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Babcock Aircraft Maintenance Engineers Feature in Smithsonian Channel Canada’s “High Maintenance” Docuseries

On March 17th, the Smithsonian Channel Canada will provide a behind the scenes look at the dedicated teams of Babcock Aircraft Maintenance Engineers’ (AMEs) and support staff, whose efforts to maintain Manitoba’s fleet of aerial firefighting aircraft are showcased in Episode 7 of the Smithsonian’s new docuseries: “High Maintenance”.

“High Maintenance” provides a closer look at the crews responsible for maintaining critical infrastructures around the globe. Episode 7, entitled “Firefighting Water Bombers; Offshore Helicopter Shuttles”, features Babcock’s aerial firefighting operations and their role in providing critical wildfire suppression support for Manitoba’s communities. In the middle of summer, the wildfire season is in full swing and our AMEs work diligently, around the clock, to ensure that the Province’s water bombers are ready to fight fires.

Fighting fires from the air is no small feat. It requires a comprehensive and flexible operation that is able to respond at a moment’s notice. The episode follows Richard Hristovski, Babcock’s CL-415 Crew Chief, as he leads one of the teams responsible for ensuring the safety and operational preparedness of the Province of Manitoba’s fleet of firefighting aircraft.

Babcock was awarded the Wildfire Suppression Services Contract in 2018, and was entrusted with the protection of the 1.3 million people that call Manitoba’s communities home. The contract includes the management, maintenance and operation of Manitoba’s fleet of seven Canadair water-bomber amphibious aircraft (four CL-415s and three CL-215s), supported by three Babcock-owned Twin Commander “bird-dog” aircraft. Manitoba retained ownership of the water-bomber aircraft, parts, inventory, special tools and equipment but transferred care and custody to Babcock as lessee.

After completing our first season providing aerial wildfire suppression support for the Province of Manitoba, operations have been commended for their smooth transition of responsibility whilst meeting and surpassing objectives. Over this past year, we dropped a total of 25 million litres of water to extinguish 277 wildfires and were able to surpass our obligated aircraft availability, of 96%, to provide aircrafts at a 99.7% rate of availability. Whenever a plane was needed, a plane was there. Our ability to deliver this quality of service is primarily due to the talented AME crews, like Richard’s team, that keep these aircraft flying safely.

Tune in to “High Maintenance” Tuesday March 17th to learn about the intricacies of keeping water bombers in the air.

To learn more about our aerial firefighting, visit:

Air Date Details: Tuesday March 17th at 10pm ET/PT

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