Colonel Kilgore meets Mr Bean
ADF Kit Kat crew, not climate change, torched national park last summer
The crew of an Australian Army helicopter that sparked a massive bushfire in Namadgi National Park did not pass on crucial details about the fire’s location to authorities for 45 minutes, costing emergency services precious time as they raced to extinguish the fire before it ravaged the ACT’s south.
The fire was started by the helicopter’s landing light in late January, as the Army crew set down for a break in the remote Orroral Valley.
When the blaze threatened to consume the aircraft, the crew took to the skies — only to watch as their helicopter downdraught fanned the flames into what would become a formidable firestorm…
But internal Defence reports on the incident, released to the ABC under Freedom of Information laws, show the helicopter’s pilot did not radio the coordinates in the time it took to return to Fairbairn air base at Canberra Airport.
In the coming hours and days, the Orroral Valley fire grew into an inferno that ripped through the ACT national park — and then across the border in NSW, where it destroyed homes…
A Defence response to questions from the ABC said the crew’s primary concern was for their own safety.
The primary concern was not civilian lives and property but themselves. Well, that’s the old Keith Payne spirit! Shouldn’t Chief of Army Lieutenant General Richard Burr resign over this fiasco? Strippety-strip!
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