Media | AerCap

View all news

February 28, 2022

Milestone Aviation Partners with Helitak to Develop Aerial Fire-Fighting Mission Capabilities for the S-92A

DUBLIN – February 28, 2022 – The Milestone Aviation Group Limited (“Milestone”), the global leader in helicopter leasing, has partnered with Australian fire-fighting equipment designer, Helitak Firefighting Equipment Pty Ltd (“Helitak”), to develop a new mission for the Sikorsky S-92A as a next-generation, multi-purpose fire-fighting platform.

As the largest owner of the S-92A, Milestone worked closely with Helitak to develop the innovative FT5000, a lightweight 4,000-liter (1,050 US gallons) collapsible belly-mounted fire suppression tank specifically designed for the helicopter. The first S-92A equipped with the FT5000 will be on static display at the upcoming HAI Heli-Expo in Dallas, Texas from March 8-10.

The S-92A is the global leader in high-capacity civilian passenger transport services as well as search and rescue programs, with over 1.8 million overall fleet hours. Its next generation avionics and dynamic cabin layout mean that in addition to dropping water, it will be capable of transporting crews of up to 19 firefighters to the front lines of wildfire events. The S-92A’s rear-loading cargo ramp and spacious cabin also offer operators the ability to quickly reconfigure the aircraft from passenger and equipment transfers to cargo hauling or medevac services.

Pat Sheedy, President & CEO, Milestone, said, “We are excited to partner with Helitak to adapt the dynamic capabilities of the S-92A for a new market. This turn-key firefighting platform is an industry-first and combines the versatility of the helicopter with Helitak’s innovative tank design.

“Milestone and Helitak’s expert teams worked closely together to craft a solution for the civilian-certified S-92A for immediate deployment into fire-fighting missions across the globe, and we are extremely proud of the results that have been achieved.”

Jason Schellaars, Founder & CEO, Helitak, said, “The certification of our FT5000 for the S-92A, in partnership with Milestone Aviation, is highly beneficial to our business model and will further enhance our reputation as a design team capable of overcoming the issues of fire tank construction and certification. This is something that will greatly benefit both our companies and make our tanks more readily accessible in the fight against wildfires.” 

This new fire-fighting platform combines the unique capabilities of the S-92A with Helitak’s robust, carbon fibre FT5000 system, which can be installed or removed in minutes and is equipped with a hover pump that achieves a fill time of 48 seconds. The tank’s lightweight construction (325 kg / 715 lbs) also allows for greater liquid carrying capacity, which can be dropped in easily configurable patterns through integrated controls. This means that while on site at an event, the aircraft can support fire-fighting ground crews with continuous water or retardant drops.

To view the aircraft at HAI Heli-Expo, visit the static display at Helitak’s booth #1825.


About Milestone 

Milestone Aviation Group, an AerCap company, is the world’s leading helicopter leasing and financing company. Milestone partners with helicopter operators worldwide, providing a wide array of financial and productivity solutions, including operating leases, purchase/leasebacks, secured debt financing, engine leasing and fleet advisory. The company supports over 40 customers in more than 35 countries serving a variety of industries, including offshore oil and gas, search and rescue, emergency medical services, police surveillance, mining, fire-fighting, and other utility missions.

About Helitak

Helitak Fire Fighting Equipment is a Rotary Aerial Firefighting specialist, aerial firefighting design and manufacturing company located on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. All Helitak fire tanks are custom designed and built and offer a carrying capacity ranging from 250 to 2,645 gallons (945 to 10,000 litres) of water and retardant/foam. The carbon fibre tanks are designed to minimize the need for any structural modifications to the aircraft.

About AerCap

AerCap is the global leader in aviation leasing with one of the most attractive order books in the industry. AerCap serves approximately 300 customers around the world with comprehensive fleet solutions. AerCap is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (AER) and is based in Dublin with offices in Shannon, Miami, Singapore, Amsterdam, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi, Seattle, Toulouse and other locations around the world.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains certain statements, estimates and forecasts with respect to future performance and events. These statements, estimates and forecasts are “forward-looking statements”. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “might,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “predict,” “potential” or “continue” or the negatives thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release are forward-looking statements and are based on various underlying assumptions and expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and may include projections of our future financial performance based on our growth strategies and anticipated trends in our business. These statements are only predictions based on our current expectations and projections about future events. There are important factors, including the impacts of, and associated responses to: the Covid-19 pandemic, our ability to successfully integrate GECAS’ operations and employees and realize anticipated synergies and cost savings; and the potential impact of the consummation of the GECAS transaction on relationships, including with employees, suppliers, customers and competitors, that could cause our actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements to differ materially from the results, level of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. As a result, we cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements included in this press release will prove to be accurate or correct. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the future performance or events described in the forward-looking statements in this press release might not occur. Accordingly, you should not rely upon forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results and we do not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of any of these forward-looking statements. Except as required by applicable law, we do not undertake any obligation to, and will not, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For more information regarding AerCap and to be added to our email distribution list, please visit and follow us on Twitter