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Forestry Fire Pilot (1046)

Forestry Fire Pilot

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: BX73
  • Class Code: 1046
  • Established: 06/21/1983
  • Revised: 12/21/1999
  • Title Changed: 12/21/1999


Under general direction, throughout the State, to pilot a helicopter over all types of terrain; to assist in all aspects of fire prevention, suppression, and vegetation management; to perform required preventive maintenance on helicopters; and to do other related work.

Typical Tasks

Pilot a helicopter in single pilot operation over all types of terrain in aerial firefighting, hauling firefighters and inmates to and from fires, hauling cargo, both internal and external, and dropping water and retardant on fires from helicopter-carried water buckets or tanks; flying routine and emergency missions such as search and rescue, medivacs, reconnaissance, law enforcement, serial photography, and administrative flights; support prescribed burning projects by hauling various serial ignition devices to ignite prescribed fires; be responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the helicopter; perform preventive maintenance plus limited inspections and maintenance on helicopters while under the direction of a licensed aircraft mechanic; act as air operations officer on occasions, which would include special projects, training, and inspecting rental aircraft pilots, plus other aviation management tasks; and perform other duties assigned.

Minimum Qualifications

Licenses: Possession of a valid Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) Commercial Airman Certificate with rotorcraft-helicopter rating or a valid FAA Airline Transport Pilot's Certificate with a rotorcraft- helicopter rating. and


Possession of a valid and current Class II Airman's Medical Certificate issued by an FAA authorized medical examiner. and


Possession of a valid driver license of the appropriate class issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Applicants who do not possess this license will be admitted to the examination but must secure the license prior to appointment. and


Experience: Applicants must have logged at least 2,000 hours of pilot-in-command flying helicopters, which must include the following:


1. At least 500 hours of mountain pilot-in-command helicopter flight time, routinely making landings in mountainous terrain above 4,000 feet MSL.


2. At least 500 hours of turbine helicopter time as pilot-in- command.


3. Two hundred and fifty hours as pilot-in-command of helicopters performing low level missions in fire control, map survey, powerline patrol, search and rescue, and spray or seeding operations over mountain or forested or comparable military operations.


4. At least 100 hours as pilot-in-command in helicopters carrying sling loads.


5. At least 50 hours as pilot-in-command in helicopters in the past year.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: Safe helicopter operating procedures; State and Federal forest and fire laws; regulations of the Department of Transportation, FAA, and other regulations governing civil aircraft movements; terrain, weather, and flying conditions in California.


Ability to: Skillfully pilot a helicopter using all known devices and attachments associated with helicopter forestry firefighting while making correct and sound decisions on their use in practical applications; operate a helicopter under hazardous conditions.

Special Personal Characteristics

Keenness of observation, mental alertness, tact, and good physical condition.

Additional Desirable Qualification

Forest-firefighting experience with helicopters is desirable.

  Updated: 6/3/2012
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