'Awful News': Pilot Killed In Waterbombing Helicopter Crash Identified
Allan Tull was one of the most experienced fire bombing pilots in the industry.
The pilot who died after a waterbombing helicopter crashed on the NSW south coast has been identified as Allan Tull.
A highly experienced pilot, Tull -- known as "Tully" -- had previously helped battle fires in Tasmania in January 2016.
He was waterbombing in Woodstock, near Ulladulla, when his helicopter crashed into a tree at about 2.15 on Friday afternoon.
Paramedics were called, but he died at the scene.
"It's obviously impacted a lot of people, most of all his family, the firefighting community and the aviation communtiy, which is quite a tight knit one," said Rob Rogers, Deputy Commissioner for NSW Rural Fire Service, told Sky News.
"He was very, very experienced, and by all accounts, really well liked."
Tull's death has particularly impacted those fighting the fires, said Rogers.
"It's awful news," he continued. "Our thoughts go out to his family and friends."
A statement released by the RFS on Friday night described Tull as "one of the most experienced fire bombing pilots in the industry".
"The aviation firefighting industry is very close and this tragic loss will be felt by all involved along with the broader firefighting community and those he worked alongside in other parts of the world.
"He will be sadly missed and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time."
An investigation will be made into his death.
As of Saturday morning there are 65 fires burning, with 21 of those uncontained, but Rogers warned that strong winds could cause even the contained fires to jump.
"We're concerned it's going to be another tough day," he told Sky News.
Residents are being urged to stay abreast of the changing situation by monitoring television, radio and the Fires Near Me app, as well as contact authorities immediately about any new fires.
"If you see a fire and don't see a fire truck, call 000," said Rogers.
"Even a few minutes could make a difference in us being able to contain it."