July 18, 2005 - multipurpose amphibian Be-200 has been staying in Italy since July 5, 2005. The aircraft has been in operation under a lease contract between Beriev Aircraft Corp.
and La SOREM s.r.l., the latter being the authorized firefighting service operator assigned by the Civil Protection Department (Protezione Civile) of Italy. The amphibian is being used in firefighting missions.
During the first weeks of July, the Beriev
BE200ES amphibian flew around the territory of Italy. The aircraft has performed a number of landings and take-offs, and carried out the scooping of water from 34 lakes as well as from the open sea. As a result of these activities, the Italian aviation authorities granted the Russian amphibian with a permission to participate in the firefighting operations.
July 17, an extensive crowning forest fire was detected in a remote mountainous region difficult to access on the island of Sardinia. The fire spread over approximately 40 hectares of forest area. Four CL-415 amphibians and the Be-200ES multipurpose amphibian took part in the firefighting operations.
By joint actions, the Be-200ES and the CL-415 planes isolated the spreading fire and brought it under control. Scooping water from the lake of Cochinas, located within the fire area (at 350 m above the sea level), the Russian amphibian made 21 drops of fire suppressant during the operation. The overall amount of fire suppressant dropped by the Be-200 in the course of this firefighting mission was equal to approximately 240 tons.