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The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) annually conducts a large and comprehensive forest firefighting training program held in Brazil’s capital city of Brasilia at the National Park and includes both theory and practical elements. This year’s training program introduced SEI’s Sling Dragon, an important device for the integrated management of controlled burns. The Sling Dragon went through extensive testing and received Technical Release in time to train IBAMA pilots with the new aerial ignition equipment. IBAMA’s three Sling Dragon units are the first to be used in South America.
SEI Industries developed the Sling Dragon to increase safety and performance by removing the machine from inside the aircraft and slinging it from the helicopter cargo hook with a set of SS suspension cables. Safely operated by the pilot with a hand control switch, the ignition occurs outside the aircraft and separate from the helicopter flight deck eliminating the need of a crew operator. With a much-increased capacity of 5,000 spheres and seven speed setting, the Sling Dragon is equipped with a GPS tracker that records the drops coordinates on a MicroSD card, allowing users to easily view a map of their burn area.
“The Sling Dragon will exponentially increase our prescribed burning capability, which is a fundamental element of IBAMA’s preventative program to reduce the severity of wildland fires – specially in large, protected areas such as indigenous and conservation lands. The addition of the Sling Dragon to our toolbox will bring more efficiency and safety to the aerial ignition operations allowing quick access to unreachable and risky areas for the ground crews,” explains Everton Almada Pimentel, Environment Analyst – Aerial Operations, IBAMA.