at our headquarters in Bozeman, where each aircraft undergoes annual inspections and necessary repairs to prepare for the upcoming fire season.

Our modern hangars are outfitted with all the necessary equipment to conduct aircraft inspections and repairs.

Once the aircraft are deployed, our maintenance crew accompanies them to provide field support.

IN-FIELD MAINTENANCE

To bridge the gap between hangar and field operations, aircraft are supported by a maintenance team with a Mobile Repair Unit (MRU).

The MRU is a truck and trailer outfitted with high-quality tools and equipment, no different from the equipment utilized at home base.

To minimize aircraft downtime and ensure their immediate availability for service, most repairs are conducted at night after the aircraft return from firefighting missions.

The maintenance crews spend a significant amount of time on the road, supporting the aircraft when they are deployed to new fires.

Throughout the fire season, our crews follow a “12 days on, 12 days off” shift schedule, allowing them to travel across the country and work in various locations, ranging from large tanker bases to remote airstrips.

AVIONICS

Our Avionics team is responsible for repairing, upgrading, installing, and inspecting avionics equipment and accessories.

During the fire season, they are deployed alongside the aircraft and maintenance crews to ensure the aircraft are compliant with Forest Service Avionics contract requirements and free of defects while operating in the field.

Each Avionics Technician may be deployed with either the Air Attack, Special Missions, or Scooper teams. They specialize in troubleshooting, modifying, and servicing specialized electronics in the field. Additionally, they provide assistance as A&P Mechanics whenever necessary.

CAREER PATH AND TRAINING

Newer mechanics often start at the Tech 1 or Tech 2 level and can progress to roles such as Sr. Tech or Crew Chief based on their experience and skills. Bridger offers many training opportunities including:

Super Scooper Training:

Air Attack Training:

Avionics Training: