The Daily Telegraph’s investigation team has done an excellent job of examining the events leading up to the loss of the Coulson Aviation Hercules near Cooma in January of this year. There are a number of questions that need to be answered:
Why did the C130 fly without the ‘bird dog’ light aircraft that usually leads the LAT on its ‘bombing run’?
Why did the C130 fly at a time when the winds were so high that all other aitrcraft in the area including the bird dog had been grounded?
Why did the C130 put to the air when the Coulson 737 had already returned to Sydney after the high winds had turned its retardant drop into mist?
Why was the cockpit voice recorder in the C130 turned off?
Who within the RFS ordered the C130 to fly in conditions with 150 kph wind gusts that were clearly highly dangerous?
The RFS deploys its own local weather stations to report on wind conditions and BoM staff are embedded into the fire control centre. There cannot be any excuse for not knowing the conditions on the day in question.
This is the full story:
Lets hope that we get some answers from the NSW Bushfire Enquiry.